High numbers of tornadoes predicted for April storm season

By Emma Ann Patton, Online Content Editor 

Just last week, meteorologist Damon Lane reported that this year’s April showers will include a spike in tornadoes–particularly in eastern Oklahoma.

“April will be a busy month,” said Lane, who works for KOCO news in Oklahoma City. “Busier than normal with about 20 tornadoes in the state.”

The average amount of tornadoes in April is 12. So, why the big spike in ‘naders?

Lane says the above-average storm season is due to a weather pattern called “La Nina,” or a colder-than-normal temperature that permeates the Pacific ocean near the equator line.

Last time Oklahomans experienced La Nina in 2012 there were a whopping 54 tornadoes, according to the KOCO report.

Sierra Davis, a freshman biology major, said she was concerned about the prediction.

“I’m both intrigued and worried,” Davis said. “I’ve never been in an area when a tornado was actually happening, so it’s also exciting to think I might get to walk outside and see one at some point.”

While the outlook for severe weather this spring is grim, OBU’s emergency plans provide students with safety precautions.

Screenshot 2017-03-26 17.08.48.png
Students in the above residential areas should go to the corresponding shelters. / Courtesy Photo, OBU Emergency Plans

“In the event of threatening weather, while in housing, students will be notified by the Residential Life Staff who will direct all students to take cover any time there is a tornado warning in the vicinity,” the website states.

During a tornado watch, OBU security officers open the basement of Raley as a place to take shelter. The emergency plan also says to stay away from windows and doors and suggests bringing a blanket and pillow in case of flying debris.

Despite her nervousness, Davis said her faith in God provided some comfort.

“Overall, I can’t really control the weather so I’ll just roll with whatever happens and let God handle it,” Davis said.

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