Dorothy, Toto and Tim have a reminder for you today

wizard of oz tornado screenshot 

From Tim Isom, Emergency Management Director, City of Northfield:

Greetings,

This is a reminder that today, Thursday, April 22, 2010 is Tornado Drill day.  Listed below is information and schedule as it pertains to today’s events.

Tornado Drill Day Schedule

The National Weather Service, Wisconsin Emergency Management, the Minnesota Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and other state, county and local agencies have come together to host Severe Weather Awareness Week activities. On Thursday, April 22, 2010, simulated tornado watches and warnings will be issued to test the statewide warning and communications systems.

For those with weather radios or equipment that receives Emergency Alert Signals (EAS), please note:

On Thursday, April 22, the National Weather Service (NWS) offices will use the TOR (Tornado) code in their NOAA Weather Radio test warning, rather than RWT (Routine Weekly Test) that NWS has had to use in the past.  The Minnesota EAS  board with support from the Minnesota Broadcasters Association requested and was granted an FCC waiver to use this code for a more realistic test of the EAS and NOAA weather radio systems.  The test Tornado warning will contain multiple uses of the word "test," so it should be clear that this is not the real thing.

The schedule for April 22nd is as follows:

(all times CDT) – All events and times are subject to change or cancellation due to conditions.

1:00 PM: The National Weather Service will issue a simulated tornado watch for Wisconsin and Minnesota (except the northwest portion of Minnesota).

1:40 PM: The National Weather Service will issue a simulated tornado warning for 9 counties of western Wisconsin (Barron, Chippewa, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Rusk and St Croix). Note that most cities and counties will activate outdoor warning siren systems.

1:45 PM: The National Weather Service will issue a simulated tornado warning for Minnesota counties (except those in the northwestern part of the state). Note that most cities and counties will activate outdoor warning siren systems.

2:00 PM: The National Weather Service will issue an "End of Test" message using the Severe Weather Statement product. It should be stated 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 PM: Another simulated tornado warning will be issued for 73 participating counties in Minnesota. Those counties not participating are: Aitkin, Carlton, Hubbard, Itasca, Kanabec, Kittson, Lincoln, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pipestone, Sibley, St. Louis, Watonwan and Wilkin.

A graphic of the counties participating in the evening drill is available at
http://www.severeweather.state.mn.us/Documents/Participating_Counties_Drill_Map_2010.pdf

The 6:55 PM warning will be issued by the six National Weather Service offices that serve Minnesota. It will be issued as a test of family preparedness in the home and for second shift workers.

For information about Tornadoes and preparations, please visit

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/brochures/tornado.shtml

For more information about Severe Weather Awareness week, please visit the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s website at:

http://www.severeweather.state.mn.us/

Tim Isom
Emergency Management Director
City of Northfield
Northfield MN  55057
Tim.Isom@ci.northfield.mn.us

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