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When severe weather strikes it is always important to have as many ways to stay informed as possible. Purchase a weather radio to ensure that you and your family stay weather aware.Get Your Weather Radio
Oklahoma's weather can be dangerous. We want to give you as many ways as possible to help keep you and those you love out of harm's way. That's why we have The Campaign to Keep You Safe.
Download our weather app, get weather alerts sent to your cell phone, and visit our mobile website for the latest weather updates and severe weather live streaming video.
Take the News 9 WARN Team with you wherever you go with the News 9 Weather app for your iPhone or Android.
Get alerts sent to you when watches and warning are issued for severe weather. It is FREE and goes directly to your cell phone or email!
Get weather updates on the go with the News 9 Mobile Web site. It's weather that travels with you. Know what the weather is doing with animated radar, current conditions, hourly and daily forecasts.
When severe weather strikes go to News9.com for live streaming coverage with Travis Meyer and the WARN Team.
When severe weather strikes it is always important to have as many ways to stay informed as possible. Purchase a weather radio to ensure that you and your family stay weather aware.
Chief Meteorologist David Payne can be seen on News 9 Monday through Friday at 4, 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
Jed Castles forecasts the weather every weekday morning on News 9. Since 1996, Jed has helped Oklahomans wake up
Meteorologist Matt Mahler forecasts the weather weekend mornings on News 9. Matt joined the News 9 family in December 2009.
Lacey is an Okie through and through. She grew up in the small town of Kiefer, in northeast Oklahoma,
The News 9 StormTrackers provide an invaluable service to the public; they are the eyes and ears in the field.
When there is breaking news across the state Sky News 9 HD can be first on the scene.
Chief Meteorologist David Payne brings weather safety to Oklahoma school kids!
Oklahoma’s weather is unpredictable.
When tornadoes strike, proper shelter can make the difference between life and death. Because of this, many organizations make it their goal to protect those who find themselves in the path of severe weather. FEMA offers an abundance of information for those interested in constructing safe rooms for individuals, families, or communities.
Tornado Safety Tip #1
The best shelter from a tornado is a safe room, basement or storm cellar. If those are not available, go to an interior room without windows on the lowest level of the structure, preferably a closet or bathroom. Place as many walls between you and the outside as possible.
Tornado Safety Tip #2
Cover yourself with pillows, a mattress or blankets and wear a helmet and shatter resistant goggles. Keep your shoes on.
Tornado Safety Tip #3
Mobile homes are extremely unsafe during a tornado. If you feel your home is unsafe, move to a preselected shelter before the storm arrives.
Tornado Safety Tip #4
Avoid windows and do not take shelter in halls that open to the outside.
Tornado Safety Tip #5
If you are in a vehicle, get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. If there is not a building nearby, lie flat in a ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands.
Tornado Safety Tip #6
DO NOT take shelter under an underpass or bridge. It is not safe since it can leave you exposed to flying debris.
Tornado Safety Tip #7
Be aware of the counties, cities and towns that are near you. It will be easier to track the tornado's direction if you are familiar with the geography of your area.
Oklahoma weather can change in a heartbeat. Use this checklist to build a safety kit to help keep your family safe in the event of an emergency.
When preparing for a tornado, or any natural disaster, you should have your disaster supply kit accessible.
First aid kit and essential medications
Canned food and
At least three gallons
of water per person
rainwear and bedding
or sleeping bags
and extra batteries
Cell phone and
Special items for
infants, elderly or
for how to turn off
electricity, gas and
water if authorities
advise you to do so
A camera to
During a thunderstorm Mother Nature can put on a spectacular, and at times, dangerous show.
Dangers associated with thunderstorms can include lightning, heavy rain, flooding, hail and strong winds. The life span of thunderstorms is usually less than an hour. When storms combine they can form squall lines. Some thunderstorms grow into powerful supercells which can last for hours and spawn tornadoes.
Only 10% of the estimated 100,000 thunderstorms a year become severe, but that 10% accounts for most of the loss of life and property damage. The first step in staying safe in a thunderstorm is staying tuned into News 9 Chief Meteorologist, David Payne and the News 9 weather team. If severe weather is possible in the area David and his staff of meteorologists will keep you up to date on all the watches and warnings and will let you know when and where the storms will strike.
Hail is one of the most damaging events that can occur during severe weather.
Hail is a weather phenomenon that can damage homes, vehicles and crops. It could even lead to death. On May 16, 2010, a devastating hail storm hit the Oklahoma City area causing approximately a billion dollars in damage. Fatalities from hail are rare in the U.S., the last recorded was a Colorado infant in 1979. Deaths from hail are more common in underdeveloped parts of the world where people live in poorly constructed buildings.
Hail is fairly common in Oklahoma in the spring and being prepared on what to do during a storm can help protect you and your property. If hail begins to fall, take cover. If you are driving, stop if possible because the momentum of the vehicle can make the damage worse. Remember, protect yourself first before trying to save your car from those pesky dents.
Hail is spherical or irregular shaped chunks of ice produced by intense thunderstorms. It is considered to have a diameter of at least pea sized and can become very large.
Hail: Pea (Size - .25")
Hail: Penny/Dime (Size - .75")
Hail: Quarter (Size - 1")
Hail: Golfball (Size - 1.75")
Hail: Tennis ball (Size - 2.5")
Hail: Baseball (Size - 2.75")
Hail: Grapefruit (Size - 4")
Hail forms when strong currents of rising air, called updrafts, carry water droplets high enough in a thunderstorm for the water to freeze. More and more water freezes around the piece of ice, causing it to grow in size. Once the frozen pellet is too heavy for the updrafts to keep it within the cloud, it begins to fall. For the hail to grow, strong updrafts catch the falling hail and carry it upward again, adding new layers of ice.
A flood is a natural disaster that occurs when there is more water than a lake, river, creek or even the ground can handle.
A flash flood is sudden flooding that occurs when floodwaters rise rapidly with no warning within several hours of an intense rain. Flash floods usually happen after heavy rainfall from a slow moving thunderstorm.
Flash floods are the #1 weather–related killer in the U.S.; nearly half of those deaths are auto related.
Unlike tornado season, flooding can happen any time of year. Keeping you and your family safe from a flood begins with information.
Tune into News 9 for the latest watches and warnings from Chief Meteorologist David Payne and the News 9 weather team. In the event of flash flooding, they’ll be on the air letting you know what you should do and where you should go to seek higher ground.
Floods can take a few minutes to a few hours to develop, and if you live in a flood prone area, you should take the following steps to protect yourself.
Fujita Scale, or F–Scale, levels are based on the damage caused by tornado wind speed. Dr. T. Theodore Fujita developed the scale in the early 1970s. Experts caution that the F–Scale is not a completely reliable measure, due to difficulties in precisely judging wind speeds.
|Rating||Wind Speeds Estimate*
|0||< 73||65—85||Light damage— Some damage to chimneys; branches broken off trees; shallow–rooted trees pushed over; sign boards damaged.|
|1||73—112||86—110||Moderate damage— Peels surface off roofs; mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned; moving autos blown off roads.|
|2||113—157||111—135||Considerable damage— Roofs torn off frame houses; mobile homes demolished; boxcars overturned; large trees snapped or uprooted; light–object missiles generated; cars lifted off ground.|
|3||158—206||136—165||Severe damage— Roofs and some walls torn off well–constructed houses; trains overturned; most trees in forest uprooted; heavy cars lifted off the ground and thrown.|
|4||207—260||166—200||Devastating damage— Well–constructed houses leveled; structures with weak foundations blown away some distance; cars thrown and large missiles generated.|
|5||261—318||> 200||Incredible damage— Strong frame houses leveled off foundations and swept away; automobile–sized missiles fly through the air in excess of 100 meters (109 yds); trees debarked; incredible phenomena will occur.|
* IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT F–SCALE WINDS: Do not use F–scale winds literally. These precise wind speed numbers are actually guesses and have never been scientifically verified. Different wind speeds may cause similar–looking damage from place to place — even from building to building. Without a thorough engineering analysis of tornado damage in any event, the actual wind speeds needed to cause that damage are unknown. The Enhanced F–scale was implemented February 2007.
Use this glossary to help understand severe weather terminology.
The National Weather Service defines precise meanings for most of its weather terminology. These terms can sometimes be confusing, especially when severe weather strikes. Take some time before storms arrive to familiarize yourself with the language you will hear during severe weather events.
Safe rooms save lives.
In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported nationwide, resulting in 80 deaths and more than 1,500 injuries.
A safe room provides a shield of protection for you and your family. A safe room is a hardened structure specifically designed to meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) criteria and provide ”near–absolute protection” in extreme weather events, including tornadoes and hurricanes.
Near–absolute protection means that, based on our current knowledge of tornadoes and hurricanes, the occupants of a safe room built in accordance with FEMA guidance will have a very high probability of being protected from injury or death.
Underground storm shelters, made from reinforced steel or concrete, are prebuilt structures that are installed underground in a yard or underneath a garage.
Part of the house
This is a structure that is placed inside a home while it's under construction. The structure is often made using reinforced concrete or wood and steel—and can double as a closet or storage room.
Prebuilt shelters come in a range of styles: welded steel box, steel skeleton with steel panels, or a prefabricated unit that is then bolted together. They should also be anchored to a home's foundation.
To be considered a FEMA safe room, the structure must be designed and constructed to the guidelines specified in FEMA P–320, Taking Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Room for Your Home or Small Business (FEMA, third edition, 2008a) (for home and small business safe rooms) and FEMA P–361, Design and Construction Guidance for Community Safe Rooms (FEMA, second edition, 2008b).
Interactive Map of Oklahoma counties
When severe weather strikes, you’ll want to track storm locations and notifications. Weather watches and warnings are often related to county areas, so use this map to familiarize yourself with Oklahoma county locations. Move your mouse across the map to highlight the various counties and their names.
Download David's Storm Map ( .pdf ) to track storms as they move into your area.
The siren is your cue to turn on your television, radio or all–hazards alert weather radio to get information about the storm’s location and proper protective actions. Citizens are encouraged to monitor weather conditions until the threat has passed.
Cities and counties have a “local option” allowing them to activate their sirens for hazardous conditions that pose a significant threat to life.
The sirens are reactivated each time the National Weather Service issues a new tornado warning, so the may sound more than once. No “all clear” signal is given when the threat has passed.Play tornado siren sample
Use this printable map to track storms as they move into your area.
Use this printable safety checklist to prepare for possible disasters.
When there is breaking news across the state SkyNEWS 9 HD can be first on the scene.
Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma!
A fun and interactive weather safety program for Oklahoma school children Pre K – 6th