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Editorial: Time to be prepare for severe weather

The West Central Tribune's headline "Oh, say it ain't snow" was featured Wednesday on The Weather Channel. Today the weather across west central Minnesota is not any better, actually it's worse.

Welcome to the April snowstorm that rolled into west central Minnesota late yesterday after dumping heavy snow on parts of the Rockies and the northern Plains. A winter storm warning is continued today across Minnesota and into Wisconsin.

One small benefit of this storm is the new moisture, which could improve the severe drought levels across parts of southwest and west central Minnesota.

Despite this latest snowstorm, early April is a good time to raise awareness of an entire different type of weather as the weather may quickly change -- the severe weather of spring and summer is coming, which can include severe thunderstorms, severe winds, hail and tornadoes.

The state of Minnesota and the National Weather Service next week will conduct the annual Severe Weather Awareness Week. The effort is designed to teach and remind Minnesotans about weather hazards and provides resources to minimize the risks associated with severe weather.

According to the National Weather Service, Minnesota experiences an average of 40 tornadoes per year. In 2012, 37 twisters touched down across the state.

The primary event of Severe Weather Awareness Week will be the annual statewide tornado drills at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. April 18.

Take advantage of the Severe Weather Awareness Week to educated yourself, your family and others about severe weather safety in your home and business.