MILWAUKEE (WITI) — The National Weather Service is apologizing for the confusion and inconvenience created after a tornado warning was issued on Monday morning, March 4th. People throughout southeast Wisconsin received the alert through email and text alerts on their phones. It was supposed to be ONLY A TEST.
The NWS say the alert was conducted in preparation for the April 18th EAS Tornado Warning drill. The warning did not go to the NOAA Weather Radio — but it did go out as a live tornado warning through most cell phone services.
In a statement, the NWS said, “The intent was to issue a test tornado warning. The wording in the warning and in the public information statement issued…indicated that it was a test tornado warning. Unfortunately, we issued this warning with a vtec code of O for operational instead of T for text.”
“Our whole system is designed to avoid us doing that very thing so we were trying to find a work around and test it before the drill,” said Jeff Crazen of the National Weather Service in Sullivan.
The moment the message was sent, they knew a mistake had been made. A new, properly-coded test warning was issued along with the apology.
“We made a mistake and we’ll try to make sure it never happens again,” said Crazen.
FOX6 News has not received any reports of injuries as a result of the failed test. NWS says one possible silver lining of the mistake — they know the relatively recently-installed text message alerts work.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the NWS TEST