Virtual tornado drill day during Severe Weather Awareness Week
This whole week is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin. If you've been watching the Ready Weather forecasts you know we've been talking about the difference between watches and warnings, severe thunderstorms and lightning, flash flooding and Thursday we discuss tornadoes. During a normal year today we be the day when tornado sirens sound across the entire state but because of COVID-19, the tornado drill is happening in a more virtual way. Although there won't be any sirens going off or test warnings issued you are still encouraged to take 15 minutes and find the place in your house where you should go during a tornado warning. It's a great activity for the kids at home!
The simple rule when finding a safe place to go during a tornado warning is: as low as possible and as interior as possible. You want to put as many walls between you and the storm as possible. A basement is the best place to go, but if you don't have one an interior closet or bathroom or even hallway without windows is your best option. If you live on an upper floor in a condo or apartments building you want to get to the lowest level like the first floor or even an underground garage. If you live in a mobile home you need to have a plan for the place you will run to when a tornado warning is issued. It needs to be less than 5 minutes away. The last tornado related deaths in Wisconsin all happened in mobile or manufactured homes.
The average Wisconsin tornado isn't the big boys they can get down in Tornado Alley. In Wisconsin it's on the ground for an average of 10 minutes and travels just over 5 miles with a width of about a football field reaching wind speeds of 100 mph.
Download the CBS 58 Ready Weather app which will give you alerts if tornado warnings are ever issued for your location.