A map showing the city of Dallas’ 150+ outdoor warning sirens.

Local News

How To Tell If It’s Tornado Siren Test Day in Dallas

Is it the first Wednesday of the month? Is it noon? The city is probably testing its outdoor warning sirens.

Every month around the same time, it happens. The sirens. All of them at once, sounding off the in the middle of the day.

Let’s say you’re at work. You and your colleagues might look around, wonder what’s going on, speculate. Inevitably, someone who remembers the drill from last month, or the month before, or the month before that, will bring some clarity to the situation. It’s a test of the city’s outdoor warning sirens. It happens on the first Wednesday of every month, at noon, that person will say.

That person is right. And now that you’re reading this, you can be that person.

Dallas has more than 150 outdoor warning sirens placed throughout the city. They’re activated during weather emergencies, which in Dallas mostly means storms: tornadoes, hail, heavy-duty lightning and thunder and wind. Late one Friday night in 2017, the sirens started wailing after someone hacked the radio signal. (The city has since added some security upgrades to the system in an effort to prevent a repeat of that chaotic evening.)

But mostly, you’ll hear the sirens on the first Wednesday of the month, at noon. To avoid confusion, the city does not test its siren system if the weather is bad.

The forecast for Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, is hot and sunny. Strong chance of sirens.

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