To give families a chance to test their emergency plans, a statewide tornado drill will be held during the evening of Thursday, April 14. The drill is part of the annual spring severe weather campaign to encourage people in Wisconsin to get ready for possible tornadoes and severe weather.
Gov. Walker has declared April 11-15, 2016 as Wisconsin Tornado & Severe Weather Awareness Week. Wisconsin Emergency Management, the National Weather Service (NWS) and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association (WBA) have once again teamed up to sponsor the statewide tornado drill scheduled for Thursday.
For the first time, a mock tornado warning will be issued at 6:55 p.m. on Thursday to give families and businesses a chance to test their emergency severe weather plans. Earlier in the day, a mock tornado watch will be ussed at 1 p.m. and the mock tornado warning will be issued 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.
According to the NWS, Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes annually. Last year, there were 17 tornado touchdowns in the state. All of the tornadoes were either EF0 or EF1. On Aug. 19, 2015, two tornadoes touched down near Lake Geneva and Big Bend causing damage to area business. No one was injured.
The statewide tornado drill is a great opportunity for schools, businesses and families to test their emergency plans about what to do and where to go when severe weather strikes. 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, the tornado drills will be postponed until Friday, April 15, with the same times. If severe storms are possible Friday, the drills will be cancelled.