April 12, 2017 — As part of a statewide tornado drill, the National Weather Service will issue a test Tornado Warning for the entire state today at 10:30 a.m. In Sweetwater County, residents may hear the test on local broadcasts. Sirens and other county alert systems will not be activated during the drill.
The drill comes as we near the main severe weather season in Wyoming. The spring months produce some wide-ranging weather across the Cowboy State from tornadoes to snowstorms.
According to the National Weather Service, 10 tornadoes occur in Wyoming each year on average. Historically, two or three of those tornadoes will produce some type of property damage. Tornadoes are not the only severe thunderstorm hazard that Wyoming residents face; lightning, hail, and flash floods can be equally as devastating.
“Folks need to do all that they can ahead of time to ensure they have the plans and the tools to keep both themselves and their families safe should severe weather strike”, said Chad Hahn, meteorologist at the Cheyenne NWS Office, in a press release issued by NWS. “This includes not only a planned spot of where to go at home, school or work, but also knowing where to get critical weather warning information when seconds count”.
Residents, businesses, schools, and radio and television stations to use today’s tornado drill as a time to practice severe weather safety procedures.
“We have partnered with FEMA to strongly promote the idea of people using the test warning on April 12 to actually practice what to do in case of a real emergency,” said Tim Troutman, meteorologist at the Riverton NWS office. “We would like to see people posting and sharing on social media what they did to prepare. A school tornado drill or your own family practicing going to the basement are two simple ways people can participate.
Troutman and Hahn agree that in order to know your risk, residents should never leave home without knowing the weather forecast. Taking the three simple steps of, knowing your risk, taking preparedness actions, and sharing preparedness activities with others are essential in building a weather-ready nation.