Related story: Owasso Emergency Management Center keeping locals safe, informedWeather was the hot topic of discussion during Owasso Chamber’s monthly luncheon on Wednesday, Aug. 7.
News of 6 chief meteorologist Travis Meyer spoke to attendees at the Tulsa Tech-Owasso campus about his 25 years in the field providing weather information to the residents of eastern Oklahoma (see PHOTO gallery).
Meyer said 2019 has been an exceptional year for extreme weather in Oklahoma, recording 102 tornadoes in May – the most ever recorded for the spring month, averaging around three per day.
“We are pretty much leading the nation in tornado activity and warnings at this point, hoping that we don’t repeat that this fall,” he said.
Areas of Owasso suffered minor damage and major flooding in the aftermath of tornadic storms that rolled through the region in May.
In 2017, dozens of homes in northeast Owasso were damaged after an EF-1 tornado touched down in a series of storms; and in 2016, two EF-2 tornadoes hit parts of Owasso, causing a wide range of damage in neighborhoods such as Stone Canyon and Ridgeview Estates.
Meyer said he and his team are developing new ways to monitor storms and notify the public as areas like Owasso continue to expand.
“(Owasso) is becoming so urbanized that it has really affected how we’re looking at tornadoes … it’s only because we have a lot more homes and a lot more people living around this area,” he told the Owasso Reporter.
Meyer added that his department regularly partners with the City of Owasso and its Emergency Management Center in tracking storms and keeping local citizens safe and informed.
“Since it’s a growing city, I’ve really been impressed by how much (it) has taken on,” he said. “I love that fact that they’re so much more aggressive on how they’re approaching weather and how they approach the warnings, because they’re very active.”
Owasso’s Emergency Management Center, located underground at 207 S. Cedar St., traces severe weather patterns and emergency response efforts for the region through the use of advanced technology.
When inclement weather hits, staff like Daniel Miller, emergency management coordinator for Owasso, is at the helm of computer monitors and TV screens ensuring the safety of the community.
“It allows me to try and be that first response … so that if something does happen, we’re prepared for those incidents,” Miller said in a previous story, “trying to have that situational awareness ahead of time.”
For more information about Owasso’s Emergency Management Center or how to receive weather-related updates, call 918-272-3828, or visit cityofowasso.com/299/Emergency-Management.