Minnesota weather: Tornado sirens will sound on Thursday

The outdoor warning sirens will sound across Minnesota on Thursday, April 20, for a statewide tornado drill as part of severe weather awareness week

On Thursday, counties will activate the outdoor warning sirens at 1:45 p.m. for schools in businesses to practice what to do if a tornado or severe storm is imminent. And then again at 6:45 p.m. for families. A wireless emergency test will occur at 1 p.m. as well. 

This is outside the typical tests done on the first Wednesday of every month at 1 p.m.  

If there is a severe weather threat on Thursday, the drills will be canceled. 

These outdoor warning sirens, which are typically activated by county, typically sound when the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning and/or there are reports of sustained, dangerous straight-line winds.

Siren safety tips

Hennepin County provided some siren safety tips:

  • Obey the sirens. Sirens mean people should seek shelter and tune in to local weather information on radio, television or NOAA weather radio. Unless it’s a first Wednesday-of-the-month drill, the warning is real.
  • Be weather aware. Know the weather forecast when you start the day, and then check the weather throughout the day on days when severe weather is possible.
  • Be alert and know where to shelter. If conditions change quickly or you see violent/threatening conditions, seek shelter and tune in to local media. Take time today to learn and practice emergency procedures at your workplace or school.
  • Get a personal warning. Sirens alert people who are outdoors. Inside your home, you may not hear them. Use a NOAA weather radio or a severe weather smartphone app and stay tuned to local media.