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Tornado Awareness Week Highlights Spring Storms

Wi. Division of Emergency Management

The recent snow on the ground doesn't bring thoughts of warm weather conditions, but the state has declared this week as Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week.

State Division of Emergency Management spokesperson Andrew Beckett says the week is designed for public relations: to alert the public to start thinking about possible severe weather....

"...it's just a reminder that severe weather can happen at anytime and pretty much in any location. It's important to think ahead and have a plan in place for whatever situation you find yourself in. Such as what to do if you're in you're home or if you're driving around outdoors..."

Beckett says we had 23 tornadoes in Wisconsin last year which is about a season's average. The largest tornado cut right through portions of the Northwoods...

"....the biggest we had was an EF-3 that was on the ground for 83 miles across Polk, Barron, Rusk and Price counties. It downed trees, destroyed more than 50 trailer homes in a mobile home park near Chetek. One peson was killed in Barron county. That was the longest one tornado was on the ground since modern record keeping began...."

The state also experienced an outbreak of 10 tornadoes on June 14 last year across Shawano, Winnebago, Outagamie, Brown, and Waushara counties. A mock tornado watch will be issued April 12 at 1 p.m., followed by a statewide mock tornado warning 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 to test their emergency severe weather plans.

Later, a 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.

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