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Weather


Severe weather can happen anytime, in any part of the country. Severe weather can include hazardous conditions produced by thunderstorms, including damaging winds, tornadoes, large hail, flooding and flash flooding and extreme heat that can be dangerous to people and pets. 

Our team at the City of Tulsa is fully equipped and ready to tackle the challenges brought on by Summer weather. We understand the importance of being prepared for severe storms and are committed to ensuring our community remains safe and functional. We encourage you to take proactive steps to prepare for the Summer season. 

For local updates, follow the City of Tulsa and the National Weather Service on social media. 

Current Weather Information

Below you'll find important information for weather events that are currently ongoing within Tulsa. Residents should stay weather aware and take the appropriate actions to keep themselves and their families safe. For local weather updates, follow the City of Tulsa and National Weather Service on social media. 

Updated: June 24, 2024

Staying Safe During Extreme Heat

Learn How to Stay Hydrated

You need to drink enough water to prevent heat illness. An average person needs to drink about 3/4 of a gallon of water daily. Everyone’s needs may vary.
  • You can check that you are getting enough water by noting your urine color. Dark yellow may indicate you are not drinking enough.
  • Avoid sugary, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks.
  • If you are sweating a lot, combine water with snacks or a sports drink to replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
  • Talk to your doctor about how to prepare if you have a medical condition or are taking medicines.

Make a Plan to Stay Cool

Do not rely only on electric fans during extreme heat. When temperatures are in the high 90s, fans may not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
  • Spending a few hours each day in air conditioning can help prevent heat illness.
    • If you have air conditioning, be sure that it is in working order.
    • If you do not have air conditioning or if there is a power outage, find locations where you can stay cool. For example, a public library, shopping mall, or a public cooling center. Plan how you will get there. Don't hesitate to visit a cooling station in Tulsa – be proactive about finding the nearest open cooling station. Encourage loved ones to do the same. 
  • Make sure you have plenty of lightweight, loose clothing to wear. Refrain from wearing restrictive clothing like spandex that will limit your body’s ability to stay cool. 
  • Create a support team of people you may assist and who can assist you. Check in with them often to make sure that everyone is safe. 
Pet Safety
  • Limit walks and outdoor playtime to the morning and evenings. If the ground is too hot to touch, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws. Temperatures in the 90s are all it takes to heat up pavement to temperatures above 130 degrees. If you are out when temperatures rise above 90 degrees, walk your dog on the grass.
  • Ensure your dog has access to cool water when they are outside and always supervise them when in your yard.
  • When traveling by car, keep your pets safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier; secure it so it won’t slide or shift during an abrupt stop. NEVER leave your pet in a hot car, even if for a short amount of time.
  • Owned cats should be kept indoors at all times. Cats always need fresh, cool water and ventilation.
  • If you see an animal outside without access to shade or water, call Tulsa Animal Welfare at (918) 596-8001.

If you need a place to cool down at during extreme heat, the locations below are open and available: 

  • John 316 Mission | 506 N. Cheyenne, Tulsa, Okla. 74103 | Open 24/7
  • Salvation Army | 102 N. Denver Ave. Tulsa, OK 74103 | Open 24/7
  • Day Center | 415 West Archer Street Tulsa, OK 74103 | Open 24/7
  • Social Services | 2401 Charles Page Blvd. Tulsa OK 74127 | 8:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.

During times of extreme heat, people are urged to take precautions. Drink plenty of water, take breaks, and get out of the sunlight especially in the heat of the day. 

While not cooling stations, there are several other spots you can go to cool off during operating hours. Visit any Tulsa Library or the Denver Ave. Bus Station to avoid the heat!

People are also encouraged to know the signs of heat stroke. More information can be found online: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/heatstress/heatrelillness.html

Severe Weather Safety

Watch: Be Prepared! Severe weather is possible in and near the watch area. Stay informed and be ready to act if a warning is issued. The watch area is typically large, covering numerous counties or even states.

Warning: Take Action! Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Take shelter in a substantial building. Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds. Warnings typically encompass a much smaller area (around the size of a city or small county) that may be impacted by a large hail or damaging wind identified by an NWS forecaster on radar or by a trained spotter/law enforcement who is watching the storm.

  • Pay attention to Tornado Watches and Tornado Warnings.
    • Watch: Atmospheric conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms, capable of producing tornados.
    • Warning: A severe thunderstorm has developed, and has either produced a tornado, or has a radar signature that is conducive for one to develop.
  • Watch for tornado warning signs: dark, green-tinted skies; large hail; big, dark, low-lying clouds and load roars sounding like a freight train.
  • Immediately go to a safe location that you have identified.
  • Pay attention to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions. Listen to media outlets for evacuation and shelter instructions. 
  • Gather family members and pets indoors for tornado preparation. Stay away from windows, doors and exterior walls. Preferably, seek shelter in a basement, lower level, interior hallway, bathroom or closet. Protect yourself by covering your head or neck with your arms and putting materials such as furniture and blankets around or on top of you. Grab your tornado preparedness kit and go over your tornado safety plan. 
  • If you’re caught outside, lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area, while covering your head with your hands. Never try to outrun a tornado.
  • In a car or truck: There is no safe option when caught in a tornado in a car, just slightly less-dangerous ones.
    • If the tornado is visible, far away, and the traffic is light, you may be able to drive out of its path by moving at right angles to the tornado.
    • If you are caught by extreme winds or flying debris, park the car as quickly and safely as possible -- out of the traffic lanes.
    • Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows; cover your head with your hands and a blanket, coat, or other cushion if possible.
    • If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, leave your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands. 
    • Avoid seeking shelter under bridges, which can create deadly traffic hazards while offering little protection against flying debris.
For a list of streets known to flood in Tulsa during these times, visit www.cityoftulsa.org/FFS
Safety Tips
The National Weather Service recommends the following tips during times of flooding:
  • Get to higher ground and out of areas prone to flooding
  • If you’re driving, Turn Around Don’t Drown when you encounter a flooded road
  • Be especially cautious when driving at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers
  • If heavy rain is forecast or occurring and you are out camping, move your camp site and vehicle away from streams and washes

Know the difference between WATCHES and WARNINGS

  • A National Weather Service WATCH is a message indicating that conditions favor the occurrence of a certain type of hazardous weather. For example, a severe thunderstorm watch means that a severe thunderstorm is expected in the next six hours or so within an area approximately 120 to 150 miles wide and 300 to 400 miles long (36,000 to 60,000 square miles). The NWS Storm Prediction Center issues such watches. Local NWS forecast offices issue other watches (flash flood, winter weather, etc.) 12 to 36 hours in advance of a possible hazardous-weather or flooding event. Each local forecast office usually covers a state or a portion of a state.

  • An NWS WARNING indicates that a hazardous event is occurring or is imminent in about 30 minutes to an hour. Local NWS forecast offices issue warnings on a county-by-county basis.

Many more WATCHES are issued than WARNINGS. A WATCH is the first sign a flood may occur, and when one is issued, you should be aware of potential flood hazards.

Be aware of flood hazards. Floods can roll boulders, tear out trees, destroy buildings and bridges, and scour out new channels. Floodwaters can reach heights of 10 to 20 feet and often carry a deadly cargo of debris. Flood-producing rains can also trigger catastrophic debris slides.

Regardless of how a flood or flash flood occurs, the rule for being safe is simple: head for higher ground and stay away from flood waters. Even a shallow depth of fast-moving flood water produces more force than most people imagine. The most dangerous thing you can do is to try walking, swimming, or driving through floodwaters. Two feet of water will carry away most automobiles. More people die from floods than any other natural disaster and most of these drown while attempting to drive through flood water. Remember the saying “Turn Around Don’t Drown”

Reporting
To report high water that is posing a hazard, call 311. Afterhours callers will be directed to the water dispatch number where a report can be made. For life-threatening emergencies, call 911.
More information about Tulsa’s flood control efforts, Class 1 rating, and flood control preparedness tips can be found online.

Reporting Problems

Extended periods of cold weather can sometimes cause waterline breaks on City streets and in neighborhoods. To report a waterline break, call (918) 596-9488.

Weather extremes, including freeze-thaw cycles, take a toll on Tulsa’s streets, causing potholes to form. Tulsans can help identify locations for pothole repairs by reporting them through:

  • Online at Tulsa311.com
  • Download our Tulsa311 mobile app from the Apple store or Android store
  • Call Customer Care Center at 311 or (918) 596-7777.

Tulsa’s Street Maintenance personnel repair potholes as soon as possible, with a goal of within 72 hours after a report is received. Between 200 and 300 potholes are repaired each day. Street Maintenance crews also make permanent repairs to both asphalt and concrete pavement.