National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Every year in the United States, hundreds of people are killed and thousands injured because of the weather. Dangerous weather can take many forms, ranging from violent tornadoes to crippling winter storms. With the notable exception of hurricanes, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska can experience any of these dangerous phenomena.

While there is nothing we can do to stop dangerous weather from affecting us, there are things we can do to stay safe when the weather turns nasty. Weather safety and survival - no matter what the hazard - depends on the following key items:

          1. KNOW THE HAZARDS - Be aware of the hazards that you might face during a weather event.

          2. KNOW WHEN TO EXPECT DANGEROUS WEATHER - Monitor forecasts and information from your local
              National Weather Service Forecast Office.

          3. PAY ATTENTION - Be aware of all watches, warnings, and advisories affecting you.

          4. HAVE A PLAN TO STAY SAFE - Think about it before it happens and be ready to act to survive.

Click on a hazard below to see how YOU can be prepared and ready to react to dangerous weather

Tornadoes Thunderstorms Lightning Floods Heat
Winter Weather Droughts Wind Fog

The following dates in 2021 have been designated for weather awareness across South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska:

  • South Dakota
    • ​Severe Weather Awareness Week: April 19-23, 2021
    • Statewide Tornado Drill: Wednesday, April 21, 2021 @ 10:15 AM
    • Winter Weather Preparedness Day: October 27, 2021
  • Minnesota
    • ​Severe Weather Awareness Week: April 12-16, 2021
    • Statewide Tornado Drill: Thursday, April 15, 2021 @ 1:45 PM and 6:45 PM
    • Winter Hazard Awareness Week: November 15-19, 2021
  • Iowa
    • ​Severe Weather Awareness Week: March 22-26, 2021
    • Statewide Tornado Drill: March 24, 2021 @ 11:00 AM
    • Heat Awareness Day: June 3, 2021
    • Winter Awareness Day: November 4, 2021
  • Nebraska
    • ​Severe Weather Awareness Week: March 22-26, 2021
    • Statewide Tornado Drill: March 24, 2021 @ 11:00 AM
    • NOAA Weather Radio Awareness Day: TBD 
    • Heat Awareness Day: June 3, 2021
    • Winter Weather Awareness Day: November 4, 2021
  • Nationwide 
    • Lightning Awareness Week: June 20-26, 2021
Interested in visiting the NWS in Sioux Falls or having a staff member give an outreach presentation?
Please contact Warning Coordination Meteorologist, Peter Rogers at or call 605-330-4247.
Want to become a severe weather spotter? Visit the NWS Sioux Falls Severe Weather Awareness Training Page to view a calendar of upcoming classes. 
Special Note for 2021: All in person Severe Weather Awareness/Spotter Training classes have been cancelled due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual classes will be listed on the training page once scheduled. 

Additional Information: