Spring officially began across the region with the passing of the vernal equinox early Tuesday — and Virginia will mark the occasion by holding a statewide tornado drill at 9:45 a.m.


About a dozen homes were damaged when suspected tornadoes rolled through three counties in Virginia on Oct. 14, 2011. (Courtesy of CBS)

More than a million individuals, schools, businesses and other groups have registered to participate in the drill, according to the state emergency management agency. Schools are typically the biggest participants in the statewide drill, but some districts will not be participating today because of state-mandated Standards of Learning standardized testing.

The state had 51 tornadoes last year — the second-highest number ever recorded — killing 10 people and injuring more than 100.