Today’s high risk of tornadoes is 3x higher than a few weeks ago when strong violent tornadoes affected the Dallas metro area. The potential for life-threatening situation is enhanced by the timing of arrival: these supercells will likely affect the central Oklahoma area after dark on Saturday night. As last night, these will remain dangerous well into the midnight hours when many people are sleeping.
The 5:00am Hazardous Weather Outlook from the Norman NWS Office reads:
Probability of storms occurring in the area: 100%
Probability of severe storms if storms occur: 100%
This is a particularly dangerous situation. Do not rely on television or Internet outlets for severe weather information. Power and network outages, and Internet congestion can cut off critical life-saving information. If you do not have one, purchase a Weather Radio today (Walmart, $17) and be sure you have batteries as well.
Likewise, do not rely upon the city warning sirens. These are intended for outdoor warning only. Further, they can and usually are delayed. Yesterday when a moderately strong EF2 tornado tore through downtown Norman, the tornado had already been on the ground for a full five minutes, destroying several city blocks before the sirens were activated.
Make your plan now: know where you will go for shelter.
Saturday’s tornadoes stand to be large, violent and long-lived. Do not hesitate to bring a mattress, bicycle helmets, or any other protective gear you can into your safe spot to protect yourself and your family.