Today is tornado drill day
WRIGHT, McLEOD, AND CARVER COUNTIES – The annual statewide tornado awareness drills during Severe Weather Awareness Week are set for today, Thursday, April 19.
The drill traditionally occurs on Thursday afternoon at 1:45 p.m., during severe weather awareness week, when all county and city jurisdictions across Minnesota and Wisconsin sound their outdoor warning sirens. Residents, schools, businesses and other facilities are encouraged to conduct a tornado drill at this time and practice their tornado sheltering plans and procedures. Along with the sirens, NOAA Weather Radios will also be sent simulated warning codes and sound their alarms.
A second tornado drill the same day will be sounded at 6:55 p.m. The reason for a 6:55 p.m. drill is that severe weather, including tornadoes, occurs more often between 3 and 8 p.m. The 6:55 p.m. tornado drill also allows families and second-shift workers to practice their emergency sheltering plans.
This second drill is done on a voluntary basis by each county. For 2012, 81 counties in Minnesota have acknowledged they will take part.
Note: If actual severe weather is forecast for an area on this day, either or both drills may be cancelled by local jurisdictions. (The sirens will only sound for actual tornado warnings.)
These tornado drills will follow a pre-scripted format that simulates an actual tornado event. Please review the schedule below:
1 p.m.: The National Weather Service will issue a simulated tornado watch for Wisconsin and Minnesota (except the northwest portion of Minnesota).
1:45 p.m.: The National Weather Service will issue a simulated tornado warning for Minnesota counties. Note that most cities and counties will activate outdoor warning siren systems at this time.
2 p.m.: The National Weather Service will issue an “End of Test” message using the Severe Weather Statement product. It should be noted that outdoor warning sirens will not be sounded again for this all clear, nor will there be any warning tone on NOAA Weather Radio.
6:55 p.m.: The National Weather Service offices will also issue another simulated tornado warning. The second drill is issued to allow families to practice their preparedness in the home and community, and for evening shift workers. Participation in the second drill at 6:55 p.m. is voluntary by each county. For 2012, 81 counties are planning to participate.