Tornado & Severe Weather Awareness

tornadoSevereWeatherAwarenessListen, Act and Live! Those words could protect you and your family during severe storm season. Listening to warnings and seeking shelter immediately will save lives. That’s why Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM), ReadyWisconsin, the National Weather Service (NWS) and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association (WBA) have teamed up for Wisconsin’s Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week April 21-25, 2014.
Did you know that…

  • Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes annually.
  • In 2013, 16 tornadoes touched down in Wisconsin including six during the night and early morning hours of August 6-7 when an EF2 struck near New London in Waupaca and Outagamie counties. That tornado injured two residents and caused millions of dollars in damage.
  •  In 2012, only 4 tornadoes were reported in Wisconsin by the NWS. The strongest tornado hit near Patch Grove in Grant County on September 4. No fatalities or injuries were reported.
  • In 2011, 38 tornadoes in Wisconsin were confirmed by the NWS, the fourth highest number on record. On August 19, a man was killed when a tornado with winds of 105 mph struck Marinette County.

The peak tornado season in Wisconsin is April to August, but tornadoes can occur any time of year, like the January 7, 2008 storms near Kenosha.
On Thursday, April 24, 2014, a statewide tornado drill is planned. At 1:00pm, the National Weather Service will issue a statewide mock tornado watch and at 1:45pm a statewide mock tornado warning. Many radio and TV stations will participate in the drill. In addition, NOAA weather radios (also known as emergency weather radios) will issue alert messaging. This is an ideal opportunity for schools, businesses and families to practice safe procedures for severe weather.
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 ReadyWisconsin web page, Facebook and Twitter.