Local News

May 7, 2014

Severe weather potential late Wednesday night, Thursday morning

CHICKASHA — Severe weather has the potential to roll through Grady County again late tonight and into Thursday morning.

This week's severe weather threat extends along the IH-35 corridor from central Texas to southern Minnesota, according to

The storms have the potential to produce heavy rain, large hail, wind gusts of 24 mph and isolated tornadoes, according to AccuWeather.

However, unlike last week, the atmospheric setup isn't favorable for a large tornado outbreak, but accuweather meteorologists didn't rule out the possibility of isolated tornadoes.

Oklahoma City and Tulsa, as well as other parts of central and northern Oklahoma are also included in the threat zone.

Chickasha Emergency Management Director Steve Chapman said the city has outdoor warning sirens with a hearing radius of one mile placed half a mile apart so the sound overlaps and tests them on a monthly basis.

Chapman said residents shouldn't rely on the outdoor sirens, however, because they're designed for outdoor use.

In the event of a tornado, the city sounds the sirens, contacts local radio stations and updates social media to notify the public, Chapman said.

"Even though the city feels like we're prepared, we rely on our citizens to have an emergency plan for their families," he said.

Chickasha Police Maj. Elip Moore said the local police monitors the weather from local radio and TV stations and sends officers to high ground to watch for tornadoes if one is expected and calls for the sirens to be sounded if needed.

AccuWeather Meteorologist Ken Clark said Chickasha is on the border of the dry line where the storms will begin.

The dry line could activate late Wednesday afternoon, but the worst storms are expected to be Thursday afternoon and evening, according to

"The greatest atmospheric dynamics will be from the central plains     to the upper Midwest, while the most humid air will be much farther south, hence the extensive severe weather zone on Thursday," AccuWeather Long Range Expert Paul Pastelok said.

Parts of Interstates 29, 35, 40, 44, 49, 70 and 80 are in the at-risk zone, so drivers on these roads and other areas in the threat zone are encouraged to pay attention to the weather and take shelter if necessary, because cars are dangerous to be in in the event of a tornado, according to


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