Why Did The Sirens Go Off In Duluth On April 20th?
If you heard sirens on Thursday (April 20th) afternoon, you weren't alone. The sound of sirens broke through the strong winds and messy spring system, leaving many locals to wonder if some sort of natural disaster was upon us. After all, the weather is always strange in the Twin Ports.
I didn't hear it because it was so insanely windy by my house but my boyfriend did and wondered what was going on. A tornado isn't the first thing that comes to mind during a snowstorm but we did have thunder-snow once upon a time, so you just never know. I also saw others inquiring about it on social media so I did some research.
It turns out that yesterday was Tornado Drill Day across Minnesota. You may not have known this off the top of your head and if you did, you may have forgot considering we were in the middle of yet another snowstorm during our snowiest winter ever. The sirens had many people scratching their heads and inquiring.
The reason for Tornado Drill Day is to refresh our memory on sheltering in place in the event there really is a tornado. It is put together by a bunch of organizations, federal and local, with counties firing off their sirens at 1:45 p.m. or 6:45 p.m or both.
I think the whole tornado drill thing got lost in the shuffle, considering we were dealing with more pressing weather matters. With that said, spring and summer should actually arrive in the Northland soon so it's best to have your tornado plan ready.
While tornadoes aren't the most common thing in the Northland, they aren't entirely out of the question. We also have other weather phenomena, like waterspouts on Lake Superior along the North Shore. We have to be prepared for it all here in the Northland.
Another thing that might have confused people is the fact that in Minnesota, tornado sirens go off on the first Wednesday of every month. This is to test the outdoor warning sirens across the state and to remind Minnesotans to get prepared for severe weather!
If you were confused, just know you aren't alone. I wouldn't have had any idea why the sirens were going off and would have assumed it was set off by the severe winter weather on accident. Let's never forget this time a reporter on CNN heard the sirens and panicked. He was in town covering a story and I think anyone in his position would have done the same thing!