Storm Sirens Explained


The City of Bixby has installed several new storm sirens to our existing system for a total of 14 sirens that are placed throughout the city. The sirens are computer controlled and radio activated. Each siren has a battery backup system to ensure uninterrupted service in the event of a power failure, which is common during severe weather. The siren controls are located in the Bixby Police Department and are monitored 24 hours a day. The sirens have a silent test feature, which allows us to test them at anytime. They are tested silently every Wednesday at noon and a full test is conducted the first Friday of every month at noon. The system also allows us to activate one siren or a group of sirens in an effected area without sounding all of the sirens in the city. Some helpful terms and definitions:


An intense localized downdraft, which may be experienced beneath a thunderstorm, typically a severe thunderstorm; it results in an outward burst of damaging winds on or near the ground.


A relatively small-scale current of air with marked downward motion.


A local flood of great volume and short duration generally resulting from heavy rainfall in the immediate vicinity.

Fujita Scale

A scale for classifying tornadoes according to the damage they cause; the tornado’s rotational wind speed is inferred from an analysis of the wind damage.

SizeThreat LevelWind Speeds in MIles per Hour (MPH)Damage
F0Weak40 to 72 MPHLight damage
F1Weak73 to 112 MPHModerate damage
F2Strong113 to 157 MPHConsiderable damage
F3Violent158 to 206 MPHSevere damage
F4Violent207 to 260 MPHDevastating damage
F5Violent261 to 318 MPHIncredible damage

Tornado Warning

Issued by the local National Weather Service office when a tornado or funnel cloud has been sighted visually or detected by radar; the location and direction of movement, if known are given, and residents of the warning area should take immediate safety precautions.

Tornado Watch

Issued by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. as a precautionary alert when conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes in the specific area.

Thunderstorm Watch

Is issued by the National Weather Service when the weather conditions are such that a severe thunderstorm (damaging winds 58 miles per hour or more, or hail three-fourths of an inch in diameter or greater) is likely to develop.

Thunderstorm Warning

A thunderstorm warning is issued when a severe thunderstorm has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.

If you have any questions about the Bixby Emergency Management Office please contact Fire Chief Steve Abel through the Bixby Police Department at 918-366-8294 or Email the Bixby Police.