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Tornado & Severe Weather Awareness Week

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Posted at 5:43 AM, Apr 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-17 06:43:03-04

Monday April 17th is the start of Wisconsin's Tornado & Severe Weather Awareness Week.

Schools, businesses, families, and individuals have two opportunities to test their emergency plans during statewide tornado drills on Thursday, April 20th. The drills are part of the annual spring severe weather campaign to encourage everyone in Wisconsin to be ready for possible tornadoes and severe weather.

On Thursday, April 20th, a mock tornado watch will be issued at 1:00 p.m. followed by a statewide mock tornado warning at 1:45 p.m. Many radio and TV stations across the state will issue the test tornado warnings.

In addition, mock alerts will be issued on NOAA Weather Radios and many communities will sound their tornado sirens to test their emergency severe weather plans. Later, a mock tornado warning will be issued at 6:45 p.m. to give families and second shift workers a chance to practice their emergency plans.

According to the NWS, Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes annually. Last year, there were 16 tornado touchdowns in the state. All of the tornadoes were either an EF0 or EF1. However, it's not a question of if we will have a violent storm, it's a matter of when.

If actual severe storms are expected in the state on Thursday, April 20, the tornado drills will be postponed until Friday, April 21 with the same times. If severe storms are possible Friday, the drills will be cancelled.

Any changes will be posted on the ReadyWisconsin website.