OKLAHOMA CITY — Tornado sirens sounded across Oklahoma City hours before dawn Saturday as the nation's midsection braced for what forecasters cautioned could be a day of "life-threatening" storms, with the most dangerous weather expected to develop in the afternoon.
While officials warned a large area spanning from Minnesota to Texas could be at risk during the weekend, emergency workers focused their attention overnight on central Oklahoma, where they said funnel clouds had been spotted though they couldn't immediately confirm if any had touched down. The area includes the small town of Piedmont, where a twister last May killed several people, including two young boys, authorities said.
"They're probably feeling like they're going through that all over again," Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Keli Cain said Saturday.
The worst conditions were projected for late Saturday afternoon between Oklahoma City and Salina, Kan., but other areas also could see severe storms with baseball-sized hail and winds of up to 70 mph, forecasters said. The warning issued Friday covers parts of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.