Just a test: State conducts severe weather warning drill Tuesday; mobile alerts send incorrectly

AJ Dome, The Manhattan Mercury, Kan.
·1 min read

Mar. 2—It was just a test.

People who received an alert on their phone or a text message from Kansas State University touting tornado warnings can relax, as officials conducted a test of the state's severe weather warning systems. However, the messages sent to phones said nothing about the warnings being a test.

The National Weather Service, along with Kansas emergency management agencies, sounded tornado sirens across the state at 10 a.m. Tuesday. In Manhattan, the sirens sounded and residents who are signed up for text message alerts from K-State received notifications of tornado warnings for the campuses in Manhattan, Salina, and Olathe.

There are currently no active weather warnings or watches in Kansas. There is also no severe weather in the forecast for the next several days in the Manhattan area.

Kansas National Weather Service offices later on Twitter said the alerts were supposed to include language about being a test.

"The National Weather Service issued a properly coded TEST tornado warning," the NWS Kansas City office tweeted. "Somewhere in the Wireless Emergency Alert System chain, the message was misinterpreted as an actual warning and sent it out that way. We are looking into the cause."

The National Weather Service conducts these tornado drills each year as part of their efforts to bring severe weather awareness to the forefront as spring arrives.