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Fox News Weather Center

Tornado Threat in Texas, Southwest Oklahoma

Severe thunderstorms will fire up across northern Texas and southwestern Oklahoma through early Thursday night as a disturbance moves out of New Mexico. Explosive development in the region can produce some tornadoes.

A stubborn front slicing northwest to southeast across central Oklahoma was already responsible for severe thunderstorms near the tornado-ravaged city of Moore, Okla., early Thursday morning.

South of the front, heat and humidity will build across southwestern Oklahoma and northwestern Texas. A disturbance will emerge from New Mexico later Thursday into this heat and humidity, creating a volatile situation.

"There will be explosive development this afternoon and evening from the Texas Panhandle to southwestern Oklahoma," Expert Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said. "We expect tornadoes to threaten this region along with damaging winds and hail," Rayno added.

Amarillo, Lubbock, Childress, Wichita Falls and Dallas will be among a host of other cities in northern Texas that will be threatened by these storms. The threat will extend into Lawton and Altus, Okla., as well.

"Deep moisture funneling into the region is a significant factor for this severe threat," Expert Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said. "The deep moisture will contribute to flash flooding as well," Anderson added.

Oklahoma City and Moore will be on the fringe of the severe weather, but the greatest threat will remain well southwest of these cities.

While a few severe thunderstorms will persist later Thursday night, flash flooding will become predominant threat. The loss of daytime heating will contribute to fewer severe thunderstorms.

Lingering warmth and humidity will lead to additional thunderstorms across the aforementioned areas into the Memorial Day weekend, but the severe threat will be significantly lower. Unfortunately, these thunderstorms will slow cleanup efforts ongoing in Moore, Okla.