Throughout Minnesota on Thursday, April 14, the National Weather Service will be setting off simulated tornado watches and warnings to test statewide warning systems at 1:45PM and 6:55PM. With severe weather season here, this annual test allows the National Weather Service to be prepared, makes the public aware of warning methods and increases storm awareness. This also serves as an ideal opportunity for you and your family or coworkers to practice or implement a severe weather plan of action.

Having a plan is important. You can find information on how to prepare a plan at the federal government’s Ready.gov website.

As we head into severe weather season, people commonly confuse watches and warnings. In case you don’t remember, a tornado watch is when the weather conditions could produce a tornado, and a tornado warning is when a tornado has been seen by a trained weather spotter, or radar is indicating tornadic activity.