While the weather this week is sure to lead to a long list of closures and cancellations around the region, we already have our first - from the National Weather Service.

Every April, as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, the National Weather Service coordinates to orchestrate a statewide tornado drill. This drill consists of a mock tornado watch and subsequent warning being issued to test warning systems and also remind the public to have a plan in the event of an actual warning.

This year's statewide tornado drill in both Minnesota and Wisconsin was scheduled for Thursday (April 11). With the impending winter storm striking on Thursday and Friday, the initial drill date of April 11, and backup drill date of April 12 have been cancelled for Minnesota, and postponed to Friday in Wisconsin. This is a normal practice, as the National Weather Service wants to avoid confusing the public with mock weather alerts when there is an actual weather event occurring.

While the Minnesota drill has been cancelled with no scheduled make-up date, the Wisconsin drill for Thursday the 11th has been moved to Friday.

This means that folks on the Minnesota side of the Twin Ports area will still hear the drill alerts on the radio and see them on TV on Friday; even though they are in Minnesota, where the drill has been cancelled. This is because border stations have to play alerts for both sides of the border within their coverage area.

While these alerts will be heard on radio and TV around the entire area, civil alert sirens will only sound on the Wisconsin side of the border, where the drill is actually occurring.

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