No April Fool’s Day Joke: Sirens Sounding in Minnesota Today
If you heard what appeared to be those tornado sirens today, your ears won't be deceiving you here in Minnesota.
Sure, the calendar notes that it's now April 1st, which is, of course, notorious for jokes and pranks as April Fools Day. But if you hear tornado sirens sounding across Minnesota, it won't be a joke. And, it won't have anything to do with the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, either.
It has to do with... severe weather. Not exactly a shock, I guess, is it? While these sirens ARE oftentimes referred to as 'tornado sirens,' here in the Med City, their official name is 'outdoor warning sirens'. (When do they sound during actual severe weather? Mainly during tornadoes, at least according to the city of Rochester's website.)
But those outdoor warning sirens will be sounding today, because, according to this Post Bulletin story, it's just a reminder that after our long winter, we're once again heading into that time of year when severe weather can pop up quickly here in southeast Minnesota.
The story says, "Officials do not want citizens to become alarmed. The severe weather season is fast approaching and communities will be resuming the Wednesday tests to ensure the sirens are in working order," it noted.
Rochester's outdoor warning sirens sounded Wednesday morning at 10 a.m., though other municipalities might be testing them later today around 1 p.m. You also might see a quick warning via the Emergency Alert System pop up on your TV, should you have it on then.
Today's test isn't a replacement for the statewide Tornado Drill Day, which is put on each year during Severe Weather Awareness Week (April 13th through the 18th this year) by Minnesota's Department of Public Safety. That test, which actually features TWO different simulated drills, is still on the docket for Thursday, April 16th. (You can get more information about that event HERE.)