Storm chasers in Texas got an up-close look at a giant tornado.
A dangerous day for weather is forecast for Monday in portions of Texas and Oklahoma.
“An outbreak of tornadoes, some potentially long-track and violent, is expected today into this evening,” the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) warned.
The prediction center placed parts of the eastern Texas Panhandle and western Oklahoma under a “high risk” area for severe weather, the most serious of SPC’s five risk categories.
“This event should result in a significant threat to life and property,” the center added.
More isolated but still potentially dangerous severe weather, including tornadoes, is possible in surrounding parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arkansas, the center warned.
Schools are closed across Oklahoma ahead of the bad weather. Many of the largest school systems in the center of the state (as well as the University of Oklahoma campus) will be closed all day Monday, which appears to be the first time such a mass closure has occurred in central Oklahoma on the night before severe weather, according to the Weather Underground.
The wild weather Monday will continue a pattern of severe storms that have battered the region: Nearly 40 preliminary tornadoes were reported across Nebraska and Kansas to end this past week, and the severe weather continued on Saturday, AccuWeather said.
Forecasters say four tornadoes struck parts of West Texas in severe weather that damaged some homes and businesses in the San Angelo area on Saturday, the National Weather Service said.
Looking ahead, more bad weather is forecast the rest of the month: “It looks like there is no end in sight to this very active pattern of severe weather into the end of May,” AccuWeather Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer said.
High heat will also be another big weather story as May continues: As the Memorial Day weekend rolls in, look for a “death ridge” of heat in the Southeast, forecasters warned.
“Extreme heat and very dry conditions for extended period of time. Days 6-10 averages are 8-10°F above normal in the ensemble mean,” meteorologist Ryan Maue tweeted. “Huge signal for record highs — and long duration!”
Contributing: John Bacon, USA TODAY; The Associated Press
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