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Tornado warning drill today

Can you feel it? The anticipation is building. Like the Metrodome in the bottom of the ninth, down by one with Morneau up to bat with the bases loaded… Minnesotans feel the same way on the eve of the potential first 80 degree reading of the season here in the Twin Cities as they would for the hometown team. I don’t know about you, but I am pretty jazzed about the balmy weather expected for Thursday. Showers and thunderstorms will precede the cool air expected over the weekend. Some of the storms on Friday could be strong to severe across southern Minnesota. How appropriate that this week is Severe Weather Awareness Week. The Storm Prediction Center out of Norman, Oklahoma has issued a slight risk of severe weather for southern Minnesota on Friday, meaning there is a slight chance that hail or damaging winds may be observed, stay tuned. Don’t forget that a statewide tornado drill will be held Thursday at 1:45pm. Here is a list of events that will take place during the day:

On Thursday, April 23rd, simulated tornado watches and warnings will be issued to test the statewide warning and communications systems. The schedule for April 23rd is as follows:

(all times CDT)
 
9:00 AM: The National Weather Service will issue a simulated tornado watch for Minnesota (except the northwest portion of the state).
 
1:00 PM: The National Weather Service will issue a simulated tornado watch for Wisconsin.
 
1:40 PM: The National Weather Service will issue a simulated tornado warning for 9 counties of western Wisconsin (Barron, Chippewa, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Rusk and St Croix). Note that most cities and counties will activate outdoor warning siren systems.

1:45 PM: The National Weather Service will issue a simulated tornado warning for Minnesota counties (except those in the northwestern part of the state). Note that most cities and counties will activate outdoor warning siren systems.

2:00 PM: The National Weather Service will issue an “End of Test” message using the Severe Weather Statement product. It should be stated that outdoor warning sirens will not be sounded again for this all clear, nor will there be any warning tone on NOAA Weather Radio.
 
6:55 PM: Another simulated tornado warning will be issued for participating counties in Minnesota. Those counties are: Anoka, Benton, Big Stone, Brown, Carver, Cass, Chippewa, Chisago, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Dakota, Douglas, Freeborn, Goodhue, Hennepin, Isanti, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac Qui Parle, Lake, Le Sueur, Lyon, Martin, Mc Leod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Olmsted, Pine, Pipestone, Pope, Ramsey, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Rock, Scott, Sherburne, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wabasha, Waseca, Washington, Watonwan, Winona and Wright.
 
A graphic of the counties participating in the evening drill is available at here. (PDF)
 
The 6:55 PM warning will be issued by five of the National Weather Service offices that serve Minnesota. It will be issued as a test of family preparedness in the home and for second shift workers.

Saturday is looking like the wetter, soggier day of the weekend, have a plan B. Latest computer models print out nearly 0.50″ of rain for the metro through Saturday evening. It’ll be nice to get some rain. Have a good Thursday!

Weather Headlines

• Thursday — Warmest day of the week, 80’s likely. Would be the first 80 degree reading of the year (average first occurs May 1st for Twin Cities) Optimistic backyard and bank thermometers may flirt with the mid 80’s.

• Grills about to be fired up: Grilling Alert may be upgraded to Barbecue Warning.

• Shower/T-storm risk Thursday night and Friday, some severe in southern Minnesota Friday?

• Severe Weather Awareness week is this week (April 20th-24th)

• Tornado Drill set this Thursday statewide at 1:45pm, with the exception of far NW MN because of flooding concerns.

Todd’s Forecast

Thursday: Warmest day of the week, breezy. Overnight storms possible. High: 81

Friday: Unsettled, still mild. Scattered showers/T-storm, some strong to severe in southern Minnesota. High: 68

Saturday: Mostly cloudy, scattered showers. Cooler. High: 54

Sunday: Lingering clouds, sprinkle. Cooler. High: 56

Monday: Spotty shower. High: 58

Tuesday: Partly sunny, shower possible. High: 60

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