Forecasters: be weather aware as night storms move in

Forecasters: be weather aware as night storms move in

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OKLAHOMA CITY - This weekend forecasters are predicting severe storms in Oklahoma.  The timeline for the storms could not be worse, as they will likely come at nightfall Saturday.

"Around sunset, there will probably be a time period where we could have the potential for some tornadoes for a couple of hours," National Weather Service meteorologist Doug Speheger said.

If they come after dark, Speheger said the danger for you goes up.

"Severe weather can be quite a bit more dangerous when it's happening after sunset because people will not have the same visual cues to indicate what's going on," Speheger said.

It's not just about whether you're awake or asleep when the storms, and possibly tornadoes, roll in. That could make a big difference for your safety. But, there's also concern about warnings that can get to you.

"It's almost impossible to be able to see what you're looking for," FOX 25 Storm Tracker Chris Novy said.

If spotters can't see a tornado or other formations in the dark, they can't report it. At that point, forecasters can only depend on radar to get warnings to you.

The conditions also become more dangerous to anyone in them, including spotters.

"Ordinarily you might be able to avoid those hazards. At night, you may not see them, you may be able to get in to a whole world of trouble," Novy said.  "When that warning comes out you have to say 'I'm taking it seriously. I might not have any other way to confirm it.'"

If a warning is issued at night, make sure you activate your weather plan and get to your safe place, since you will not be able to see if your area is in a direct threat.

Forecasters say you should also revamp you your plan for nighttime. If you are heading to bed, make sure you have a weather radio or another alert system loud enough to wake you up.

"And it doesn't necessarily have to be a tornado. You could have potential severe thunderstorms that still could produce damaging winds and large hail that you may want to know about," Speheger said
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