The beginning of Spring last week marked the start of severe weather season in the Midwest. The season typically brings strong storms that produce heavy rain, hail, destructive winds and tornadoes. As part of Severe Weather Awareness week, the National Weather Service (NWS), in coordination with the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma, will conduct a Statewide Tornado Drill in Iowa and other Midwestern states.
The drill begins at 10-a.m., when the SPC issues a Test Tornado Watch for Iowa and Nebraska. The National Weather Service offices in both states will issue the Test Watch tones on all NOAA Weather Radios and the Emergency Alert System (EAS), as a Test Message.
At 10:10-a.m., the NWS offices in Sioux Falls and Omaha will issue test tornado warnings for their Iowa counties, and at 10:15-a.m., the NWS offices in Des Moines and the Quad Cities will issue a Test Tornado Warning for their Iowa counties.
From 10:30 until about 10:35, all Iowa NWS offices will issue a Severe Weather Statement to terminate the test warnings. The Test Tornado Watch will officially expire at 11-a.m. During the test, residents, businesses, local governments and schools are urged to carry out their Tornado safety plans and procedures, as though a real weather event was about to occur and is occurring.