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Tornado drills are Thursday, part of weather awareness week

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WILLMAR — As part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, there will be two tornado drills on Thursday across the state of Minnesota.

According to the Department of Public Safety, the National Weather Service, Wisconsin Emergency Management, the Minnesota Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and other state, county and local agencies have come together to host the week of activities raising awareness of severe weather.

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The simulated tornado watches and warnings will be issued to test the statewide warning and communications systems. All counties in Minnesota normally participate in the first drill at 1:45 p.m. unless actual severe weather is expected.

If there is actual severe weather on Thursday, the tests will be delayed until Friday. Any postponement or cancellation will be announced through the media.

The schedule includes that a simulated tornado watch will be called by the Weather Service at 1 p.m., with the simulated tornado warning issued at 1:45 p.m. At 2 p.m., a severe weather statement will be issued.

The evening test will include a simulated tornado warning at 6:55 p.m. with the severe weather statement issued at 7:10 p.m.

In addition to the tornado drills, cities and counties in the state may be participating by sounding their weather warning sirens. The warning sirens will be sounded across Kandiyohi County as part of both the afternoon and evening drills.

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