Following an Erroneous Tsunami Warning the Weather Enterprise Needs To Do Better

February 6, 2018

On Tuesday morning a false tsunami warning was sent out by a number of private sector meteorological organizations as well as a few news outlets. Instead of playing the blame game, the weather enterprise needs to work together to find a solution.

One of the first media reports of the erroneous message was a Capital Weather Gang article. This writeup throws AccuWeather under the bus as the sole outlet and reason that this false message was sent out. The article also makes it clear that the National Weather Service issued as tsunami warning test which was obvious in the message text.

 

The National Weather Service echoed this sentiment saying, "The test message was not disseminated to the public via any communication channels operated by the National Weather Service. We are currently looking into why the test message was distributed by at least one private sector company". 

 

We now know that AccuWeather was not the only company to send this warning out. The Weather Channel, along with a few others, also had warnings on their app and website. There were additional reports that indicated the warning made onto television broadcasts as a crawl on the bottom. 

Obviously it's not just AccuWeather that had this issue but a number of companies in the weather enterprise. So is the National Weather Service to blame? AccuWeather thinks so. In a statement, the company said, "This morning AccuWeather passed on a National Weather Service Tsunami Warning that was intended by the NWS to be a test but was miscoded by the NWS as a real warning".

 

Dear Weather Enterprise, instead of playing the blame game, WORK TOGETHER. 

 

Maybe a more robust code should be written to scan for the word, "TEST". Maybe we shouldn't have these tests so often. Maybe we shouldn't blame one party before having the full story. There are a lot of maybes and a lot of questions to be pondered in the effort towards a better enterprise. That's where the focus should be.

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