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TAKE ACTION: Be prepared for severe weather season with these tips
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TAKE ACTION: Be prepared for severe weather season with these tips

TAKE ACTION: Be prepared for severe weather season with these tips
Photo Credit: Courtesy NWS

TAKE ACTION: Be prepared for severe weather season with these tips

NEWS102.3 KRMG is Tulsa's 24-Hour severe weather station and we know that any time of the year weather can be dangerous, and even deadly. That's why we've compiled this list of what we think are some great tips on how to keep you and your family safe when the skies turn gray.

In Oklahoma, it’s not a matter of if we will have severe weather; it’s a matter of when

We can't escape the weather, but we can prepare for it if we know what is coming.

Each day in the United States over 210 million weather observations are processed and used to create weather forecasts.

Meteorologists in the 126 National Weather Service local offices combine these large scale forecasts with local observations and their knowledge of local weather patterns to make a forecast for their specific region.

Always keep a battery powered radio in your emergency kit so you can stay up to date with the latest hazard, watches and warnings by tuning in to FM 102.3 and AM 740 KRMG

Know the terms:

Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. Stay informed and be ready to act if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. 

  • The typical thunderstorm is 15 miles in diameter and lasts an average of 30 minutes. Despite their small size, ALL thunderstorms are dangerous! Of the estimated 100,000 thunderstorms that occur each year in the United States, about 10 percent are classified as severe.  

Tornado Watch - Tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. Review and discuss your emergency plans, and check supplies and your safe room. Be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching. Acting early helps to save lives! Visit this page for answers to frequently asked questions about tornadoes.

Tornado Warning - A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Tornado warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Go immediately under ground to a basement, storm cellar or an interior room (closet, hallway or bathroom). 

  • A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground.
  • Tornadoes cause an average of 70 fatalities and 1,500 injuries in the U.S. each year. 

  • The strongest tornadoes have rotating winds of more than 250 mph. 
  • Tornadoes can be one mile wide and stay on the ground over 50 miles. 
  • Tornadoes may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms within the funnel. The average tornado moves from southwest to northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction. 
  • Many people mistakenly think that a highway overpass provides safety from a tornado. In reality, an overpass may be one of the worst places to seek shelter from a tornado. Seeking shelter under an overpass puts you at greater risk of being killed or seriously injured by flying debris from the powerful tornadic winds. Visit this page for more information.

Flash Flood Watch - A Flash Flood Watch means that flash flooding is possible in or near the watch area.

Flash Flood Warning - Flooding is occurring in the area or will be very soon. 

  • Flash Flooding is the #1 cause of deaths associated with thunderstorms...more than 140 fatalities each year.
  • Most flash flood fatalities occur at night and most victims are people who become trapped in automobiles.
  • Six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet; a depth of two feet will cause most vehicles to float.   
  • Find more information about the types of severe weather - including the dangers of straight line winds and hail - here

Lightning Safety Rules: 

In the United States, lightning kills 300 people and injures 80 on average, each year. All thunderstorms produce lightning and all have the potential for danger. Those dangers can include tornadoes, strong winds, hail, wildfires and flash flooding, which are responsible for more fatalities than any other thunderstorm-related hazard. Many of these tragedies can be avoided. All thunderstorms produce lightning and are dangerous. Lightning kills more people each year than tornadoes and hurricanes combined

  • Lightning can strike more than 10 miles away from any rainfall. Many deaths from lightning occur ahead of the storm because people wait until the last minute before seeking shelter.
  • Lightning can strike well beyond the audible range of thunder. If you hear thunder, the thunderstorm is close enough that lightning could strike your location at any moment.
  • Lightning injuries can lead to permanent disabilities or death. On average, 20% of strike victims die; 70% of survivors suffer serious long term effects.
  • Look for dark cloud bases and increasing wind. Every flash of lightning is dangerous, even the first. Head to safety before that first flash. If you hear thunder, head to safety!
  • NO PLACE outdoors is safe during a lightning storm. If lightning is seen or thunder is heard, or if dark clouds are gathering overhead, quickly move indoors or into a hard-topped vehicle and remain there until 30 minutes after the final clap of thunder.  

Info compiled from cdc.gov, noaa.gov, redcross.org, reddirtready.com

Read More
  • A 43-year-old pilot is dead, following a small aircraft crash Friday night in Leflore County. Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports the crash happened around 7:42 p.m., near Arkoma. “A witness who observed the aircraft for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, advised the aircraft began flying in steep banked spiral, entered a fast downward spiral and collided with the ground, resulting in a small explosion,” OHP said.   Richard Biggerstaff was pronounced dead at the scene.  There were no passengers on the aircraft.   A cause for the crash is still under investigation.  
  • An inquiry into possible wrongdoing by IT staffers employed by a number of Democrats in Congress has garnered more attention in recent days, after a prominent lawmaker gave a public tongue lashing to the Capitol Hill police chief, vowing “consequences” over his refusal to return computer equipment that is evidently part of the ongoing investigation. At issue is a probe into a possible security breach involving Imran Awan, who has worked for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and other Democratic lawmakers, as a shared information technology worker. Little has been made public by Capitol Police on what exactly is being investigated; news reports in recent months have linked Awan, several of his relatives, and his wife to some type of Capitol Hill investigation that could involve stolen property and more. The new scrutiny came after a budget hearing on May 18 with U.S. Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa; the hearing before a House Appropriations subcommittee had escaped notice, until reports earlier this week by the Daily Caller, noting the sharp words that Wasserman Schultz had for Verderosa. At the end of her Q&A with the police chief, Wasserman Schultz asks what happens when police find lost items. “I’d like to know how Capitol Police handle equipment that belongs to a member, or a staffer, that’s been lost within the Capitol complex, and found or recovered by one of your officers,” Wasserman Schultz begins. The bottom line from the chief was simple – until an investigation is completed, “I can’t return the equipment,” which is reportedly a laptop from Wasserman Schultz’s office. That answer did not satisfy the Florida Democrat. “I think you’re violating the rules when you conduct your business that way,” Wasserman Schultz said bluntly, as she told the chief that he should “expect that there will be consequences.” In the wake of that somewhat jarring verbal exchange, a reporter on Thursday asked House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi about the Awan investigation. “I’m really not familiar with what you’re talking about,” Pelosi said. “We’ve been busy with a lot of other things,” Pelosi added. U.S. Capitol Police have released little information about what this probe involves, and who exactly is being investigated. According to U.S. House spending records, Imran Awan was a shared employee for thirteen different House members in 2016, earning in the third quarter anywhere from as little as $300 from a pair of Democrats to $6,624.99 from another. Wasserman Schultz paid Awan $5,000.01 for work between July 1 and September 30, 2016. Awan’s wife, Hina Alvi, worked for seven Democrats, plus the House Democratic Caucus, earning close to $44,000 in the third quarter of 2016. Records also show two relatives of Awan’s on the Congressional payroll: Abid Awan worked for eight different House Democrats, while Jamal Awan worked for eight others – all as ‘shared’ employees.
  • Four suspects were arrested Friday afternoon in west Tulsa, following an armed robbery of a woman and a standoff. Police report the victim's help led them to a home near 4th and South 54th West Avenue. “She had a good suspect description,” police said.  “She also had a good description of the suspect’s vehicle.” Around three hours later, the suspects were taken into custody without incident.  As of early Saturday morning, their names haven’t been released.   KRMG's told the victim wasn't harmed.
  • If you're sticking around the Tulsa area this weekend, make sure to stay weather aware. National Weather Service says conditions will turn bumpy later today. “Looks like we could see some storms in the late afternoon and into the evening hours,” NWS said.  “All modes of severe weather look to be possible.” KRMG’s told this could include hail, strong winds and even a tornado.   The high today will be around 90 degrees. KRMG Stormcenter is manned and ready to go if severe weather hits our area.
  • Trying to save you some time and misery on your family vacation this summer, Business Insider is ranking the worst “tourist traps” in each state. We've all driven past those highway signs promising all sorts of superlatives from biggest to strangest to oldest and wondered if it was worth stopping. The list from the site is by no means complete and obviously subjective, but for people passing through Oklahoma, Business Insider (again, their opinion, not ours) says to skip the J.M. Davis Gun Museum in Claremore. But we bet you'll agree that “Foamhenge,” a replica of Stonehenge made of styrofoam is not the best use of your time in Virginia. And don't put the Gum Wall in Seattle on your bucket list. It’s just what it sounds like, a wall where thousands upon thousands of people have stuck their used chewing gum. You can find the full list of tourist traps from Business Insider here.