The snow piles are gone, the lawns need mowed and the trees are turning green. South Dakota is deep into another spring. Along with the pleasure of eating on the deck and opening windows, comes the threat of severe weather.

So each year a week is designated as Severe Weather Awareness Week. in 2017 it the week of April 24-28. It's a good time to start thinking about what to do when severe thunderstorms or tornadoes impact the state. Twisters may be rare, but the chance is always there. As for thunderstorms, we'll get them, lots of rain and probably hail and strong winds.

“We never want severe weather, but unfortunately it does happen,” said Tina Titze, director of the South Dakota Office of Emergency Management in a press release. “Severe weather occurs in South Dakota and everybody needs to be ready just in case.”

NWS Sioux Falls watch warning
NWS Sioux Falls watch warning

During the week state and local officials will be encouraging South Dakotans to make  preparations. A statewide tornado drill will be held Wednesday, April 26.

The test watch is scheduled for 10:00 AM, with the warning issued at 10:15 AM. Most communities will sound their severe weather sirens during the test warning on Wednesday. People are reminded that it is only a test unless otherwise announced.

“When severe weather hits, it is then too late to make preparations,” says Titze. “Now is the time when individuals and families should discuss what to do in times of severe weather.”

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