Oklahoma tornado deaths have been confirmed as the first deaths of the 2014 tornado season. Unfortunately, FEMA is already sounding tornado warnings for the eastern portion of the mid-west since storm conditions are expected to be perfect for tornadoes through Monday.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, several days ago the 2014 tornado season was predicted to have massive twisters this weekend, with Tennessee, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Texas likely to be hit first. Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri entered the threat zone on Sunday, and forecasts from earlier today show Little Rock as being in the center of the threat zone. Starting on Monday, a Mississippi tornado warning has been sent out to large cities like New Orleans since it’s expected that storm conditions may form in that region.
— NWS Central Region (@NWSCentral) April 27, 2014
FEMA is warning that the greatest risk for intense tornadoes at the moment is in most of Arkansas and parts of western and central Missouri. It’s said that “numerous funnel clouds and at least two tornadoes were spotted in southeast Kansas and southwest Missouri on Sunday.”
The 2014 tornado season has fortunately been free of tornado deaths until now. Since it has been so long since there’s been a significant severe weather event, some weather forecasters claim people have not been paying as much attention to the weather news. For example, Harold Brooks, a senior scientist at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, claims the 2014 tornado season is near a record low since records began being collected:
“It’s certainly a low year, but ‘smallest’ is limited to the inflation-adjustment procedure. We may be slowest by now, but that’s not a guarantee. [I’m] very comfortable with the notion that 2014 is in the conversation about which year is the smallest.”
So while the good news is that 2014 has been easy up until this weekend, the bad news is that tornado deaths are just now being reported. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety reports that a 11-month-old child who was injured during storms in the eastern portion of the state only to die today in the hospital. Beaufort County suffered from a EF-3 tornado which tore up 200 homes with its 150 MPH winds. For those not living in the Mid-West, this news should confirm that everyone should be alert for tornado warnings until the storm conditions pass in a few days.
The first two Oklahoma tornado deaths are being reported from a town called Quapaw, which is in the northeast portion of the state. The tornado touched down around 5:30 PM and the full extent of the damage is still unknown. One report from around 7 PM claimed a railroad train was lifted off its tracks. East of Quapaw is a town called Baxter Springs, and although the sheriff’s department has reported no deaths yet the first responders are still searching the damaged homes looking for anyone who may have been injured.