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Meteorologists Warn Residents Against Storm Curiosity

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MARLOW Okla_ When the storm sirens sound, do you take cover or go outside to look?

Thursday, a rotating wall cloud loomed above Marlow. Friday, we caught up with many residents who say they were guilty of gawking, but they're not the only ones. Storm watching is something many Oklahomans do, but is it safe?

Our SkyWarn7 Meteorologists say if you are not highly trained, you need to stay out of the storm's way. Rotating wall clouds can produce a tornado within minutes. For that reason, they say it's better to be safe than sorry.

Marlow Resident Catherine Price said she didn't heed the warnings of the meteorologists at first.

"I took cover, eventually, not immediately," Price said.

7News Reporter Sara Whaley asked, "What'd you do first?"

"I looked," Price said, "To what was out there."

SkyWarn7 Meteorologist Matt DiPirro said your curiosity isn't worth risking your life. He covered the storm Thursday and was disheartened to see so many people on the roads.

"It's tough to see people drive north on Highway 81," Matt said during his coverage of the storm. "It's not a good idea. If you know anyone in this area, tell them not to head to Marlow."

Many people didn't listen, because they want to snap pictures to post on social media sites and send to our newsroom.

SkyWarn7 Meteorologist Austin Bowling has been in the middle of some wild storms. He said sometimes it's best to get pictures once the storm has moved on.

"We love getting the hail pictures," Austin said. "We love getting the damage pictures, but we definitely don't want anybody putting themselves in danger to get us these pictures."

He's out chasing again Friday and said it's important people take tornado warnings seriously.

"We'll watch these things go very quickly from a little white puffy cloud early on in the afternoon to a wall cloud spinning out of the bottom of this thing," Austin said. "20 minutes later, you have a tornado on the ground."

You never know when watching a tornado could cost you your life.

A tornado struck Broken Arrow, Oklahoma Thursday. No one was injured, but the storm spotter said those people were lucky. The tornado crossed right over the turnpike in front of them.

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