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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Oklahoma, USA. Hail the size of golf balls, tornadoes, strong winds. Two people are dead

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The storms swept through Oklahoma on Wednesday, killing at least two people. A strong tornado formed in the central part of the region and passed through the town of Cole, damaging homes. Hail the size of golf balls fell in the suburbs of the state capital Oklahoma City. The dangerous aura also hit other states.

Violent storms swept across the midwestern United States on Wednesday night storms. Several states were within their reach, and the most dangerous phenomena were recorded in Oklahoma.

Swirling storms

The town of Cole, Oklahoma, was hardest hit by the element. A tornado swept through the town, tearing off roofs, knocking down trees and destroying houses. Local media reported at least two fatalities, confirmed by McClain County Police. As the officers reported, they also received information about the wounded in other parts of the county – some people were buried under the rubble of their own homes and required help.

The Cole tornado was one of several to occur in central Oklahoma, the National Weather Service (NWS) said. The area around the state capital, Oklahoma City, was under warnings for thunderstorms, hail and tornadoes overnight. By Thursday morning, power outages had affected nearly 20,000 customers in Oklahoma.

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Meteorologists noted that the storms moved erratically. In Shawnee, on the outskirts of the capital, the so-called the Fujiwhara effect – two thunderstorm centers swirled around each other, making it difficult to issue warnings. The storms brought hail the size of golf balls and, in some places, tennis balls.

Storms in OklahomaReuters/Hans Duran

Storms in OklahomaReuters/Hans Duran

Record number of tornadoes

Violent weather also swept across northern Wisconsin. One resident of the town of Stoughton managed to document the hailfall – individual hailstones were the size of golf balls.

Hail in WisconsinReuters/Twitter@AskAGrammarian

According to NWS data, from January to March 2023, 466 cases of tornadoes were initially confirmed in the United States. This is a record result for this period since the start of measurements in 1950 – a similar value was recorded only in 2017, when there were 398 of them.

Scientists are not yet able to say whether there is a link between climate change and the frequency or strength of tornadoes. Data from recent years, however, show that tornadoes are more common, and the region of the United States with the most tornadoes seems to be moving eastward towards more densely populated areas.

Storms in OklahomaReuters/ABC AFFILIATE KOCO

Storms in OklahomaReuters/Hans Duran

Reuters, NY Times, NWS, Accuweather

Main photo source: Reuters/Hans Duran

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