FORT SILL

Weather and Climate

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Temperatures in Comanche County tend to be dry and subtropical. The average temperature is 61.9 degrees with hot summers that can hit upwards of 100 degrees and mild winters that can sometimes get very cold. There is about 31 inches of precipitation each year and less than three inches of snow. Living in Lawton and Comanche County means being right in the middle of the area known as "Tornado Alley." The area is prone to severe weather from late April through early June. Tornadoes are likely when warm moist air meets cooler, drier air. Being in the midst of such major storm action means that tornadoes can and do happen here, so planning and preparation is important.

Preparing for an Approaching Storm

Listen to weather forecasts and plan ahead. Note the difference between a severe thunderstorm watch — it means one could be on the way or that conditions for it are probable — and a severe thunderstorm warning — it's here, take cover. Same with a tornado watch, conditions favor tornado formation, and warning, a funnel cloud has been sighted, find shelter now.

If you lose power, use flashlights. Do not use candles or kerosene lamps. They can create a fatal safety hazard.
Have a battery-powered radio or TV to listen for changes in weather conditions so you know what to do next.
For a tornado warning, you need to know the safest indoor space in your house, most likely a basement, if you have one, or a central room without windows, if you have no basement.
Make provisions for special needs of any family member such as the elderly, handicapped, medically affected or infants. If you are dependent on electric-powered medical equipment, seek alternate arrangements in the event that your electric service is interrupted.

Keep the following items on hand:
Fresh batteries
Portable radio
Flashlight
Manual can opener
Matches
Battery-operated or wind-up clock
Nonperishable food (canned and dried food)
Fuses
Sterno
Make a list of emergency phone numbers and keep a personal telephone book and one corded phone on hand (cordless and cell phones may not work)
Keep a first aid kit in your home and one in your car.

Don't forget to include:
Scissors
Safety pins
Aspirin
Eyewash
Rubbing alcohol and/or hydrogen peroxide
One gallon of bottled water available for each person in the household for each anticipated day without electric service.
If your home is served by well water, fill a bathtub with water for sanitation use.
Keep cash on hand.

Protect Your Food
To protect your food, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Food will stay frozen for 36 hours or more in a fully loaded freezer if you keep the door closed. A half-full freezer will generally keep food frozen for 24 hours. Consider freezing containers of water ahead of time. The blocks of ice will help keep your food frozen longer.

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