OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As severe storms began to form in western Oklahoma on Saturday evening, many Oklahomans paid close attention to the storms’ paths.
As storms moved into central Oklahoma, tornado warnings were issued and city leaders in Oklahoma City worked to alert residents of the potential danger.
However, it seems some residents who were not in danger were rattled by the alerts.
Although the storms stayed in south Oklahoma City, residents in northwest Oklahoma City had sirens sound near their homes.
So that made some ask: what is Oklahoma City’s policy for tornado sirens?
In the past, tornado sirens would sound if a tornado warning was issued anywhere in the county.
As a result, city leaders said many Oklahomans would ignore the warning.
Nearly seven years ago, city leaders in Oklahoma City announced a change in the tornado siren policy.
Under the newer policy, Oklahoma City is divided into zones.
When the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning, only the sirens in zones covered by the warning will sound.
So why did sirens sound in northwest Oklahoma City on Saturday night?
Kristy Yager, with the City of Oklahoma City, told KFOR that it is based off of the information the National Weather Service provides.
The NWS will draw polygon maps to help track storms and predict their movements.
City leaders then put those polygon maps over the city’s tornado siren sector map.
“NW OKC is in sector 7, which is one of the largest sectors we have. Per our policy, we went ahead and activated sector 7 even though a small part of the south end of the sector was included in the polygon,” an email to KFOR read.