In Dakota County, the Outdoor Warning System (sirens) is owned and operated by each individual city. The current activation policy, which is followed countywide, is to sound the sirens when the National Weather Service issues a Tornado Warning or Severe Thunderstorm Warning for any area within Dakota County that is in the predicted path of the storm.
The reasons the sirens are activated for a Tornadoes are:
Tornados Warning issued by the National Weather Service.
Tornado or funnel cloud reported by local law enforcement or fire first responders.
The reasons the sirens are activated for a Severe Thunderstorm are:
Sustained wind speed estimates of at least 70 miles per hour
There will be no “all clear” signal from outdoor warning sirens.
Sirens will be activated for a three minute cycle; they will not sound for the entire duration of the warning. Sirens may be activated for an additional cycle if new warnings are declared for the area.
Other activations for local life-threatening events such as nuclear, hazmat, terrorism, etc. will be alerted via the outdoor warning system.