A slow-moving weather system already blamed for killing two good Samaritans in Arizona crept eastward Sunday, lashing the Plains states with large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes that could continue through Monday.
Rain, hail and ice caused at least five traffic collisions Saturday in northern Arizona, the state Department of Public Safety said.
Six people were injured in addition to the two who were killed Saturday as they rushed to the aid of victims of a rollover accident near the town of Ash Fork, Ariz., Capt. George Manera said. They died instantaneously when they were struck by a commercial truck, Manera said.
The sprawling weather system also spun off several tornadoes Saturday in the area of Wray, Colorado, injuring at least five people, as it crept toward Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
The National Weather Service confirmed that a large tornado and golf ball-size hail were spotted Sunday evening 5 miles southeast of Codell, Kansas. A brief tornado was also reported near Marlow, Oklahoma, early Sunday evening, the agency said.
Street flooding and winds up to 64 mph were recorded Sunday afternoon in Lawton, Oklahoma, where motorists were stranded in their cars, according to the National Weather Service. Winds approaching 60 mph were reported in parts of south central and southwest New Mexico and southwest Texas, while on the north side of the storm, a foot of snow has reported in the on mountains west of Laramie, Wyoming.
The system is expected to continue inching across Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas overnight. Tornado watches were in effect throughout the evening for parts of Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Nebraska.
Meanwhile, severe thunderstorm advisories blanketed a large area of west Texas, with hail already falling Sunday afternoon in Abilene. Lightning caused two house fires Sunday night in Abilene, authorities said, but no NBC station KRBC reported that no injuries were immediately known.
By Monday, "we're certainly going to have an increase in Gulf moisture to work with," said Danielle Banks, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel.
That could bring scattered severe thunderstorms, large hail, damaging winds and some tornadoes in Missouri, eastern Kansas, Arkansas and northwestern Louisiana, forecasters said.