New Warning Siren to be Tested Tomorrow
The second and strongest tornado, which hit Oriva Hills June 1, 2018. Photo submitted to the National Weather Service by Cody Brosa.
Every month, on the second Tuesday, the siren system in Campbell County is tested at 8:30 a.m. in Wright and 10:30 a.m. in Gillette. Tomorrow, however, the test will take on a new tone.
Instead of the familiar “whoop” tone, it will be a continuous tone, according to Emergency Management Coordinator David King.
The monthly test will begin with a voiced message, then the continuous tone will sound for 45 seconds, follow by a repeat of the voiced message. Moving forward, in the event of a tornado warning, the continuous tone will sound for three minutes, with a voiced message before and after.
“Public Warning Sirens are an outdoor warning device,” King said in a press release. “They are designed to warn people who are outside and within their service area. If you are inside and can easily hear them, that is a bonus. But, to reliably receive warnings when inside you should invest in NOAA Weather Radio.”
Just in time for thunderstorm season, the National Weather Service (NWS) is hosting two severe summer weather classes. The first class is scheduled for Tuesday, May 14 at 7 p.m. in the County Commissioners’ chambers. The second is set for Thursday, May 16 at 7 p.m. at Fire Station #9 in Wright.
Warning Coordination Meteorologist Susan Sanders will be teaching the free two-hour class.
In addition to severe summer weather, the classes will cover the lightning prediction system, the warning siren tone change, and the SkyWarn® startup.
Campbell County SkyWarn® is being initiated by the Campbell County Emergency Management Agency and is not a storm chaser program. King said the program is designed to “develop a cadre of trained SkyWarn® spotters who will be able to provide real-time severe weather information.”
Once trained, the spotters will provide the Campbell County Emergency Operations Center with specific storm information, which will then be shared with the Rapid City Weather Forecast Office of the NWS.
SkyWarn® spotters must attend one of the summer weather classes, as well as three online SkyWarn® training classes, and three online FEMA classes.
Information and applications will be available at both of this week’s weather classes and online.
Participants at the weather class will also learn about the Thorguard Lightning Prediction System that was installed last fall. The system analyzes the atmosphere and sends out an alert indicating that a lightning strike will occur within the next 10 minutes.