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MADISON, Wis. – Gov. Tony Evers has declared April 8-12 as Wisconsin’s Tornado and 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 drills scheduled for Thursday, April 11.

Schools, businesses, families, and individuals have two opportunities to test their emergency plans during statewide tornado drills April 11. The drills are part of the annual spring severe weather campaign to encourage everyone in Wisconsin to be ready for possible tornadoes and severe weather.

According to the NWS, Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes annually. However, in 2018 the National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed 33 tornadoes in the state. This included 19 tornadoes on Aug. 28, the second largest August tornado outbreak in Wisconsin's weather history. One of those tornadoes near Brownsville in Dodge County was rated EF2 with winds near 125 mph - the strongest of the year.

The drill on April 11 will begin with a mock tornado watch 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. 

The tornado drill will take place even if the sky is cloudy, dark or rainy. If actual severe storms are expected in the state on Thursday, April 11, the tornado drills will be postponed until Friday, April 12 with the same times. If severe storms continue Friday, the drills will be cancelled.

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