Wednesday, May 25, 2011

EXTREME WEATHER: Large Destructive Tornado Warnings for U.S.!

According to, Meteorologists have elevated the risk for large, destructive tornadoes in the United States Midwest to "HIGH," with evening risks of numerous tornadoes to increase over the next 12 hours from Indiana to Northern Louisiana. It has also been forecast that the heartland thunderstorm threat is expected to reach parts of the East and interior South.

The number of tornado reports so far today is 53 with at least 405 severe weather reports (tornadoes, hail and damaging wind gusts). The most dangerous thunderstorms, including tornadoes stretch from southeastern Illinois and southern Indiana to southeastern Arkansas and northern Mississippi at this time. Thus far this evening, the bulk of the storms over Ohio and Indiana have been producing straight line wind gusts, large hail and flash flooding incidents. However, the risk of tornadoes may increase as the evening progresses and the large rotating storm system approaches from Missouri. A tornado was reported in Lawrence County, Ind. 9-miles ENE of Bedford. A possible debris field was also spotted. The storms are moving fast, at nearly 50 mph, so there may be very little time to get to safety. If warnings are issued for your area, seek shelter immediately! At 6:00 p.m. a tornado was reported near Trumann, Ark. At 7:00 p.m. a tornado was reported near Tichnor, Ark. Softball sized hail has been reported in Granite City, Ill. late this afternoon. A multiple vortex tornado was on the ground near Fredricktown, Mo. and was producing a debris field at 4:30 p.m. CDT...

Deadly thunderstorms erupted over the southern Plains on Tuesday. These storms will shift eastward into tonight, focusing their fury from lower Michigan to northern Louisiana. A swath from eastern Arkansas and northern Mississippi to the central portions of Illinois and Indiana will be in the highest risk area for devastating tornadoes into tonight. This elevated tornado risk area includes the cities of Little Rock, Memphis, St. Louis, Louisville and Indianapolis. Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski advised on Tuesday, that "if a tornado warning is issued, immediately seek shelter. The safest areas are a storm shelter, basement or interior room in the lowest level of your home in that order." Besides tornadoes, thunderstorms into tonight could produce wind gusts well past 60 mph that will be capable of downing trees and power lines, damaging buildings and toppling tractor trailers. Enough hail could fall to cover the ground in a few locations. A couple of the thunderstorms could bring hail the size of baseballs. Torrents of rain could send flash flood waters flowing over city streets and small streams quickly out of their banks...

The storm system responsible for the tornado carnage in the Heartland this week will reach part of the East and interior South on Thursday. While not forecast by meteorologists to be nearly as ferocious as the storms spanning Sunday through Wednesday, severe weather will stretch from southern Ontario to tornado-weary Alabama Thursday and Thursday night. It is likely the ongoing severe weather outbreak during the calendar day Thursday will produce only a few tornadoes. However, there is still the risk of such a storm hitting a populated area. The overall severe weather and tornado threat area continues to press farther east into more densely populated regions. Millions of people lie outside of some of major population centers in the path of Thursday's storms ranging from Toronto to Pittsburgh to Birmingham. Because of this, even though the thunderstorm intensity and corresponding tornado strength and number may be several orders of magnitude less than earlier this week, a substantial number of lives are at risk along with a large amount of property.

- AccuWeather.
WATCH: 2011 has most tornado deaths in 6 decades.

WEATHER ANOMALIES: Iran's Largest Lake turning to Salt?!

Iran's largest lake is turning to salt and could possibly disappear soon.

From a hillside, Kamal Saadat looked forlornly at hundreds of potential customers, knowing he could not take them for trips in his boat to enjoy a spring weekend on picturesque Oroumieh Lake, the third largest saltwater lake on earth.  "Look, the boat is stuck... It cannot move anymore," said Saadat, gesturing to where it lay encased by solidifying salt and lamenting that he could not understand why the lake was fading away. The long popular lake, home to migrating flamingos, pelicans and gulls, has shrunken by 60 percent and could disappear entirely in just a few years, experts say — drained by drought, misguided irrigation policies, development and the damming of rivers that feed it.

Until two years ago, Saadat supplemented his income from almond- and grape-growing by taking tourists on boat tours. But as the lake receded and its salinity rose, he found he had to stop the boat every 10 minutes to unfoul the propeller — and finally, he had to give up this second job that he'd used to support a five-member family. "The visitors were not enjoying such a boring trip," he said, noting they had to cross hundreds of meters of salty lakebed just to reach the boat from the wharf. Other boatmen, too, have parked their vessels by their houses, where they stand as sad reminders of the deep-water days. And the lake's ebbing affects an ever-widening circle. In April, authorities stopped activities at the nearby jetty in Golmankhaneh harbor, due to lack of water in the lake, now only two meters deep at its deepest.

Jetties in Sharafkhaneh and Eslami harbors faced the same fate. The receding water has also weakened hotel business and tourism activities in the area, and planned hotel projects remain idle since investors are reluctant to continue. Beyond tourism, the salt-saturated lake threatens agriculture nearby in northwest Iran, as storms sometimes carry the salt far afield. Many farmers worry about the future of their lands, which for centuries have been famous for apples, grapes, walnuts, almonds, onions, potatoes, as well as aromatic herbal drinks, candies and tasty sweet pastes. "The salty winds not only will affect surrounding areas but also can damage farming in remote areas," said Masoud Mohammadian, an agriculture official in the eastern part of the lake, some 370 miles (600 kilometers) northwest of the capital Tehran. Other officials echoed the dire forecast. Salman Zaker, a parliament member for Oroumieh warned last month that, "with the current trend, the risk of a salt tsunami is increasing." Warning that the lake would dry out within three to five years — an assessment agreed to by the local environment department director, Hasan Abbasnejad — Zaker said eight to 10 billion tons of salt would jeopardize life for millions of people.

Earth Changes: 2 Greenland Glaciers lose enough Ice to fill Lake Erie!

Greenland's glaciers are losing ice faster each year and the evidence of this was highlighted in a recent article from Science Daily.

A new study aimed at refining the way scientists measure ice loss in Greenland is providing a "high-definition picture" of climate-caused changes on the island. And the picture isn't pretty. In the last decade, two of the largest three glaciers draining that frozen landscape have lost enough ice that, if melted, could have filled Lake Erie.

The three glaciers -- Helheim, Kangerdlugssuaq and Jakobshavn Isbrae -- are responsible for as much as one-fifth of the ice flowing out from Greenland into the ocean. "Jakobshavn alone drains somewhere between 15 and 20 percent of all the ice flowing outward from inland to the sea," explained Ian Howat, an assistant professor of earth sciences at Ohio State University.

His study appears in the current issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters. As the second largest holder of ice on the planet, and the site of hundreds of glaciers, Greenland is a natural laboratory for studying how climate change has affected these ice fields. Researchers focus on the "mass balance" of glaciers, the rate of new ice being formed as snow falls versus the flow of ice out into the sea. The new study suggests that, in the last decade, Jakobshavn Isbrae has lost enough ice to equal 11 years' worth of normal snow accumulation, approximately 300 gigatons (300 billion tons) of ice. "Kangerdlugssuaq would have to stop flowing and accumulate snowfall for seven years to regain the ice it has lost," said Howat, also a member of the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Dead fish in Manasi Ganga Lake in India!

A large number of dead fish have been found floating in the Manasi Ganga Lake in the past three days resulting in difficulties for devotees visiting the Mukut Mukharbind temple situated adjacent to the lake.

The Project Manager of Jal Nigam has been asked to remove the dead fish from the lake at the earliest, district magistrate, NG Ravi Kumar said. Strict action will be taken against the officer concerned if the work is not completed within the next 24 hours, he said.
"Jal Nigam have been asked to replace the polluted water with fresh water before the forthcoming Mudiya Poono fair which falls early July", he added. Authorities of Pollution Control Board have been instructed to take a daily sample of water from the lake for a week so as to ascertain the real cause behind the incident. "Sanitary inspector of the area has been asked to ensure that synthetic milk is not sold in the area as it could be responsible for poisoning, he said.
- The Economic Times.

DELUGE: 500-Year Event - Little Missouri River Reaches Record High!

Little Missouri River reached a record high Tuesday, so much so that, an hydrologist is calling it a 500-year event.

The stream flow of the Little Missouri River at Camp Crook reached a record high when the water level peaked, according to real-time U.S. Geological Survey stream-gage data. The water level peaked at 19.42 feet on Tuesday, about seven feet above the National Weather Service designated flood stage of 12 feet. "This event only had a 0.2 percent chance of occurring, making it a 500-year event," said Joyce Williamson, a USGS hydrologist. "This doesn't mean that the next comparable flood will be in 500 years, just that there is a 0.2 percent chance of this level of flooding to occur. Multiple 500-year events can occur in a short time frame and then not again for a very long time." By 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, the water had gone down to 18.47 feet, according to Michael Carlson, Belle Fourche Area Engineer with the South Dakota Department of Transportation...

As the Little Missouri rose to record highs, Camp Crook resident Darwin Latham sat in the Corner Bar feeling fortunate to have his friends and neighbors. With water levels peaking above 19 feet, Latham, 45, and his family had to be evacuated off their ranch Tuesday morning. “We were pretty confident going into this. We knew the river was coming up, but we were confident that it wouldn’t be worse than 2009,” Latham said. “Last night before we went to bed we decided it was time to start getting a little nervous.” Latham, a rancher who lives about a mile northeast of Camp Crook in a 120-year-old house, said he is normally about 150 yards from the river bank. “Right now the Little Missouri’s all around me,” Latham said Tuesday morning. “Right now we’ve got water completely surrounding the house. We’ve got water coming in the front door into the porch.” Latham said by the time he and his family decided to leave it had gotten dark and with the water running over the road, they couldn’t tell whether the road was there or not. 
- Rapid City Journal.

EARTH CHANGES: Record Drought of 110 Days of no Rain in El Paso!

Residents and farmers in El Paso, are longing for the rainy conditions that accompanies the thunderstorm and tornado weather systems that is currently pulverizing the Midwestern states of America, as a severe drought has engulfed the region for over 100 days.

The sight of lush alfalfa fields, pecan trees and white cotton fields may diminish next year if this year's drought doesn't let up soon. As of today, soon just stretched out a little further. The Greater El Paso area today will hit a record-breaking 110 consecutive days without a trace of rain. According to the National Weather Service office in Santa Teresa, the old record was 109 days in 2002. If you're looking for a drop of hope this week, then forecasts through Friday will disappoint you. The National Weather Service is predicting dusty, sunny and windy conditions through the Memorial Day weekend. Daytime temperatures will range between the high 80s to low 90s; nighttime temperatures will hover around the mid 60s. Effects from this year's drought are already being felt as farmers prepare for lower crop yields next year. The problem lies in a lack of precipitation that eventually streams through the Rio Grande and into the Elephant Butte Reservoir. El Paso County farmers welcome water that flows down from the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and northern New Mexico. Most of that water comes from melting snowpack. In the past couple of years, the Rockies' snowpack has been very poor, resulting in low lake levels farther south. At the moment, Elephant Butte Lake, which can hold up to 2.5 million acre-feet of water, is only 16 to 17 percent full. Kevin Ivey, a third-generation El Paso County farmer, is one of several farmers dependent on the Colorado runoff. He uses it each year to irrigate his crops of alfalfa and cotton and his pecan orchards. All three normally yield him enough income to provide for his family of six.

But now, if the drought doesn't break soon, the family will have to start cutting back. "This year it's like, right now, we're getting sunburned," Ivey said. "And next year will be like at night when the sunburn hurts. Unless something changes next year, it will be bad." When water levels are low, farmers turn to using wells and aquifers filled from unused water from previous years for help. At the moment, farmers are receiving full allocations from reserves that are 4 acre-feet of water per acre of land. An acre-foot of water can supply the household needs of two four-person families for one year. But if water doesn't trickle down from the Rocky Mountains soon, farmers are told to expect cutbacks of 3.5 acre-feet per acre this year. "Unless we get a big rainstorm and we have a good summer, then the city will have to help with the water conservation," said Chuy Reyes, general manager of El Paso County Water Improvement District 1. "And it may reach the point similar to what we saw during the February winter storm."
- El Paso Times.

Weather Anomalies: Scotland battered by 100mph winds in Summer?!

Gale-force winds have been battering the west coast of Scotland and Northern Ireland, causing big problems on the roads, ferries and trains. Tens of thousands of homes were left without power as winds of up to 100mph helped to topple trees and bring down electricity lines. At the height of the storms, Scotland's Forth Road bridge was closed and some trains had to be stopped on the tracks. Weather forecasters are warning that more strong winds are on the way.

High winds brought chaos to Scotland's transport network today as falling trees blocked main routes. Roads, rail, air and ferry services were all affected as winds gusting 100mph were recorded in central Scotland. An ambulance transport car collided with a lorry on the A9 in Perthshire when it swerved to avoid a fallen tree. The vehicle was driving a patient to a hospital appointment when the crash happened on the road between Greenloaning and the Balhaldie services. An Ambulance Service spokesman said there were four people in the vehicle but none were injured in the collision. In Tayside, a man and a woman were trapped in a car when a tree was blown down onto the vehicle. Police said the man suffered injuries to his head and hands in the accident at about 1.30pm on the A91 near Milnathort, Kinross. The pair were taken to Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline for treatment. Emergency services urged people to take extra care on the roads and to secure any items that could be blown away in gusty weather. Trees and branches were blown down across the region, particularly in Perthshire, with some roads being forced to close. The Tay Road Bridge between Dundee and Fife was shut to high-sided vehicles.

A Tayside Police spokesman said: "In addition to warning drivers to be alert on the roads, we would ask businesses and householders to ensure that items such as wheelie bins, ladders, bikes, garden furniture and even trampolines are secured and won't blow into harm's way." Northern Constabulary said many routes were affected by falling debris, branches and trees. The A82 was closed at Ballachulish, one mile south of Glencoe, with other roads facing disruption. Lothian and Borders Police said trees and temporary traffic lights had been brought down by high winds in Edinburgh. Motorists were earlier advised that parts of Scotland could be battered by winds of up to 80mph. The Met Office issued a weather warning for "exceptionally windy weather", particularly across the central and southern parts of the country. The possible impact of the severe winds was also raised at a meeting of Scottish Government's emergency committee yesterday...

Matt Dobson, of Meteo Group, the weather arm of the Press Association, said the wind speeds recorded were "exceptional" for this time of year. He said: "The wind speeds are really just peaking across central and southern parts of Scotland. "In the last hour we have recorded a 77mph gust in Salsburgh, North Lanarkshire, which will be affecting those travelling along the M8 motorway. "Speeds recorded in and around Edinburgh have reached around 67mph, and further up the east coast in Leuchars, Fife, we have recorded 70mph. "The conditions have not passed very quickly but have moved away from the far north. "Central parts of Scotland will be affected most, as well as areas up the east coast. "There are strong winds being recorded on slightly higher ground, in Glenogle for instance, which is about 500 metres up, we have actually seen wind speeds of 100mph. "This really is exceptional for this time of year, we have rarely seen gusts of this speed in late May.  - Daily Record

PLANETARY TREMORS: Astrotometry - Earthquake Watch For May!

The following video is a earthquake watch for the rest of the month of May, and is provided as a service of the Cosabio Virtual Institute and made possible by data products from NASA's ACE, SOHO and SDO projects, USGS, NRL, NOAA, The University of Maryland, Stanford University, University of Colorado,, SpaceWeather.Com and Google.

Recent features observed in 193 angstrom images of the solar corona may indicate the approach of very strong seismic events. A hole in the solar corona extending from 14 degrees south latitude to 23 degrees north latitude with active node components in both hemispheres may foreshadow two strong events. A seismic event over 6.5 in magnitude is considered possible near 15 degrees north latitude and a seismic event over 7.1 in magnitude is considered possible near 7 degrees south latitude. The most likely days for the events are May 26th, 25th and 27th. The events are expected to occur within 48 hours after the normalization of the solar wind from the indicated disturbance. The shape of the disturbance and recent seismic activity may indicate Central America and northwestern South America. Recent seismic activity in Indonesia may indicate that region as a possible location. The exact location and day of the events is unknown. - Astrotometry.

EARTH CHANGES: Worst Drought in 50 years along Yangtze, China!

The worst drought in 50 years to hit provinces along the Yangtze River may continue to plague Central China. The China Meteorological Administration warned on Tuesday that little rain is expected in the coming 10 days and highs of 36 C are likely to hit the central and southern parts of China.

These regions will mostly see hot, dry weather during the coming week, the administration said, adding that local departments will activate cloud seeding when weather conditions are fit. Data indicated that rainfall in these regions is 30 to 80 percent less compared to normal years, while the provinces of Anhui, Jiangsu, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Zhejiang and Shanghai municipality continue to suffer the worst drought since 1954. Between January and April, the Yangtze River basin received 40 percent less rainfall than the average level of the past 50 years.

The water area of Dongting Lake in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River was 73 percent less on May 20 than the same day last year, according to statistics from the administration. As of Monday, the lingering drought in Hubei has affected nearly 10 million people, about one sixth of its population, and influenced 1.2 million hectares of farmland, causing direct economic losses of 7.1 billion yuan ($1.1 billion), according to the provincial civil affairs department. Since the end of last autumn, most areas of Hubei have received 50 percent less rainfall than the same period in 2010.

The Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters asked the Three Gorges Dam to increase water discharges to up to 12,000 cubic meter per second (about 3,000 cu m per second more than the water flowing in) from May 25 to June 10, in order to raise the water level in the middle and lower reaches.

The water level in more than 1,300 reservoirs in Hubei province have dropped below the allowable discharge level for irrigation, said Yuan Junguang, director of the reservoir management office of Hubei provincial water resources department. "Without adequate water, we lost the spring planting season for rice," said Zhou Xingtao, a farmer in Yandian village. As the summer planting season approaches, farmers remain uncertain whether the occasionally pumped water will be sufficient. Everything depends on rain, Zhou said. With water conservancy facilities unable to provide enough water, farmers must pay high prices for irrigation, and this burden has forced some households to give up on this planting season, Zhou said.

- China Daily.

EARTH CHANGES: Tornadoes Cause Multiple Fatalities Across U.S.!

As rescue workers search for hundreds of people missing in Joplin, Missouri, about 200 miles away to the southwest, tornadoes continue their sweep through the United States Midwest and struck near Oklahoma City, hitting vehicles on a section of motorway west of the Oklahoma state capital. Officials said at least four people had been killed and many others injured.

A deadly string of tornadoes and thunderstorms rampaged Tuesday through central Oklahoma, killing at least four people, injuring dozens and destroying homes and vehicles, officials said. Tornado warnings were in effect late Tuesday in Dallas and several northern Texas counties, according to the National Weather Service, with at least one twister reported to be on the ground with several others reported to be forming. Canadian County, Oklahoma, Sheriff Randall Edwards told CNN a large tornado that crossed I-40 near El Reno destroyed residences and caused a gas leak at an energy plant west of the state capital. Four people died in the county, said Cherokee Ballard, spokesperson for the state medical examiner. The twister injured motorists on I-40 and U.S. 81, Canadian County Emergency Management Director Jerry Smith said. Deputies tended to the injured, and there were reports of property damage in the area. El Reno city spokesman Terry Floyd said 20 workers were injured at a drilling rig. Another tornado was seen at Chickasha, about 40 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. It later reached Newcastle, before pushing through Moore and Norman, suburbs of Oklahoma City. The National Weather Service warned residents and I-44 drivers to take precautionary action. About 1,200 people packed a shelter in Newcastle, a bedroom community near Oklahoma City, during the storm, said City Manager Nick Nazar. "That saved lives. We have been extremely lucky," he said. "Minor injuries so far." About 100 people were displaced, and 50 homes were rendered uninhabitable, Nazar told CNN. Two or three businesses were damaged, as was an elementary school. Statewide, at least 60 people were hurt and nearly 58,000 homes lost power, according to the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. Damage was reported in at least 14 counties. The tornado that passed through Chickasha also damaged several other communities, including Newcastle. - CNN.
WATCH: Raw video of the tornado.

UPDATE: Death Toll Increases As Violent Thunderstorms And Tornadoes Get Worse!

The National Weather Service has issued over 120 tornado warnings and nearly 30 tornado reports as violent thunderstorms with hail and deadly tornadoes sweep across the US, killing at least ten people in Oklahoma and Kansas.
Violent thunderstorms roared across middle America on Tuesday, killing seven people in two states, with several tornadoes touching down in Oklahoma and high winds pounding rural Kansas. The high-powered storms arrived as forecast, just two days after a massive tornado tore through the southwest Missouri town of Joplin and killed 122 people. Several tornadoes struck Oklahoma City and its suburbs during rush hour, killing at least five people and injuring at least 60 others, including three children who were in critical condition, authorities said. Cherokee Ballard, a spokeswoman for the state medical examiner, said four people died west of Oklahoma City in Canadian County, where a weather-monitoring site in El Reno recorded 151 mph winds. She did not have any immediate details about the deaths. At Chickasha, 25 miles southwest of Oklahoma City, a 26-year-old woman died when a tornado hit a mobile home park where residents had been asked to evacuate their trailers, Assistant Police Chief Elip Moore said. He said a dozen people were injured and that hundreds were displaced when the storm splintered their homes. In Kansas, police said two people died when high winds threw a tree into their van around 6 p.m. near the small town of St. John, about 100 miles west of Wichita. The highway was shut down because of storm damage. More severe weather occurred after nightfall as the storms continued east, but none with the power of the daytime storms. Their path included Joplin, which is cleaning up from a Sunday storm that was the nation's eighth-deadliest twister among records dating to 1840. "Unfortunately, this event will likely continue for some time," Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said. "I am asking all Oklahomans to stay aware of the weather and to take proper precautions to keep themselves out of harm's way." The Storm Prediction Center had warned since the weekend that strong, long-lived tornadoes could hit Oklahoma and adjacent parts of Kansas and Texas. The storm that killed four west of Oklahoma City later moved to the capital's northern suburbs and on toward Stillwater — covering a distance of about 80 miles. "We knew for the last two days that we had an opportunity for long-tracking tornadoes, and unfortunately that came true today," said Michelann Ooten, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. - ABC News
WATCH: Tornadoes create a path of destruction in Oklahoma.

UPDATE: Joplin Storm Contained A Rare Multi-vortex Tornado!

The Joplin tornado has been upgraded and declared to be a multi-vortex tornado system.

The death toll from Sunday’s tornado has risen to 122, making it the eighth-deadliest tornado in U.S. history, the National Weather Service said. The Joplin twister was upgraded to EF-5, the strongest category on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, with winds exceeding 200 mph. The storm was apparently a “multivortex” tornado, with two or more small and intense centers of rotation orbiting the larger funnel, a rare occurrence.It’s the country’s deadliest storm since 1950. The number of those still missing isn’t known because many have left Joplin to stay with relatives and friends. Rescue workers on Tuesday were able to save two more people from the wreckage, bringing the total to nine, even as they braced for more storms Tuesday night. Those storms brought their own misery: Several tornadoes struck Oklahoma City and its suburbs during rush hour, killing at least five people and injuring at least 60 others, including three children who were in critical condition, authorities said. Cherokee Ballard, a spokeswoman for the state medical examiner, said four people died west of Oklahoma City in Canadian County, where a weather-monitoring site in El Reno recorded 151 mph winds. At Chickasha, 25 miles southwest of Oklahoma City, a 26-year-old woman died when a tornado hit a mobile home park where residents had been asked to evacuate their trailers, Assistant Police Chief Elip Moore said. He said a dozen people were injured and that hundreds were displaced when the storm splintered their homes. In Kansas, two people were killed when a tree was blown into their van near St. John northwest of Wichita. In Texas, funnel clouds were reported near Dallas and Fort Worth. Officials at Love Field and Dallas-Fort Worth International moved airline passengers to airport basements and interior rooms. Most of Missouri and Kansas was under severe storm watches and warnings most of Tuesday. The Kansas City area was buffeted by 1-inch hail and 60 mph wind Tuesday night, and Joplin was under another tornado warning. Authorities in Joplin plan to continue their searches today, even as hope starts to dim for those seeking their loved ones. About 750 people have been treated at regional hospitals. Among the injured is Jeff Taylor, a Riverside police officer hurt during a lightning strike on Monday. Taylor, who was in Joplin to help with searches, was in critical condition at a Springfield hospital. - Kansas City
WATCH: Joplin wiped out, shocking aerial view of city smashed by killer tornado.

UPDATE: Tornadoes And Storms Kill At Least 13 More!

Storms that moved through the central U.S. late Tuesday and early Wednesday left at least 13 people dead in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas. Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office spokeswoman Cherokee Ballard on Wednesday said at least five people, including a young child, died in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. She didn't have further details. At least three people died as the storms hit Franklin and Johnson counties in Arkansas, state Department of Emergency Management spokesman Tommy Jackson said. One person died after a tornado swept through the tiny western Arkansas community of Denning early Wednesday. Another person died in an area called Bethlehem, in Johnson County. A number of people were injured in Franklin and Johnson counties, though officials weren't sure exactly how many. A rural fire station in Franklin County was left without a roof as emergency workers rushed to the wounded. Downed trees and power lines tossed across roadways also slowed search-and-rescue crews' efforts. In Kansas, police said two people died when high winds threw a tree into their van around 6 p.m. near the town of St. John, about 100 miles west of Wichita. The highway was shut down because of storm damage. - The Wall Street Journal.
WATCH: Violent tornado raging in Oklahoma.

WATCH: Death toll mounting in Midwest United States.

WATCH:  Oklahoma tornadoes leave trail of damage and destruction.