STEARNS COUNTY - With May and June proving to be active weather months, Stearns County is issuing clarification on their procedures for sounding the outdoor sirens.

Some listeners calling into WJON on Sunday night mentioned they were confused about the timing of the weather sirens. Stearns County is issuing these reminders:

Sirens are used for outdoor warnings and are meant to alert people who are outside that there's severe weather, and to find shelter immediately. If you're indoors, you should get weather information on the radio, TV or weather radio.

When sirens sound, they will go for three minutes. When they stop, it doesn't mean the threat is over. You're urged to get weather conditions from local media to know when it's safe again.

If sirens sound a second time, it's not an all-clear. It means the National Weather Service has issued another warning.

A weather watch is issued when serve thunderstorms and tornadoes are possible. It doesn't mean they will happen. A warning is issued when severe weather or a tornado is imminent. Tornado warnings are issued when there's a radar-indicated tornado or a tornado has been spotted by public safety.

Sirens are sounded in Stearns County/St. Cloud under these situations:

  • A tornado warning is issued by the National Weather Service.
  • 70 mph wind gusts or golf ball size hail.
  • Funnel clouds are reported in by public safety official that's half way to the ground from the clouds.
  • A tornado or funnel cloud is seen within 10 miles of the city and is heading in its direction.

When weather warnings are issued, tune your radio to AM 1240 WJON for all the up-to-date weather information.