Severe Weather Awareness Week

Minnesota Severe Weather Awareness Week is April 17 to 21, 2023

Are you ready for severe weather?

According to the National Weather Service, Minnesota experiences an average of 40 tornadoes per year. In 2012, 37 twisters touched down. A record was set in 2010 with 104 tornadoes across the state. Understanding this threat and knowing what to do when a tornado is approaching can save lives.

Severe Weather Awareness Week is designed to refresh, remind and educate everyone about the seasonal threats from severe weather and how to avoid them. It’s also a great time to make and practice your emergency plan and build or refresh your emergency preparedness kit.

Outdoor severe weather siren

Statewide tornado drills

The most important events during Severe Weather Awareness Week are the two annual statewide tornado drills. These drills are scheduled for Thursday, April 20 at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. (counties may chose to opt out of the drills if actual severe weather is possible in the area).

Outdoor warning sirens and NOAA Weather Radios will sound in a simulated tornado warning. The first drill is intended for institutions and businesses. The evening drill is intended for second shift workers and families.


Take advantage of Severe Weather Awareness Week to review your own and your family’s emergency procedures and prepare for weather-related hazards.

Weather safety

Each day of the week focuses on a different weather safety topic. Check each page for specific information about these topics, including factsheets, checklists, data and other resources.

Monday — Alerts and Warnings

Tuesday — Severe Weather, Lightning and Hail

Wednesday — Floods

Thursday — Tornadoes (with statewide tornado drills)

Friday — Extreme Heat