Tornado Drills and Storm Spotter Training in Door County

Governor Tony Evers has declared April 8 – 12 as Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin. The purpose of the week is to spread weather awareness and to have businesses, schools, families, and individuals test emergency plans related to severe weather.

According to the National Weather Service, Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes annually. This number rose to 33 confirmed tornados in 2018.

The statewide tornado drill is scheduled for April 11 at two separate times. The drill will take place at 1:45pm and then again at 6:45pm. This will allow families and second-shift workers the chance to practice their plans. The Door County Emergency Management (DCEM) and Communications Department will activate the tornado sirens in the City of Sturgeon Bay and the Town of Forestville for this test.

The tornado drill will take place even if there are cloudy, dark, or rainy skies. The drill will only be postponed due to an actual threat of severe weather. In which case the drill will be moved to April 12.

Photo by Len Villano.

DCEM is also bringing back the National Weather Service Storm Spotter training. The SKYWARN Storm Spotter Program was created by the National Weather Service (NWS) to aid them in their goal of getting real time updates about weather events. These updates can range in nature from wind damage, hail size, flash flooding, tornadoes, storm damage, and more. Storm spotter volunteers create a vital link between what shows on radar and what is truly happening on the ground.

Anyone is welcome to attend, even if you are not interested in becoming a trained storm spotter. People can attend simply to learn more about weather systems of all types and be able to better understand severe weather.

A typical training conducted by the NWS lasts about 90 minutes. The training includes information on identifying storm features, effective positioning strategy, safety, and severe weather communication.

Training will take place on May 8, 6pm at Crossroads at Big Creek. There is no cost to attend and seating will be on a first come first serve basis.