Storm Ready: Is the Twin Cities area ready for a major tornado, Minnesota Public Radio News

Storm Ready: Is the Twin Cities area ready for a major tornado?

Meteorologists say it’s not a question of if, but of when a powerful tornado—much stronger than the storm that hit North Minneapolis last year—will rip through the Twin Cities. Would nursing homes, shopping malls, schools and stadiums be ready? With severe weather season upon us, MPR News and KARE eleven teamed up to reaction that question. We found slew of prep, but experts say even with planning, it’s unlikely to protect everyone. And while the experts say the delivery of warnings needs to be more effective, people often disregard them anyway. In addition, experts disagree on what you should do if you are caught out on the road in a tornado. Fresh research shows that staying in your car may be your best choice when a tornado strikes, a departure from previous advice.

MPR News and KARE eleven created a simulated storm to test the Twin Cities’ tornado preparedness. Along the path of our hypothetical storm, we checked in with several places to see how they’re planning for such an event.

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Timeline of a simulated storm

Scroll down in the right column or choose a specific time to see the storm advance over the metro, see the storm form, and learn how key locations are ready to protect the public.

7:00 a.m.

NOAA says moderate risk of storms

NOAA Storm Prediction Center issues "moderate risk" for severe storms centered on the Twin Cities. Wording highlights the chance for "Significant tornadoes" capable of major harm.

Two:00 p.m.

Tornado observe issued for metro area

NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center issues a tornado observe for most of southern Minnesota including the Twin Cities metro area until nine p.m.

Four:30 p.m.

Thunderstorms develop

Strong thunderstorms develop along the Minnesota Sea near Mankato, moving northeast at thirty mph.

Five:30 p.m.

Severe thunderstorm warnings are issued

Severe thunderstorm warnings are issued for the southwest metro, including Scott and Carver counties.

6:25 p.m.

Funnel cloud spotted, tornado warnings issued

A rotating wall cloud and funnel is spotted by law enforcement and the public over Shakopee, Minn., moving northeast at twenty mph. Tornado warnings are issued for Scott and Hennepin counties until 7:30 p.m. Sirens sounded in Scott and Hennepin counties.

Tornado emergency activity plans put into practice

Tornado warnings and emergency sirens are the triggers for the locations in the path of our hypothetical tornado to implement their emergency act plans.

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