Oklahoma’s reputation for tornadoes is worrisome. If you’re moving out that way, you’re probably asking “when is tornado season in Oklahoma?” so that you can be prepared. Tornadoes are so common in Oklahoma it could be argued that tornado season is all year. However, late-March to August has the most potent conditions for tornadoes in this state.
Oklahoma City is one of the cities with the highest rates of tornadoes in the United States.
In this article we’ll go over the Oklahoma “tornado season.” We’ll explore the history of tornadoes in Oklahoma and the meteorological conditions that make the state so prone to tornadoes.
What Conditions Lead to Tornadoes in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma’s positioning as one of the states in Tornado Alley makes it so prone to tornadoes.
Tornado Alley has a mix of warm humid air coming from the Gulf of Mexico, cool dry air from Canada, and hot dry air from Arizona. This combination makes the region, and the state of Oklahoma specifically a prime place for tornadoes to develop.
How to Prepare for Tornadoes in Oklahoma
Below are tips to keep in mind in order to prepare for tornadoes and keep yourself safe:
Create a tornado plan
Make sure that your household has a solid tornado plan set out in advance. Choose a shelter room in your house. This should be in an underground space.
If you don’t have an underground space in your house, look for a space that is central, small, and low. Perhaps this might be a bathroom or a hallway in the middle of your house.
It’s important to be far away from windows and as far away from walls as possible.
Avoid manufactured (mobile) homes
It can be quite dangerous to live in a mobile home in Oklahoma. This is because a mobile home doesn’t provide shelter or safety in a tornado. If you do live in this kind of home, make a shelter plan in another building that you will travel to in advance.
If it’s too late for you to get to the shelter and the tornado is already near, you should lie in a depression or ditch. It’s very dangerous to try to drive in a tornado.
Put together an emergency kit for tornadoes
This emergency kit should be kept in an accessible place and should include the following items:
- A first-aid kit
- A flashlight
- Battery-powered television or radio
- Extra batteries for your television or radio
- Strong and reliable shoes for everyone
- Cash and ID
- Water and food
- Spare keys to your vehicle
- Charger for cell phone
- Pet carrier or pet leash, if you have a pet
Always Be Aware of the Weather
It’s especially important to always be aware of the weather conditions in a place so prone to tornadoes as Oklahoma. Check the weather reports frequently throughout the day. Weather apps to your smartphone make it easy to be aware of any potential severe weather.
Signs you can look for in the sky and outdoor environment that indicate a tornado may occur are:
- Dark sky with a greenish tint
- Powerful, swirling winds or cloud rotation
- A loud noise that sounds like a freight train or roar
- Wall cloud
Act Immediately to Tornado Warnings
If there is a tornado warning where you live, it’s essential that you take immediate action in order to keep yourself safe. Find your blankets, pillows, and tornado kit and proceed to your pre-designated shelter room. Ensure that you and your family are all wearing strong and reliable shoes.
Put on the radio to listen to weather updates and ensure that you don’t emerge from your shelter until the tornado or potential for tornado is over. If your house is struck by the tornado, use your hands, arms, blankets, pillows, or even a hardback book to shelter your neck and head.
It’s important to remain calm during and after a tornado. If you panic, you will have trouble thinking clearly and doing what needs to be done to keep yourself and your family safe. Remember the following critically important safety tips during a tornado:
- It’s very dangerous to be in a vehicle during a tornado. You should be as low down to the ground as you possibly can.
- Never attempt to outrun a tornado in a vehicle. Remember that tornadoes can change direction.
- Never try to find shelter beneath an overpass or bridge.
- Never open any windows. Ignore any advice you heard in the past saying to do this. This is no longer the accepted safety protocol.
Always make sure that you are fully aware of the tornado safety plans of places where you spend a lot of time, such as your office or school.
Know What You Will Do After the Tornado
You also must have a plan for what you will do after the tornado. This is called an aftermath plan. Decide with your family in advance on a special place where you will meet if you are somehow separated during the storm.
If anyone is injured, you should treat them. If anyone is severely injured, you shouldn’t move them. The only exception would be if you need to in order to stop them from being further injured. Avoid going into buildings that have any kind of damage. If you smell any sort of chemical or gas smell, leave the building immediately.
In Oklahoma Always be Prepared for Tornadoes
It’s essential to be aware of the danger of tornadoes if you live in Oklahoma.
Make sure to keep all the information and tips we’ve outlined above in mind to help keep yourself safe.