Will Oklahoma set a new record for tornadoes in April 2013?

Rick Smith, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Norman, chatted with readers Wednesday about severe weather and preparation.
Oklahoman Modified: April 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm •  Published: April 3, 2013

Weather Interactive

Click the image above to view the top ten most destructive tornadoes in Oklahoma history.
Click the image above to view the top ten most destructive tornadoes in Oklahoma history.

We've seen some really good rains over the past two days, and this is exactly what we need more of in the coming weeks. April-June are the wettest months typically, so if we don't get good rain at this time of year, it doesn't look good for summer. But even with the good rain we've seen, we're far from being out of the drought. We need rainfall events like this to happen several more times between now and summer to help the soil moisture and more importantly to replenish the ponds, lakes and reservoirs. The drought is not over!

How can people receive information about a severe storm?

We had a dramatic example of what happens when a tornado hits a community late at night last April in Woodward, when an EF3 tornado hit around 12:20 a.m., killing six people. It is critical that all of us have at least THREE different ways to get a tornado warning, and one of those should be a NOAA Weather Radio! The battery back-up and loud warning alarm will help ensure you get a warning even while you're sleeping or if the power is out. You should NOT rely solely on a smartphone app, a television or a warning siren to wake you up!

Read the complete chat transcript here.

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