TODAY   |  May 20, 2013

One dead as tornadoes rip through Midwest

As an extreme weather system plowed through the Midwest over the weekend, tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma and Kansas, killing at least one person. TODAY’s Al Roker and NBC’s Janet Shamlian report.

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>>> made this trip with us but overnight he's traveled to tornado ravaged shawnee , arizona.

>> the twister has moved this morning. it could impact nearly half of the u.s. population . al we go right to you good morning. good morning, matt. driving in here the devastation is awesome. sadly there was one fatality, one injury. folks watching in shawnee was able to track the storms. these storms pushing past wichita, oklahoma city , shawnee , tulsa, oklahoma , and the same severe setup for a good portion of the country, the warm, moist air making its way ahead of this cold front , a strong jet stream to the west, a cold front that will push in and fire up storms. the futurecast shows another line developing, more strong storms firing up late this afternoon on into tonight and on into tomorrow morning so take a look at the risk we have. we have a risk from brady, texas, all the way up into wisconsin, but the strong with itch from wichita falls , plano, oklahoma city , tulsa, the threat of tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds. this is going to be a dangerous, dangerous situation for the next 24 hours . for the folks who lived past the last 24 hours it's been awful. janet shamlian is here.

>> they were fast and furious , we were here multiple times, the sirens people would take cover and hear the all clear only to have the process repeat itself all over again. we've seen the damage in oklahoma but these tornadoes swept through several states putting millions at risk.

>> we are seeing literally debris. watch out guys, windows up.

>> reporter: terrifying moments as a tornado ripped through edmond, oklahoma , sunday, caught on camera with our tornado hunting team.

>> stop the car!

>> reporter: it dropped hail and heavy rain .

>> it was very close, from the basement hearing through the fireplace, it was pretty awesome sound but we couldn't really tell where it was.

>> reporter: a tornado barrelled through rural homes on the outskirts of wichita, kansas, torn out trees and downed power lines forced road closures.

>> no sooner had we got in the basement we saw heavy wind and heavy rain and after it subsided we came out and we saw we've seen quite a bit of damage.

>> reporter: officials say there have been few deaths or injuries, giving credit to the weather service for issuing storm warnings for the region as early as wednesday.

>> we're telling people not to drive in this area whatsoever because we have all these roads shut down because of all of the lines down over the roads.

>> reporter: around shawnee , oklahoma , three large tractor trailer rigs were blown off the road in oklahoma , one had apparently been blown off an overpass. 490 reports of severe storm warnings and there could be more on the way today. back to you.

>> janet shamlian in oklahoma , thanks