Severe Weather - Visit Shawnee

Severe Weather Tips

Located in Tornado Alley, Oklahoma has a reputation for severe weather, but instances of severely damaging storms are rare!

Tornadoes are the most likely to form during the months of March through May, as well as November. However, while the odds of a tornado forming during most of the year are negligible, it is important to be weather-aware at all times.

Tornado Watch vs. Tornado Warning


A tornado watch simply indicates that the potential for the development of severe weather exists. A tornado warning signals that a severe thunderstorm has already developed and has either already produced a tornado or radar has indicated high potential for one.

If you encounter a tornado while driving:


If possible, get off the road and seek shelter indoors in a sturdy building
If that is not an option, then try to get lower than the level of the roadway – lie down in a ditch and cover your head. Be aware of potential flooding
Do not shelter under a bridge or overpass - this is the most dangerous place you can be
Stay away from trees, cars, and anything that can become flying debris
Never try to out-drive a tornado
Remaining in your car or lying down in a ditch is an absolute last resort!

Tips for traveling during severe weather season:


Ask your hotel or venue about their tornado safety plan
If the weather turns stormy, start charging your smart phone in case the power goes out and you need to access weather reports
If there is not a designated safe place or basement, take shelter in an interior hall on the bottom floor
Stay away from windows and outside walls and cover yourself with blankets or a mattress if possible

Local OKC Resources:


The local OKC news stations do a wonderful job of covering severe weather. Our meteorologist are among the best in the country and they have access to cutting-edge detection technology with the ability to precisely predict where a tornado might form. Any of the major stations will be able to tell you exactly where potential tornado problem areas are, and you will have enough time to get to a safe place.

All of the local news stations will run live coverage during tornadic events and also broadcast live on Facebook. They all have apps that when installed will sound weather alarms on your phone.

Search for Oklahoma City news stations:
News 9 (CBS) KFOR (NBC) KOCO (ABC)

For more information on tornado safety visit the National Weather Service - weather.gov