Statewide Test Of Tornado Warning EAS Code on April 16

This message about the April Tornado Warning Statewide Test comes to us from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.

In cooperation with Wisconsin Emergency Management, the National Weather Service will conduct a test of the real Tornado Warning EAS Code on April 16, 2015 as part of Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week.  The State of Wisconsin has received a waiver from the FCC to use the actual EAS Tornado Warning Code for this statewide test.  If there is a threat of severe weather, the test will be postponed until April 17, 2015.  If there is severe weather on April 17, the test will be cancelled.

The audio of this test will repeat several times in the script “This is a Test”, but because the real EAS Tornado Warning Code is being sent, the crawl on TV stations and cable systems will read “A Tornado Warning has been issued for…”.  Thus we ask that TV broadcasters and cable operators making the decision to air the test should display a “This is a Test” graphic behind the crawl.

The test will be originated on NOAA Weather Radio (NWR), and will be relayed via the State Relay (SR) and Local Primary (LP) stations.  The EAS “TOR” Code will be sent independently by all five NWS offices serving Wisconsin, following the schedule below.  Broadcasters and cable operators that monitor SR or LP stations from multiple EAS Operational Areas or directly monitor NWR from another EAS Operational Area may receive more than one Tornado Warning alert; since these alerts are sent independently from each NWS office they will not be recognized by EAS units as duplicates if alerts are received from two different EAS Operational Areas.  It is also possible that some NWR stations may broadcast more than one TOR Code as some NWR stations serve counties from more than one NWS office.

This will be the schedule for April 16, 2015 (or if there is severe weather on April 16, test will be conducted on April 17, 2015):

1:00PM – Tornado Watch “TOA” EAS Code issued
1:45PM – Tornado Warning “TOR” EAS Code issued by all NWS offices serving Wisconsin counties*

Originator Code: WXR
EAS Code: TOR
EAS Duration: 15 minutes

*This test is being coordinated with the State of Minnesota.  Stations in the border area will receive both Wisconsin and Minnesota counties in the same coordinated TOR Tornado Warning EAS message at 1:45PM.  Michigan will also do its statewide Tornado Drill on April 16th at 2:45 p.m. EST (1:45 p.m. Central).