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Tornado Week: Waiting for the sirens could be a deadly mistake

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Looking west into Snyder as Tornado Sirens sounds

OKLAHOMA CITY — In Oklahoma, tornadoes can develop almost any time of year. This season, our state had a particularly early start when the first major tornado arrived March 25th.

Meteorologists caution about the possibility of severe weather days in advance, but many residents still depend on outdoor warning sirens for the final warning.

When the storm rolled through on the evening of Wednesday, March 25th, it packed a punch… ripping the roofs off dozens of homes and buildings, including Southgate-Rippetoe Elementary in Moore.

In Moore, the sirens didn’t sound until after the tornado touched down in Oklahoma City and moved into Moore.

In Oklahoma City, the sirens sounded just a few moments before the touch down in south Oklahoma City.

Join Ali Meyer as our cameras go inside an emergency operations center on a severe weather day.

Hear from the decision-makers in Oklahoma City and Moore about the criteria for sounding the sirens.

Tuesday at 10 p.m., we answer these questions:

  • How many minutes is ideal for outdoor warning sirens?
  • What happens when the sirens don’t sound ahead of a tornado touchdown?
  • How do municipalities communicate with the National Weather Service on severe weather days?
  • What happens when a police officer calls for the sirens to sound?
  • Why can’t I hear the tornado sirens in my home?