Statewide tornado alert leads to confusion

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Tornado forms near Eads, CO

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A statewide alarm at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning in accordance with Severe Weather Preparedness Week has caused some alarm after warnings did not label the message a test.

The National Weather Service in Topeka issued an apology for the warning nine minutes after it was issued.

Many of you received a Wireless Emergency Alert that alerted your phone to a TORNADO WARNING! This was part of Severe Weather Awareness Week and simply a TEST! We apologize for any inconvenience and confusion.

NWS, Topeka

The National Weather Service then issued a statement saying there were no active tornado warnings in the midwest.

The NWS in Topeka also tweeted a statement letting residents know what appears on the phone comes directly from FEMA.

https://twitter.com/NWSTopeka/status/1366801018604904448

NWS Wichita tweeted out screenshots of the test procedure but noted that what appears on a cell phone was beyond their control.

A recent update from the National Weather Service notes that the problem was initially thought to be with the WEA (Wireless Emergency Alerts) but turned out to be due to new software that connects the NWS to the WEA program and primarily on the NWS end. The problem has now been fixed.

A proclamation issued by the governor declares March 1 through March 5 Severe Weather Preparedness Week.

According to the proclamation Kansas had 17 tornados documented in 2020.

The proclamation credits preparedness for not having any deaths due to tornados in 2020.

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