How Oklahomans Deal With Tornado Season
Oklahoma's Tornado History
Being in the middle of the U.S. does not necessarily mean that we get the best of the seasons. We have brutal summers, bone-chilling winter (except for this year for some reason) and every April the battle of man vs. nature begins as the cold and hot weather clash to form tornados.
Last year we had over a hundred in one day, which, to an outsider, sounds like this entire state should have been completely destroyed. However, tornados come in many sizes and some don't always touch the ground. There also is a lot of open space here in the Sooner state, so the tornados have a lot of room to destroy fields rather than homes and people. But, tornados are still dangerous and should be taken seriously, because they have taken many lives, destroyed entire cities like Joplin, Missouri in 2011, and make my stomach turn when I think of May 3rd of 1999 when Oklahoma City was hit with one of the biggest tornados ever.
Sometimes, though, I think one of the best qualities of being an Oklahoman is having the capability to take something dangerous and turn it into something light-hearted, while still taking precautions.
Blame it on the Weatherman
Every crazy weather day starts with a weatherman and in Oklahoma we have some favorites that have been around for years and years.
Gary England- Where to start when talking about Gary England... He's an Oklahoma icon. He works for News Channel 9 and was the first person to use the Doppler radar to warn the public about severe weather. He can also be seen in the movie "Twister," which also features some of Oklahoma's finest extreme weather/people. There is also a Gary England drinking game, I'll explain why this exists later.
Mike Morgan- Mike Morgan has also been a part of the tornado festivities for a long time. When Gary starts getting a little out of hand with his metaphors and analogies it is time to change the channel to News Channel 4 to see what Mike has to say.
These are just a couple of the many meteorologists that inform Oklahomans about when it is time to hide, run or sigh in relief.
Coping With Tornados
On days, like this coming Tuesday, there are severe warnings in advance, especially at the beginning of tornado season, in order to remind everyone to be prepared. This means that you need to know where to go if it really does get bad and you need to watch the weather all day.
Sometimes, however, on days that the skies get a little green and you could possibly be under a tornado warning you decide to at least make the time you spend wondering if the tornado will come after you fun.
The Gary England Drinking game is one way to spend your time. Another way is to go over to a socialites house that happens to have a basement. Why? Because it becomes a cocktail party. You all drink, laugh and make sure there isn't a tornado coming your way.
It sounds like we don't take them seriously, but we do. We are terrified every tornado season, we watch homes get destroyed, trees get ripped from the ground and people losing loved ones. So, forgive us if we try to have a little fun before the devastation.