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Nashville OEM will Retest Select Tornado Sirens

Joseph Pleasant; Public Information Officer

Retest will address system errors discovered during monthly growl test.

The Nashville Office of Emergency Management will do a second growl test on select tornado sirens in the Tornado Warning System to address errors discovered during a scheduled growl test on Monday, April 20, 2020.

OEM tests the tornado warning siren system twice a month if the weather permits. There is a full test of the system on the first Saturday of every month.

There is a second shorter growl test conducted on the third Monday of each month. During this test the sirens will sound for 20 seconds or less.

The following sites will sound at 12 noon, Monday, April 20, 2020. These are the only sites where the growl test will happen.

  • 03 Antioch Community Center, 5023 Blue Hole Road – Last Activation Fail
  • 18 Ezell Road Park, 5135 Harding Place – Last Activation Fail and Audio Current Fail
  • 61 Two Rivers Park, 2320 Two Rivers Park – Last Activation Fail
  • 88 Apollo Middle School, 630 Richards Road – Last Activation Fail

Background on Upgrading Tornado Warning System

The Nashville office of Emergency Management is currently upgrading the all-call tornado warning system to a polygonal warning system.

During the upgrade process OEM will continue to set off ALL Siren Sites throughout the county for tornado warnings. After all existing sites are updated twenty (20) new sirens will be added to the system to expand the coverage footprint into more rural areas of Davidson County, bringing the total to 113 sirens that will then go to the polygonal alert. This project is estimated to be totally completed in early 2020.

Please note weather will also play a role in the completion of the upgrades as it may be delayed a few days depending on storms, snow, ice, etc.

The upgraded Polygonal Alerting Tornado Siren System is estimated to cost $1.9 Million and was funded by Metro Government in the current 4% budget.

Metro first installed Weather Warning sirens in 2003. At that time, weather warnings issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) were for an entire county. Weather forecasting technology has improved significantly since 2003.

Weather warnings are now issued to potentially impacted areas based on the observed track and speed of the storms, without regard to political or geographic boundaries.

These polygonal alerts are defined by boxes drawn on a map and should be familiar to everyone as the odd shapes shown on the radar screen during television weather warning broadcasts.

This upgrade when complete, will make the siren system capable of Polygonal Alerting, and will activate only the sirens located inside the warned area, instead of all sirens county wide.

The alerts will be immediate, and sirens will activate mere seconds after a warning has been issued by the NWS.