Plains, Midwest Brace for Heavy Rain, Thunderstorms

Weather forecasters on Wednesday predicted severe weather over much of north Texas and southern Oklahoma for the next couple of days, including the possibility for heavy rain, hail and tornadoes.

The National Weather Service said a strong high-level storm system with 120 mph jet stream winds was pushing toward west Texas and eastern New Mexico on Wednesday, while southeasterly winds spread warm, humid air across much of Oklahoma and Texas, making conditions ideal for tornadoes.

"There are a lot of things coming together," forecaster Daryl Williams said Wednesday morning. "It's not there yet, but certainly with the moisture coming back from central Texas and a strong system moving over the area could combine for some significant tornadic activity."

The weather service issued a severe thunderstorm watch Wednesday for portions of southwest Oklahoma and western north Texas that will continue through at least 4 p.m.

A flood watch also was expected to go into effect at 1 p.m. Wednesday for a large portion of central and southern Oklahoma.

Williams said several rounds of showers and thunderstorms were expected to hammer Oklahoma, dropping 2 to 3 inches of heavy rainfall across much of the southern third of the state. Up to 5 inches of rain was possible in portions of southeastern Oklahoma, Williams said.