LA CROSSE, Wis. -

This week is Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin.

This time of year is, usually, the time when warmer air stars arriving, which increases the chances for thunderstorms and even tornadoes.

Peak tornado season in Wisconsin lasts from April to August, but tornadoes have been reported throughout the year.

In 2011 there were 38 tornadoes confirmed in the state, including the EF2 tornado that hit La Crosse in May of that year.

Severe Weather Awareness Week is about getting ready to respond and react to dangerous weather conditions.  One of the ways we can do that this week is by participating in the statewide tornado drill on Thursday, April 18th.

Todd Shea of the La Crosse Weather Service says he hopes "businesses, communities, and schools participate in the drill and test their procedures as if a real severe weather alert were coming in at that time.  It's the chance for people to think about wherever they're at the time, what they would do if a tornado were bearing down on the area."

At 1 p.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service will issue a mock tornado watch and at 1:45 the agency will issue a mock tornado warning.  Many radio and TV stations will particpate in the drill.  Also, NOAA weather radios will issue alert messaging.  Wisconsin's Emergency Management office says this is a great opportunity for schoolkids, employees, and families to practice safe severe weather procedures.

You can learn more about Severe Weather Awareness Week here.