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Old 03-26-2015, 07:44 AM
 
3 posts, read 5,860 times
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Hello, I was wondering if any locals might have wisdom regarding a cross country trip using I-40 during tornado season. Obviously, life doesn't come to a halt and people drive across the country every day in all seasons. How likely is it for someone on 40 to find a shelter within the required time to get out of a tornado's path? Is there a list of shelters we can access anywhere along that route? We're planning on driving right across the state-- no stops, and in the early-mid-morning (seems like most storms are in the afternoon/evening? Of course, we're also going to be going through AK and the TX panhandle, and with the same get up and go strategy. I don't know how ridiculous my concern is-- I'm not from there and I just know it's tornado season so any advice would be helpful. Thanks!
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Jenks, Ok
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The chances you see a tornado driving across the state are infinitesimal. I've lived here for 30 years and never even seen a tornado.
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:56 AM
 
Location: United States of Jerry Falwell
11,403 posts, read 5,038,465 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swake View Post
The chances you see a tornado driving across the state are infinitesimal. I've lived here for 30 years and never even seen a tornado.
I have lived here three years and have seen two of them, but I live in OKC.

To the OP, just keep an eye on the weather forecast. If severe weather is not forecasted then your chances to running into tornadic weather on I-40 is virtually none. The "tornado hotzone" is also relatively small, running from OKC to about Elk City.
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:59 AM
 
Location: plano
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Tornados are rarer than honest politicians. F you were trying to see a tornado while making this trip, you likely wouldn't. They are rare and impact small areas, so drive on and enjoy.
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Old 03-26-2015, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
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Use enough common sense by not driving into a county ahead of you effected by a severe thunderstorm warning or tornado warning.
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Old 03-26-2015, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
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Tornadoes can spawn in flat areas that are not heavily forested on hot humid days - generally in the summer, but they can spawn in late fall too. I lived in NEOK in the 90s when OKC and Tulsa were hit by tornadoes on the same day. OKC, Tulsa, and Joplin in Missouri all share the same thing. An Interstate system that was laid out from SW to NE - the path of OK tornadoes. IL has the same problem: I-55 between St. Louis and Chicago are also prime tornado areas. I've been in the straight line winds that accompany tornado winds twice in my life; once was in Springfield, MO..

There is only one good defense when driving through tornado alley. [1] Avoid it, or [2] carry a NOAA ac/dc weather radio in your car. Keep a supply of fresh batteries and keep in on when you travel. Keep it on in your motel room, too.
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
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BBC is reporting about 8 hours ago a tornado struck Tulsa near Sand Springs. It is reported a mobile home court there was nearly destroyed.

On land or sea NOAA is your friend. NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration .
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Old 03-28-2015, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Piedmont, Okla.
636 posts, read 1,508,972 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linicx View Post
Tornadoes can spawn in flat areas that are not heavily forested on hot humid days - generally in the summer, but they can spawn in late fall too. I lived in NEOK in the 90s when OKC and Tulsa were hit by tornadoes on the same day. OKC, Tulsa, and Joplin in Missouri all share the same thing. An Interstate system that was laid out from SW to NE - the path of OK tornadoes. IL has the same problem: I-55 between St. Louis and Chicago are also prime tornado areas. I've been in the straight line winds that accompany tornado winds twice in my life; once was in Springfield, MO..

There is only one good defense when driving through tornado alley. [1] Avoid it, or [2] carry a NOAA ac/dc weather radio in your car. Keep a supply of fresh batteries and keep in on when you travel. Keep it on in your motel room, too.
A couple of issues that need to be corrected with this post. First off, tornadoes can form over hilly tree filled terrain about as easily as flat open area's. It's all on how the ingredients come together to produce tornadoes. Even though statistically, tornadoes are more common further west where the terrain is flatter and more void of trees, there are countless times over the past where tornadoes have been documented in places like the Ouachita Mountains, southeast Oklahoma.,really, most anywhere in eastern Oklahoma because the atmospheric conditions were more conducive than further west. Despite what other well meaning folks may say, tornadoes can form most anywhere, and can travel over mountains, across lakes, etc.

Also, while we can experience tornadoes in the summer, they are far less likely to occur after early June. Tornadoes can occur any time of the year but are most likely from March thru the first week or so of June. May is the peak time for them.

I agree with the other posts that unless you live near Moore, many people have lived here for generations and have never personally witnessed a tornado. However, most have experienced severe thunderstorms that were capable of producing a tornado.

And one last thing about Moore.. I'm almost surprised that a thread has not been started about this.. What has happened around Moore over the years I believe is simply a fluke.. poor luck if you want to call it that. Moore may go many years without another tornado. It could be another town that gets nailed repeatedly. Places like Kingfisher which is even more likely to be hit by a significant tornado, hasn't been directly hit in over 50 years (at least to my knowledge). Where I live near Piedmont has had numerous close calls. It's just a random thing. It's the price to pay to live in Paradise!!

An addendum: There is an Oklahoma weather thread that I started a couple of years back. I hope more of you can add to it and subjects like this would be worthy for discussion under that.
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Old 03-28-2015, 09:49 AM
 
407 posts, read 340,760 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelgal75 View Post
Hello, I was wondering if any locals might have wisdom regarding a cross country trip using I-40 during tornado season. Obviously, life doesn't come to a halt and people drive across the country every day in all seasons. How likely is it for someone on 40 to find a shelter within the required time to get out of a tornado's path? Is there a list of shelters we can access anywhere along that route? We're planning on driving right across the state-- no stops, and in the early-mid-morning (seems like most storms are in the afternoon/evening? Of course, we're also going to be going through AK and the TX panhandle, and with the same get up and go strategy. I don't know how ridiculous my concern is-- I'm not from there and I just know it's tornado season so any advice would be helpful. Thanks!
I have driven across 1-40 hundreds of times over my lifetime in tornado season and never encountered a tornado situation during my drive. I would say your tornado concerns are pretty minimal. I certainly wouldn't avoid driving over this route during tornado season.

There are some good suggestions on the AccuWeather website. One thing not mentioned there is do not take shelter under a bridge as they become a wind tunnel, sort of a place for things to bang up against and clatter around. Overpasses offer no protection from a direct hit from a tornado, and should not be used as shelter.

http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ddc/?n=over

Tornado Safety if Caught in a Car - Weather Glossary - AccuWeather.com

From AccuWeather
Trying to outrun a tornado in your vehicle is the number one thing to remember not to do. AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Dave Samuhel said that trying to outrun a tornado is a bad idea because tornadoes have the potential to travel over 60 mph and they don't have to follow road patterns. Driving on a 90-degree angle away from the tornado is a good strategy to follow in order to distance yourself from the tornado.
"A compass or GPS may be helpful to determine which way to drive on a 90-degree angle away from the storm," Samuhel said.
If you see a tornado developing where you are driving, the best thing to do is to pull over and evacuate your vehicle. Seek shelter in the nearest sturdy building or storm shelter; do not hide under your car. The wind could potentially roll your car over. If there is no available shelter, find the nearest ditch or low-lying area and crouch low to the ground covering your head with your arms.
Potentially sturdy structures to look for while driving are fast food restaurants and banks. Fast food restaurants will usually have a cooler that could withstand a tornado similar to a safe in a bank, according to Samuhel. Also, seeking shelter in an interior wall is a good idea.
"The more walls between you and the tornado, the better off you are,"
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Old 03-31-2015, 01:46 AM
 
Location: South/Central Florida
134 posts, read 201,249 times
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Download a weather app on your phone and set it to automatic severe weather updates. I use the Accuweather app and it is linked with my Android's GPS.
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