Emergency sirens in Kewaunee County and across Wisconsin will sound Thursday afternoon, part of the annual drill to test emergency plans with a statewide tornado drill.
The week of April 9-13 is Wisconsin’s Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week. Recent cold weather notwithstanding, spring teamperatures and the possibility of severe weather are just around the proverbial corner.
A mock tornado watch will be issued at 1 p.m. Thursday, followed by a statewide mock tornado warning at 1:45 p.m. Many radio and TV stations plan to issue the test tornado alerts, which will aldo be issued on NOAA weather radios. Another 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.
The tornado drill will take place even if the sky is cloudy, dark or rainy. If actual severe storms are expected in the state Thursday, the tornado drills will be postponed until Friday at the same times. If severe storms are expected Friday as well, the drills will be canceled.
According to the National Weather Service, Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes a year. Last year the state hit that average with 23 reported touchdowns. Although most were either EF0 or EF1, the weakest level of tornado, the state did record an EF3 last May 16. The tornado followed an 83-mile path across Polk, Barron, Rusk and Price counties, killing one person.
The state also experienced an outbreak of 10 tornadoes on June 14, 2017, across Shawano, Winnebago, Outagamie, Brown and Waushara counties.