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The most typical reason for sounding the warning sirens is based on a tornado warning issued by the National Weather Service, sirens will also be sounded when a tornado or funnel cloud that may impact Bismarck or the surrounding area is spotted by local officials such as fire or law enforcement personnel or other trained weather spotters. It is possible for funnel clouds and tornadoes to form right over Bismarck – and NOT be detected by radar (because of the angle of the radar). Therefore, we must take reports from weather spotters seriously and sound the sirens.
Please be reminded that outdoor warning sirens are sounded to warn those who are outdoors to get inside, monitor weather radio and local media, and take appropriate action for safety. If you choose to ignore the sirens, you may be ignoring a sighting of a funnel cloud NOT detected by radar. And that funnel cloud could quickly become a tornado. Your safety always comes first.
For more information about tornado safety and outdoor warning sirens in the Bismarck area, visit Emergency Management or call 701-222-6727.