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May 29, 2013

More severe weather on the horizon

MIAMI, Okla. (AP) — With everyone still shaken up after last week's devastating tornadoes, another wave of severe weather is forecast.

Throughout Wednesday, National Weather Services in Tornado Alley were on high alert, and as the weather progressed it got worse. The initial TOR:CON rating for western Oklahoma was a 6 Wednesday, but as the afternoon hours passed, it increased to at least a 7, meaning a 70 percent chance of tornadoes developing.

The setup of this storm system is similar to last week's, which produced two significant tornadoes—in Shawnee on Sunday and Moore on Monday.

General Weather Predictions

For Miami and its immediate surroundings, the highest chance of tornadoes will be between 4 and 8 p.m, Thursday, but still high throughout the day both Thursday and Friday. The TOR:CON indicated for these days, as of press time at 4 p.m., Wednesday, are a level 6. This means there is a high probability, 60 percent chance, of tornadoes being produced on those days according to the TOR:CON index given by the National Weather Service.

Thursday Weather Predictions

On Thursday, during the day, weather is predicted to be windy with occasional thunderstorms, possibly severe. Damaging winds, large hail, and possibly a tornado are possible with some storms. High 78F. Winds S at 20 to 30 mph. 78 percent humidity. Chance of rain 80 percent.

On Thursday, during the night, weather is predicted to be windy, with scattered thunderstorms, some strong in the evening, which may give way to partly cloudy skies overnight. Damaging winds, large hail, and possibly a tornado are possible with some storms. Low near 70F. Winds S at 20 to 30 mph. 83 percent humidity. Chance of rain 50 percent.

Friday Weather Predictions

Friday, during the day, weather is predicted to be windy, with scattered strong thunderstorms developing later in the day. Storms may produce large hail and strong winds. High 83F. Winds S at 20 to 30 mph. 75 percent humidity. Chance of rain 40 percent.

There is still a 60 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms Friday night, but as of Wednesday evening, no severe weather was predicted throughout Friday night.

County, city, and national weather service officials all urged the public to “shelter in place,” meaning to take shelter where you are at or somewhere very near to that spot when a warning is issued.

“Some of these tornadoes popped up out of nowhere last week and then were gone the next second,” Ottawa County Emergency Management Director Joe Dan Morgan said. “The safest place to take shelter is where you are at.”

More important than sheltering close to your immediate vicinity is to have a plan of action in place for both during the storm and after.

“Be a neighbor. Know who your neighbor is, and find out if they have a storm shelter or a basement that would be available to you,” City of Miami Emergency Management Director Glenda Longan said.

"I don't want to freak people out, but everyone needs to be on high alert in case severe weather does happen," Rick Smith of the Norman National Weather Service said. "I just want everyone to be on the same page and prepared."

Shalee Franklin,writer


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