As you know I am a native Floridian. Bad weather isn't new to me. I have been in hurricanes, tropical storms and floods. I even saw a tornado rip down a street in West Palm Beach, Florida. For those familiar with the area it was on Okeechobee Blvd and Military Trail. This was right after Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida. I usually don't panic...at least I didn't:-/ I think moving to Oklahoma has forever changed that lol I don't know if it is the extreme weather changes or the stupid sirens. Where else can you live that can be 71 degrees one day and an ice storm the next??!! Plus Florida doesn't have sirens and the sirens are what scare me....I mean REALLY scare me! My first Saturday here I was driving down NW Expressway minding my own business when I heard this gosh awful sound. I slowed to almost nothing and rolled my windows down while calmly screaming "WHAT IS IT???" Then I pulled into a burger place and asked what the heck that noise was...after the man stopped laughing long enough to crack some joke about it being the dinner bell he informed me it was the test for the tornado sirens. Yeah that was fun..NOT! Then last month I was on the phone with a friend when the sirens went off. It was a surprise thing. This is from the weather blog from that day
Thursday, March 29, 2007

What did Advantage Doppler HD see?
We tracked the tornado mile by mile as it worked through the western sides of the metro. It was a very unusual event because the tornado did not spawn from a typical supercell storm. It appeared to develop from a small convergent wind area where south winds and east winds met over eastern Canadian county. That small area was enough to get the tornado started. Most of the time these types of tornadoes are very weak and seldom do damage, today's was a completely different story. It will be studied for years. For the hard core enthusiasts, we've placed a track of the tornado from the radar here that you can view. We plot the intersections and the wind speeds. Estimates are currently at EF2 damage which would mean winds from 111 to 135mph. Likely on the lower end. Official word will come from the NWS tomorrow afternoon.

She is from Oklahoma and panicked which totally freaked me out... I was left standing there holding a phone and telling the kids "I think we are supposed to go into the bathroom"...of course, this was AFTER I did a little freak out dance and said "what do I do?" Yeah you definitely want to be with me during a weather emergency;-) She had promised to call me back after she got her kids safe but the phones all went down so that took awhile...yeah I pretty much freaked out that day lol After I calmed down I was just thankful that we were all ok and home together. That was enough excitement so I was hoping that was it for tornadoes...Then today happened... I received an email this morning telling me to be weather aware and they promised to tm or call if things got worse. So I was calm knowing that someone was watching the weather and would tell me if I needed to worry. Then around lunchtime I could hear the thunder..things got pretty rough and I was started to get nervous. It was really dark outside. I have this need to have my kids all with me when things are like that so I was trying not to panic inside...honestly they are probably safer at school than with me running around screaming things like "what do I do??" lol I tm a friend and they told me not to worry ...THEN the sirens went off....now I am still confused about this because my 3 kids go to other schools in the same area and they didn't hear it!! It wasn't just me that heard it either because soon they were running down the halls of the school yelling for the kids to return to 3rd block. We haven't had a tornado drill so I wasn't sure what to do or why nobody else was freaking out...nobody except me:-) I WAS freaking out!! My coworkers kept telling me to relax but cmon how do you relax when you don't know what is going on??? lol I ran to the "safe place" and called my friend who had no idea what happened either...I STILL don't know what happened but hopefully they will say something on the news tonight. All I know is THAT! FREAKED! ME! OUT!! Oh my word will those sirens ever get easier?? And how long IS tornado season anyway??


Paul said...

LOL!~!! :)

You'll get to where you don't even notice them. Hang in there!

Lynn said...

I don't think that toronado season ever ends there does it? They always have scared me too and I hate when storms come in the night and you can't see. Kind of like life isn't it? Storms in the dark, comparing hardships etc.....I didn't mean to make an analogy but it's true. The sirens would scare me too. Maybe make up a little song to sing along with their annoying whine.....and sing through it. You are a brave girl though and I'm sure your biggest fear is for your kids safety. I used to hate when we were all scattered during a storm. I still do and they are grown! LOL......

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Tornado Alley! As a lifelong resident of Kansas (Dorothy & Toto say hi) let me share a few things that might help.

1. No one knows tornadoes like the weather forecasters in Oklahoma and Kansas. Period. If they say you're under a tornado watch it means that conditions are favorable for tornadoes

2. Cold one day, hot the next. This is tornado weather. If the day begins warm and suddenly turns chilly, you're probably under a tornado watch.

3. Look for the green. This sounds odd, but when the storm conditions are right the light outside will take on a greenish cast.

4. The sirens. You'll get used to them and they will become your friend. If you hear them, head for shelter, preferably a basement. If you have a basement at home, tuck a few things down there like some blankets or a comforter, bottled water, flashlight and some toys for your kids.

5. Get a radio with a weather band which is battery operated, in case the power goes out.

Hope this helps! Before you know it you'll be standing out on your driveway watching the sky like the rest of us ;)

Larissa said...

That is funny! I've grown up in West Texas just about my entire life, and I'm pretty use to the sirens. I never really gave it much thought that other people would not know what they were, or be scared of them! Gotta love the spring and sever weather!

ame said...

everyday mommy has good advice - yep, the sky turns this odd color of green.

i hate tornados. absolutely hate them. they are so unpredictable and sudden - unlike hurricanes which you can literally w a t c h a s t h e y m a k e t h e i r w a y t o w a r d y o u.

i don't mind rain or thunder or lightening or even hail ... can handle blood and needles ... but do NOT like tornados.

they have tornado drills at my kids school. of course, when oldest was in kinder they waited till the day OF tornados to have a drill and TOTALLY FREAKED ALL THOSE KIDS OUT!!!!!!! the sky was green - it was scary.

Anonymous said...

Not to freak you out - but the sirens are hard to hear in many places, and if you're in a bad storm, who's going to hear a siren most of the time?

As a fellow Okie, I can attest that you'll get to where you'll start understanding the weather and you'll start knowing when to panic and when to just go on with the day.

Get a weather radio, get yourself a tornado bag ready, as we call ours. This is just an emergency bag filled with items you'd need in an emergency.

Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

Remember, I'm in OK too. The only time it scares me is when I am not expecting it. One day I didn't have the TV on and didn't know it was "stormy" weather (you know maybe tornadoes but no raining etc). Well the sirenes went off, I turned on the tv quickly and there was NOTHING about my city/county being in a tornado warning (meaning they saw a tornado, sirens go off, take cover) So I figured I'd call the police non-emergency number to find out if I needed to take cover. My phone was dead. Needless ot say I took cover for awhile before emerging and come to find out the warning was at the OTHER end of my county! *sigh* Oh well. Better safe than sorry, I promise. I was around when the May 3 tornado's hit, the largest one that hit yet...and I was only about 2 miles away which was not far considering that was the first tornado that wiped a path of 1 mile wide!

I am not kidding. But I've lived here my whole life and I've never been actually hit by a tornado.