Looking for a way to help? Donate to the families of Officer John Hetland and Officer Kou Her

NWS apologizes for tornado warning issued, it was to be ONLY A TEST

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

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.

National Weather Service NWSIn 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

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.