It's Severe Weather Awareness Week in Minnesota, and today there will be a pair of statewide tornado drills to test our systems and readiness.

The National Weather Service and the Minnesota Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, along with other state, county and local agencies will conduct tornado drills to allow families and organizations to work on their safety plans.

The tests will take place twice today.

1:45 PM:  Most counties will activate outdoor warning siren systems and other notification systems. The NWS and others will also post on social media but will not activate NOAA Weather Radio. Many media outlets will air the test-warning.

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6:45 PM:  Many counties will again activate outdoor warning siren systems and other notification systems. The NWS and others will post on social media but will not activate NOAA Weather Radio. Most media-outlets will again air this second test-warning.

Counties and cities own the sirens, and therefore decide how and when to activate them. The National Weather Service does not sound them. Sirens normally sound for about three minutes, and then go silent. There is no such thing as an "all-clear" for storms.

Pete Hanson is on 98.1 Minnesota's New Country weekday mornings from 5:30 to 10:00.