As part of Severe Weather Safety Awareness week the state will begin testing of tornado sirens starting Wednesday.
Sirens will sound at 9:50 a.m. around the state. The test is meant to remind residents that spring brings the potential for more thunderstorms, tornadoes and floods.
Officials said they hope the test also encourages Ohioans to make their own safety plans for family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Planning ahead lowers the chance for injury or death in the event of severe weather.
According to the Ohio Emergency Management Agency tornadoes develop from severe thunderstorms. They’re usually preceded by heavy rain and/or large hail. A thunderstorm accompanied by hail indicates that the storm has large amounts of energy and may be severe. In general, the larger the hailstones, the more potential there is for damaging winds and/or tornadoes.
The EMA said, most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction with wind speeds of 250 mph or more. Damage paths have exceeded the width of one mile and 50 miles long.
Peak tornado season in Ohio is generally April through July, and they usually occur between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. Last year, though, an EF1 tornado occurred in Fairfield County at 6 in the morning – which proves that tornadoes can happen at any time, during any season.