This is just a drill: Tornado sirens will go off twice today

There is a point to doing this – it's not just random.

If you hear tornado sirens today, they're only a drill.

As part of severe weather awareness week, officials are encouraging people to practice where they'd go when severe weather hits. So they'll be sounding outdoor sirens for simulated tornado warnings (and NOAA Weather Radios will sound too).

The first drill will happen at 1:45 p.m., so people can figure out where they'd go when they're at work or school when severe weather happens.

The second drill is at 6:45 p.m., and is for workers on the late shift, as well as families, so they can plan where to go during severe weather. This one is especially important because severe weather typically happens between 3 and 8 p.m.

For a full schedule of Thursday's tornado drills, click here.

When you hear sirens, seek shelter

When you hear sirens, it's important to find shelter ASAP, and then figure out why the sirens are sounding.

Todd Krause, the warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service, says don't call 911 when you hear the sirens. (Apparently it happens quite a bit, where people call 911 to find out why they're going off.)

When seeking shelter, it's best to get to a basement and away from windows. If that's not possible, click here to read what to do in other situations, including if you're driving, in a mobile home, or camping.

But remember, sirens are only intended to inform people of severe weather when they're outside – it's important to stay weather aware via a NOAA weather radio, a smartphone app, local media, or the regional National Weather Service on Twitter (Minnesota is covered by five office: Twin Cities, Duluth, Grand Forks, Sioux Falls and La Crosse.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Wolves-Grizzlies game off, KAT tests postive for COVID

The Timberwolves star was among several players that are dealing with COVID-related issues.

minnesota state fair

Planning for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair is underway

The fair suffered huge financial losses due to COVID-19, but organizers are moving forward with planning "different scenarios" for this summer.

Screen Shot 2021-01-15 at 2.16.44 PM

Heather Brown named as new WCCO 'This Morning' anchor

She will be joining Jason DeRusha on the CBS affiliate's Morning Show.

DPS John Harrington

DPS Commissioner: No credible threats to state Capitol, but ready if something arises

Local and state law enforcement officials have a plan in case a threat arises.

snow, slush (submitted photo, ok to use)

Here are snow totals from Thursday-Friday winter storm

It's a slushy mess in the metro, but snow did pile up in southern counties.

tim walz

Walz fury after report that government's COVID vaccine reserve is nonexistent

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Trump Administration has shipped out all the vaccines it has already, with none in reserve.

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on MLK Day 2021?

Local government offices will generally be closed on Monday.

BMTN 900x450 (8)

Company that falsely promised student loan forgiveness banned from MN

It's also been ordered to repay $11,499 in fees taken from Minnesotans.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for January 15

Hospitalizations are the lowest in Minnesota since October 25.


Osterholm: B117 COVID strain could become major issue in 6-8 weeks

The B117 variant is believed to be more easily transmitted.