Monday, April 21, 2014

Severe weather reminder

On April 4 I announced that April 21-25 would be Wisconsin Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week. Today, as we begin the week, I would like to send out a reminder and awareness information from Rock County Sheriff Bob Spoden. I’m also passing along a heads up on the statewide tornado drill coming up Thursday.

First some tornado facts:

Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes annually.
• In 2013, 16 tornados touched down in Wisconsin. Six of these occurred during the night and early morning hours of August 6th and 7th when an EF2 tornado struck near New London in Waupaca and Outagamie counties. Two residents were injured and damage costs climbed into the millions.
• 38 tornados struck down in Wisconsin in 2011, the fourth highest number on record.
• The peak tornado season in Wisconsin is April to August, but a tornado can occur at any time of year, as occurred on January 7, 2008 near Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Here are details regarding Thursday’s drill:

1:00 pm – The National Weather Service will issue a statewide mock tornado watch. A tornado watch means that tornados are possible in your area. Citizens should remain alert for approaching storms.

1:45 pm – The National Weather Service will issue a statewide mock tornado warning. A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated on weather radar. Citizens should move to a safe place immediately.

2:00 pm – Conclusion of mock tornado watch and warning drill

Important: The tornado drill will take place even if the sky is cloudy, dark and/or rainy. If actual severe storms are expected in the state on Thursday April 24, the tornado drill will be postponed until Friday, April 25 with the same times. If severe storms are possible Friday, the drill will be cancelled. Residents will be notified of any changes through local media as well as the Rock County Sheriff’s Office website and Facebook, and Ready Wisconsin.

What Citizens Can Expect

Rock County Outdoor Warning Siren System: The Outdoor Warning Siren System will be tested in Rock County at 1:45 pm. Citizens can expect to hear the outdoor sirens generate a tone as they do during the monthly siren tests that run between April and October. The test signal will be 1 -2 minutes in duration. Please tune in to your local radio stations or weather radios for all weather related information and instructions when the sirens are sounded. In the event of a tornado warning, the sirens would alert steadily for three to five minutes.

Listen, Act and Live Campaign:

This is an ideal opportunity for schools, businesses and families to practice safe procedures for severe weather. During storm season – follow this message: Listen, Act and Live. Don’t ignore watches and warnings. Listen and take action. Every second counts. Don’t wait… go to a safe place right away!

The School District of Janesville will be participating in the week’s activities. Please contact your building principal for details.

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