Tornado

You may hear tornado sirens this week, even when the sky is clear

Residents wanting to learn more about different types of severe weather can attend free instructional presentations this spring.
Residents wanting to learn more about different types of severe weather can attend free instructional presentations this spring. The Wichita Eagle

Expect to hear tornado sirens throughout the week across Sedgwick County.

All 150 sirens in Sedgwick County will be tested through Friday as part of a software upgrade made “for enhanced security,” according to an e-mailed statement from DeAnn Konkel of Sedgwick County Emergency Management.

Normally, sirens are tested every Monday at noon, but they will be sounded throughout this week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to ensure they are properly functioning after the software upgrade.

In April, a researcher with a San Francisco-based security firm found that the Sedgwick County siren system was vulnerable to hacking. Balint Seeber, director of vulnerability research at Bastille Networks, said anyone with a simple handheld radio and a laptop could use radio signals to trigger the tornado sirens for malicious purposes.

At the time, the Sedgwick County communication department said it was aware of the security concerns and was taking actions “to initiate safeguards.”

The tornado sirens may be tested during inclement weather this week. Sedgwick County urges people to tune into local media and weather radio to make sure there is no severe weather threat in their area if they hear the sirens sounding.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. has an average of 1,253 tornados a year. Here are some tornado jargon you you might not know.

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