Quad Cities, IA/IL
Weather Forecast Office
Frequently Asked Questions about Outdoor Warning Sirens
In short, it means that something life-threatening is happening and you should go indoors and get more information. The specific guidelines (tornado, hail ,wind, etc.) for sounding sirens varies by jurisdiction, so check with your local community to find out the specifics if you are interested.
When the sirens are heard, go inside and tune to local media to get more information.
4. How can I get alerts when I’m at work or in my house?
5. When are outdoor warning sirens tested?
7. Why are the outdoor warning sirens sometimes sounded for hail and wind?
8. How often can I expect the outdoor warning sirens to sound for severe weather?
9. Will the outdoor warning sirens warn me of every dangerous storm?
10. Who activates the outdoor warning sirens?
Nationally, no. However, the local NWS office in the Quad Cities partnered with local emergency managers to develop the recommended siren guidelines that have since been adopted by many local communities.
When life-threatening weather is approaching, minutes or even seconds could make a difference. If people are unsure or confused about an alert, they may not respond quickly or appropriately. By adopting common outdoor warning system guidelines, confusion will be eliminated, response time will be reduced, and lives will be saved. Throughout the Quad City metro area, communities have adopted a common protocol for sounding their outdoor warning systems (sirens). Find out more on our Quad Cities Siren Guideline Page.
Check out these resources:
Hourly Forecast Graphs
Hourly Forecast Graph