Why did tornado sirens sound?

CREATED Jun 12, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - We've had a number of questions from people asking why tornado sirens sounded around southeast Wisconsin during the storm warnings this evening.

It was not a mistake.  Even though they are often referred to as tornado sirens, many communities sound the sirens when there is a warning for particularly high wind.

At one time, the warning that covered portions of the area warned about winds up to 80 miles an hour.  That's high enough that some communities sound the sirens.

The reason is because, even though they aren't tornadic, 80 mile an hour winds can do substantial damage.