Milwaukee tornado warning test accidentally goes public

CREATED Mar. 4, 2013 - UPDATED: Mar. 4, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - Thousands of people in Wisconsin got word of a Tornado Warning for much of Southeastern Wisconsin.

As it turns out, the notification of the fictional warning was a pure accident.

The National Weather Service tell Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Jon Byman that a test which was supposed to remain internal to the National Weather Service accidentally went to the public.

A staff member there told Byman he was conducting the test, had the option of "test" or "live," and mistakenly pushed live.

"It was not in a test mode.  It was in an operational mode," Rusty Kapella of the NWS told Jon.

"Though it was still a test, it went out to certain computer circuits that relayed it out to the world as if it was a real tornado warning."

Kapella apologized for the "inconvenience and confusion it may have caused."

However, there is a real weather warning right now - a winter storm warning.

TODAY'S TMJ4's Jesse Ritka explains how that weather service warning app notification works, and ways to opt out of it.