Threat of storms prompts call for readiness

Now is a good time to go over safety plans for severe weather, whether tornadoes develop in the next few days or not, a National Weather Service meteorologist said Thursday.
by Bryan Painter Published: April 13, 2012

Now is a good time to go over safety plans for severe weather, whether tornadoes develop in the next few days or not, a National Weather Service meteorologist said Thursday.

Severe storms are expected Friday along a dry line in western Oklahoma, with the threat spreading into central and northern Oklahoma after dark. Supercells with very large hail and a few tornadoes are expected, said Rick Smith, a warning coordination meteorologist at the Weather Service's Norman office.

“Saturday will be the big severe weather day, but the exact details will depend a lot on what happens with the storms Friday night and into Saturday morning,” Smith said. “We can see the big pieces of the puzzle coming together, but there's still uncertainty about how the small pieces will fit together. If things come together just right, we could see a significant severe weather event with lots of storms and the potential for dangerous supercells, tornadoes and large hail.”

But, he added, it was too early Thursday afternoon to be much more specific than that.

“The outlooks will change and become more refined as we get closer,” Smith said, adding that people need to plan for the possibility of severe weather on Saturday.

Scheduling changes

The threat of storms and tornadoes was enough to force the postponement of at least one event over the weekend.

The annual Beer Sprocket festival — a beer and food-tasting event to benefit the Rotary Club of East Oklahoma County — was scheduled to begin Saturday afternoon at Choctaw Creek Park.

Festival organizer Mike Turek, who also stages the annual Choctaw Oktoberfest, said he didn't want to risk putting event attendees in danger. The festival has been rescheduled for May 12.

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by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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