Oklahoma is one of the best places to live. We can experience all four seasons as well as some new ones in a week. Are you from another state? Maybe even from a different country? I met with a couple of people this week to help prepare you with their advice on the crazy weather we get to experience.
“The ice storm in 2020 was crazy!!!” said senior Aaron Bacewicz. “It was probably the coldest weather I’ve ever experienced! It was so cold that each individual blade of grass on the ground was frozen. The power kicked out for a little bit, but it wasn’t too long to where we had to worry.”
Bacewicz has been here for three years of college and has gotten to experience plenty of Oklahoma’s diverse weather.
“Honestly, in my three years here I’ve had more than one winter storm per year roll through,” he said. “Some haven’t been as bad as others, but the one in February of 2020 was the worst one”
So, does Oklahoma do anything about these storms? How do they prepare? We have some of the best meteorologists in the world and they are insanely good at predicting these events. We are able to keep everyone safe with a days warning, and they keep the roads as clear as possible if someone has to get on the road.
“OKC does an excellent job of preparing the roads before winter weather, making it easier to drive on,” said Bacewicz. “It is also important, though, to still drive safely and not make any sudden movements behind the wheel because that’s when accidents can happen. Just don’t go too fast and gradually change speeds!”
Bryce Shay, a SNU Alumi, has lived in Oklahoma his whole life. Bryce loves how everyday is a new day for weather. He also thinks that Oklahoma’s crazy forecast brings families together, which is one of his favorite things.
“One of the most important things to know about tornadoes and hail when living in Oklahoma is having respect for the weather,” said Shay. “Rain and thunder is one, thing but tornadoes and hail are severely damaging and sometimes unpredictable. When there is talk about severe weather, it’s important just to treat the weather with respect because, in a fistfight with a tornado, you will lose.”
While Shay’s experience as a lifelong Oklahoma resident is definitely relevant, it is his personal experience with the extremes of Oklahoman weather that truly plays the biggest role in his respect for nasty weather.
“I have had a very close encounter with a tornado,” said Shay. “When I was in 5th grade, there was a tornado on the ground in Bethany. My whole family was at my grandparent’s house in the storm shelter. We heard the tornado go over the backyard while we were underground. After the news said it had passed by, the weatherman informed us that it has passed us, so my cousin and I hopped out and watched the tornado go down the street.”
Even in fear some curiosity is able to shine through when its safe. If you don’t know when it will be safe to let your guard down, its not a bad idea to grab a Oklahoman and ask some questions. We’ve been prepared for this since we were able to walk.
“…People talk about ‘popping out a lawn chair.’ Oklahomans are known for watching the storms pass by when they are out of the danger zone of tornados. We will put some chairs outside and watch the storms go. It becomes an entire event! Also, ask any Oklahoman and they will tell you that they can smell when a tornado is coming. It’s the 6th sense,” said Shay.
As funny as this must sound Oklahomans know when its time to enjoy a good storm. Often enough we are comfortable and used to “letting the storm pass.” We don’t get huge storms often, but when we do it turns into a event.
NEW SNU STUDENTS!!! Be safe and watch the weather. Things can go south and get scary quickly. Never be afraid of asking for help and for someone to explain what’s going on. It’s hard to learn the weather patterns but its easy to ask. Enjoy the rain and consider watching it pour from your room. Sometimes it can be the most calming thing you’ll experience while in college.
Photo by Jennifer Morrow