Ancient depiction of the wave that we should imagine engulfing Humboldt between 11 a.m. and noon today, even though it will not.


Today is tsunami test day! You might remember what that used to mean in pre-COVID times — the National Weather Service, the local Office of Emergency Service and various partner agencies and businesses are going to make sure our tsunami warning infrastructure is up to snuff.

That means that sometime between 11 a.m. and noon today, radio listeners and TV watchers should hear those automatic beep-beeps break into programming with the message that THIS IS ONLY A TEST. If you live near the coast, you can expect to hear the tsunami sirens blare out.

Remember: It’s only a test!


From the National Weather Service:

WHEN: Wednesday, March 24, 2021, between 11:00 a.m. & 12:00 Noon

WHERE: Del Norte, Humboldt, and Mendocino counties.

HOW: Interruptions of TV* and Radio Stations, and activation of NOAA Weather Radios and Outdoor Sirens. (*Not all Cable and Satellite TV Stations may be able to participate)

WHY: To test the Tsunami Warning System to ensure it works properly during a real tsunami emergency.


If you are watching television between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 Noon on Wednesday morning, expect to see a crawler at the bottom of the screen indicating that a tsunami warning has been issued, and hear a voice indicating that it is only a test. If you don’t hear the TV audio, please remember that this is only a test. If you are listening to the radio, you will hear alerting tones followed by a voice announcing that the test is occurring. If you have a NOAA weather radio with the Public Alert feature, the radio will automatically turn on and you will hear the same message as broadcast on radios. In some areas, you may also hear the sounding of a tsunami siren, an airplane testing its public address system, or receive other communication tests in some local jurisdictions.

The Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system that comes across smart phones will NOT be activated for this test.

Please help us by providing any feedback regarding this test by emailing:

When you hear or see the warning test on March 24 between 11:00 a.m. & 12:00 Noon:

  • You do NOT need to take any action
  • Do NOT call 911 or local authorities
  • Do NOT evacuate your home or business


PREPARE: Find out more about preparing for earthquakes, tsunamis or any other disasters on the North Coast at the Redwood Coast Tsunami Working Group, America’s PrepareAthon!, the Great California Shakeout and The Tsunami Zone are also great places to get preparedness information for natural hazards.

The test is conducted by the National Weather Service, the California Office of Emergency Services, the Offices of Emergency Services for Del Norte, Humboldt, and Mendocino Counties, and Tribal Governments. For more information, contact: National Weather Service (707) 443-6484.