TULSA - Two years of drought have meant quiet storm seasons in northeast Oklahoma, but by Wednesday night that calm may come to an abrupt and noisy end as a large storm system develops along the I-44 corridor.
News on 6 Chief Meteorologist Travis Meyer says high winds, heavy rain, hail to the size of baseballs and tornadoes are possible.
It's a reminder that in Tornado Alley, the time to take precautions and make plans are before.
"We're really concerned," Meyer told KRMG. "A lot of our most violent tornadoes occur in late April and into May."
He noted that the convergence of warm air, cool air, a storm system, and instability at high altitudes make conditions ripe for severe weather.
And, he said, it's important that people have a plan of action and emergency items ready before the storms strike.
"The main keys here are just to be aware of your surroundings. Where are safe places? Safe rooms are the best. Of course, if you have a center part of your home, the lowest floor."
He says apartment dwellers who live on the upper floors should identify friends or neighbors on lower floors where they might be able to take shelter.
It's also vital to have some supplies on hand, including clothing, shoes, medications, a flashlight, a radio, batteries, and possibly even water and food.
Meyer also pointed out that while tornadoes can be deadly, and hail damaging, it's flooding and lightning that kill much more often.
We always say 'don't be tall, get small' as far as lightning, and on flooding, 'turn around, don't drown.'"
New technology, specifically what is called "dual-pol" (polarity) radar helps meteorologists more precisely track storm conditions.
It allows them to see the size of hail inside a storm core, and even to spot a tornado by the signature of the debris it flings into the air, so they can confirm the presence of a twister even if no humans on the ground can see it.
But by the time a tornado forms, it's too late to take precautions.
"It's tornado season. It's the time I hope folks have that plan ahead of time."