"The United States has already seen a lot of tornado outbreaks already, a lot of flooding, but typically in Florida, we're going to start seeing an up-kick with some of the weather activity, usually, February through April," said Brian LaMarre of the National Weather Service, based in Ruskin.
During a strong El Niño, we tend to get a lot of severe thunderstorms, and out of severe thunderstorms can come deadly tornadoes, LaMarre said.
"People want to know that before they go to sleep.," LaMarre said. "Make s
The tornadoes often hit during the early morning hours, meteorologists said.
"Make sure they have their NOAA weather radio plugged in, make sure they have their shelter which could be a closet or a bathroom, is cleared out," LaMarre said.
At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, The National Weather Service sent out a test notification over the emergency alert radio network. Many businesses and individuals participated in a "mock alert" and proceed to their safe place in the building.
People were encouraged to take a selfie and post it to social media using the hashtag #PCtornadodrill. Carmen Collins won a Weather Alert Radio from the Pinellas County Emergency Management for her photo:
— Pinellas County EM (@PinellasEM) January 6, 2016
Check out more photos from today's drill: