SPRINGFIELD, Tenn. (WKRN) — In Springfield on Thursday, the weather sirens sounded, prompting many people to think there was a tornado warning.

“To address yesterday, that is a new sound to Springfield, and that is a thunderstorm warning,” explained Kara Zahn, City of Springfield Public Affairs Coordinator.

The city has installed a brand new system to activate its weather sirens when there are severe weather alerts that include Springfield. And they won’t only go off for tornado warnings—they will sound for other alerts, as well.

What triggers an alert siren in Springfield, TN

“The three different sirens that we will have here in Springfield, number one will be the tornado warning, and that be a wailing sound with a message,” Zahn said.

“The second one that we have is a thunderstorm warning, and this is new to our system. So, we’ve not had this before. The thunderstorm warning is going to be an alert tone currently with no message.”

“And finally we have the lightning sirens. And that is going to be strictly air horn sounds.”

And lightning detection is a new part of their system, as well.

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“Currently, if there is lightning in the city of Springfield, between our fire department, our electric department, and 911 dispatch, they receive a notification,” Zahn said. “And that is something we manually put out.”

With the new system, the sirens will also be using the “polygon”, as we show you on tv, meaning that only sirens that are actually in the warning will sound.

They want to remind residents of Springfield that the sirens are an outdoor warning system, and if you hear sirens going off in the city of Springfield, they want you to go inside and check your local weather sources.

Don’t forget to take the power and reliability of the WKRN Weather Authority with you at all times by downloading the News 2 Storm Tracker app.