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Severe Weather Warning System Receives Upgrade

Post Date:08/08/2019 11:00 AM

The City of Joliet’s severe weather warning system will experience an upgrade beginning Friday, August 9, 2019.  This new software will monitor Tornado Warnings issued by the National Weather Service and only sound severe weather sirens where a threat has been indicated.


With the current system, all 23 of Joliet’s severe weather sirens are activated when the National Weather Service issues a Tornado Warning polygon that touches any portion of the City of Joliet. This is problematic for a city Joliet’s size and causes confusion among our residents who may disregard future severe weather warnings as irrelevant. 


The new software will monitor the National Weather Service's Tornado Warning polygons and only severe weather sirens located within the issued Tornado Warning polygon will be activated.  As storms move through the city and additional Tornado Warning polygons are issued, additional warning sirens will be sounded. 


The new software is meant to automate the activation of the weather sirens for Tornado Warnings issued by the National Weather Service.  As in the past, when severe weather is forecast for the Joliet area, our Dispatch Center will begin monitoring weather conditions using various tools available to them, in addition to reports from responders in the field.  Dispatch will still have the ability to manually activate the severe weather sirens if they believe conditions warrant based on the information they have received.  One of the data sets that they will continue to monitor is wind speed/and reports of wind damage.


Please remember that outdoor warning sirens are meant to alert those individuals working and playing outside that severe weather is approaching, and that they should move to an interior building that will provide them protection while monitoring local weather conditions on their smart phone, computer, television or radio.


For more information about severe weather and how to prepare, please visit or contact Fire Chief Joe Formhals at