Storms and sweltering heat set to hit US South

Little is left of the American Budget Value Inn after a tornado touched down overnight in El Reno, Oklahoma, on Sunday. At least six people were killed over the weekend in storms and hundreds left homeless.
Little is left of the American Budget Value Inn after a tornado touched down overnight in El Reno, Oklahoma, on Sunday. At least six people were killed over the weekend in storms and hundreds left homeless.PHOTO: REUTERS

ATLANTA • Sweltering heat, storms and possible twisters were expected to hit the US southern plains and south-eastern states yesterday after a spate of deadly tornadoes and flooding in the region.

Temperatures of about 38 deg C were forecast in cities from Jacksonville, Florida, up the south-east into Macon and Savannah, Georgia, and on to Charleston, South Carolina, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.

"This is super hot for this time of year," said Mr John Deese, an NWS forecaster. "This is a heat wave across the south, and it's going to be here for a while," added Mr Deese, who predicted high temperatures throughout the week.

The risk of strong tornadoes was moderate but remains possible through the week for the south-eastern plains states, already hit by lethal twisters last week, forecasters said.

The latest severe tornado killed two people in El Reno, Oklahoma, late last Saturday, injured at least 29 people, and left hundreds homeless, officials said. Four others were killed in the same storm in Oklahoma, CNN reported on Sunday.

Rescue workers searched for survivors in the rubble left by the tornado that devastated parts of the small community near Oklahoma City, officials said. At least seven other people were killed by storms last week.

The US southern plains, including Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas and parts of Ohio, will remain under flood watch and warnings throughout the week, as rains, wind, hail and possible twisters were forecast, said Mr David Roth of the NWS Weather Prediction Centre in College Park Maryland.

 
 

As for the south-east from Florida to Virginia, "it'll stay hot", he said. "This weather pattern is just parked, persistent."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 28, 2019, with the headline 'Storms and sweltering heat set to hit US South'. Print Edition | Subscribe