UNDATED -- Despite the snow and continued cold weather, thunderstorm and tornado season will be here before you know it. This week is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Minnesota.

Stearns County Emergency Management Director Erin Hausauer says now is the time to make sure you're set-up to receive information on watches and warnings when they're issued.

Having a weather radio that you can program to your specific location.  You may be interested in downloading a weather app.  Stearns County Emergency Management does have a program as well that we call Smart Weather, and you're able to sign up for those alerts and advisories as well.

On Thursday there are two annual statewide tornado drills. The first one is at 1:45 p.m. and the second one is at 6:45 p.m. Hausauer says you need to be prepared for tornado season.

Stearns County is ranked fourth in the state of Minnesota for tornadic activity since 1965.  So it absolutely happens here.  The last couple of years have been pretty rough for us.

Historically June is the month with the most tornadoes in Minnesota averaging 10, in July we average seven, May's average is four, and in August it's three.

The summer of 2010 was our worst year for tornadoes with a total of 113 in Minnesota, including 71 in June of that year.

Minnesota averages 36 tornadoes every year.

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