Sirens to sound for high-wind thunderstorms

By Beau Ebenezer

February 6, 2014 Updated Feb 6, 2014 at 8:20 PM CDT

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- Severe weather alarms in McLean County will soon include more than just tornadoes.

The Twin Cities are implementing changes into their severe weather warnings.

Their current policy calls for sirens to be activated only when a tornado warning has been issued by the National Weather Service.

Now, Bloomington-Normal will sound the alarm during thunderstorms with winds 70 miles per hour or higher.

Experts with the National Weather Service said this is a good idea to a certain extent.

"If it is sounded for every severe thunder storm warning then that is too much," said Warning Coordination Meteorologist, Chris Miller. "Sounding the sirens, but being very discriminate on sounding them for the highest winds, would be a good way too handle it."

No siren was activated in the Twin Cities on November 17th because a tornado was not reported.

City officials hope the revised policy will keep them better prepared for severe weather in the future.

Normal and Bloomington will enact the new policy next storm season.

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