SHAWNEE, OK. – The ingredients mixed well Sunday across the country’s heartland, where severe thunderstorms produced as many as 29 tornadoes throughout the course of the day. Mother Nature proved her true potential to many who are now searching through rubble to salvage anything they can.
One of the strongest cells passed just south of Oklahoma City, moving northeast into Shawnee, OK where extensive damage is being reported. Homes and businesses were flattened, semi-trucks blown over, and vehicles thrown considerable distances.
NWS meteorologists are spending the day doing damage assessments to determine the strength of the tornadoes. Among the records are 312 severe wind reports, where winds were in excess of 56mph, and 197 hail reports. The preliminary data is suggesting the Shawnee, OK tornado was an EF-4, meaning wind speeds were between 166mph-200mph. It’s possible this could upgrade to an EF-5.
The tornado threat will continue Monday across the Central Plains, as instability is expected to be nearly just as high.