Tornado sirens will sound twice today


Tornado sirens will sound off across Indiana today as the state runs two tornado drills as part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week.

The goal is educating people about what to look for should severe weather strike. Reacting when you hear the tornado sirens go off is key. Emergency officials want reaction to be instinctive, not a frenzy of confusion, when you hear the siren sound.

You'll have two chances to practice when the sirens sound today. The first drill will happen between 10 and 10:30 a.m. when children are in school. This will give teachers and administrators a chance to walk students through individual drills of where to go and how to protect themselves.

Another drill will take place this evening between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m. That drill should give families a chance to walk through an emergency plan at home when a tornado warning sounds.

Are you ready? See a checklist for Severe Weather Preparedness Week.

Now helping the National Weather Service before the storms ever hit is a new dual-polarization radar system.

"We can detect where areas of heavier precipitation (and) hail producers," said Dave Tusek of the National Weather Service in Indianapolis. "Whereas, before, it was a little bit of guesswork."

This is relatively new technology to Indiana that's proving to be a life saving measure with better accuracy in predicting the characteristics of a storm. Previous radar sliced a storm horizontally to collect data. They're now able to slice it vertically, thereby getting more information about the storm.