Storms and sweltering heat seen hitting southern US on Memorial Day

A tornado spins during stormy weather in Mangum, Oklahoma, on May 20, 2019.
A tornado spins during stormy weather in Mangum, Oklahoma, on May 20, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

ATLANTA (REUTERS) - Sweltering heat, storms and possible twisters were expected to hit the US southern Plains and southeastern states on Memorial Day (May 27) after a spate of deadly tornadoes and flooding in the region.

Temperatures around 38 deg C were forecast in cities from Jacksonville, Florida, up the southeast into Macon and Savannah Georgia, and on to Charleston, South Carolina, the National Weather Service said.

"This is super hot for this time of year," said John Deese, a NWS forecaster in Peachtree, Georgia, near Atlanta.

"This is a heat wave across the south, and it's going to be here for a while," said Deese, predicting high temperatures through the week staying in the mid to high 90s in the region.

The risk of strong tornadoes are moderate but remain possible through the week for the southeastern Plains states, already hit by lethal twisters last week, forecasters said.

The latest severe tornado killed two people in El Reno, Oklahoma late Saturday, injured at least 29 people, and left hundreds homeless, officials said.

Four more people were killed in the same storm in Oklahoma, CNN reported Sunday.


Rescue workers on Sunday 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.

US southern Plains including Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas and parts of Ohio will remain under flood watches and warnings through the week, as rains, wind, hail and possible twisters are in the forecast, said David Roth of the NWS Weather Prediction Centre in College Park Maryland.

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