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Another Day, Another Watch

Saturday, May 13, 2023 - University Meteorologist, Dr. Kevin Kloesel

It's certainly not a 42-game winning streak like OU Softball, but being in an NWS weather watch for a third straight day (and likely to be 4 tomorrow) is unusual, even for May. The last time it happened was that memorable graduation week of 2015 when hail and tornadoes forced a historic cancellation of commencement. Thursday night's onslaught of tornadic storms was eerily reminiscent of May 8, 2015, and we spent over 2 consecutive hours in a tornado warning on campus - also a record. Tack on yesterday's all afternoon/evening severe thunderstorm watch, as well as the one issued during the overnight hours this morning (along with the accompanying flood watch) and we have spent 33 of the previous 48 hours in a watch of some type. This is an active streak as the Flood Watch continues today.

Today, a fourth consecutive day of proximity lightning storms are expected with the flood watch as a backdrop. Heavy downpours are expected with any storms today, and these could be numerous this afternoon and evening. Given the heavy rains of the previous few days, localized flooding will occur very quickly in the usual campus spots (Lindsey and Elm, and along Jenkins). It is not unreasonable to expect 2-inch per hour rainfall rates in the strongest storms this afternoon and evening. Please do not attempt to drive through flooded roadways.

Complicating the proceedings this afternoon and evening is the risk of severe storms, especially if we get any sunshine this morning and early afternoon. In addition to the downpours today, large hail, gusty winds, and even a brief tornado can not be ruled out. The hail and tornado threat today is not as large as yesterday, and certainly not like Thursday, but organizers of any gatherings (especially outdoor ones) late this afternoon and evening should be weather aware.

We will continue to monitor!

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Courtesy of the NOAA National Weather Service WSR-88D radar network and the Oklahoma Mesonet