The experts at the National Weather Service can tell you all you’d ever want to know about the science of tornadoes. But they’re interested in learning what average citizens know about twisters.
Three town hall meetings are being held (the first is at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, at the Norman Public Library) to let residents do the talking.
“This might be the first time meteorologists have really tried to learn about other ways of thinking about tornadoes from local people,” said Kim Klockow, with the OU College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences.
Klockow said her colleagues are finding that what local people believe about twisters can influence how they react to them, as much or more than what forecasters provide.
“We know a lot about the weather, but we know much less about the beliefs or local knowledge of the local people who are experiencing it,” Klockow said.
It’s an interesting concept. Folks in Moore and Newcastle will want to mark their calendars. Town halls also are planned Sept. 20 in Moore and Oct. 4 in Newcastle, with locations and times to be determined.