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AccuWeather users, located in the southeastern U.S., on mobile and desktop web reported seeing a hurricane warning at 12:37 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. However, there are no hurricane advisories currently in effect for the southeastern U.S.
No hurricane advisories are currently in effect for the Southeast U.S. coast and we are looking into what caused a false warning to occur.— AccuWeather (@accuweather) August 10, 2018
AccuWeather passed on a hurricane warning for the southeastern U.S. that was intended to be an internal government test, but the government’s computer coding did not so indicate it was a test. It was inadvertently distributed externally by AccuWeather’s computer system when AccuWeather received the improperly coded warning.
The internal test was redistributed not only by AccuWeather on its AccuWeather app and AccuWeather.com website, but by other weather providers that also disseminate government warnings.
"During an advertised and scheduled test of the hurricane warning system today, the National Weather Service issued a test product at 12:37 p.m. EDT that was identified throughout the text as a 'Hurricane Test.' This non-operational product is normally used internally by the National Hurricane Center to communicate with our weather forecast offices," Susan Buchanan, director of National Weather Service public affairs, told AccuWeather.
"The test revealed that our software was not properly configured, and it auto-populated some external media websites and apps but did not activate Wireless Emergency Alerts or the Emergency Alert System. We have identified and fixed the problem. We routinely test our watch/warning products to find and correct any coding errors. We apologize for any concern or inconvenience today’s test may have caused," Buchanan said.
There are no hurricane warnings in effect for the Atlantic. We are testing our watch/warning system as advertised, and the test auto-populated some media sites and private sector apps this afternoon.— NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) August 10, 2018
This is not the first time that computer coding issues have triggered warnings that were intended to be only internal government tests.
Once it was discovered that the incorrectly coded warning was false, AccuWeather sent messages via social channels that no hurricane warning is in effect for the southeastern part of the U.S.
"The Superior Accuracy and the reliability of our weather forecasts and severe weather warnings are of the utmost importance to AccuWeather and to our users to keep them safe and out of harm’s way and to make the best possible decisions when severe weather is concerned," said AccuWeather Vice President of Business Services and General Manager of AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions Jon Porter. "We are gratified there is no severe weather threat to the Southeast at this time, and we are continuing to work with the National Weather Service (NWS) to determine why this error occurred and to prevent such severe weather warnings in the future."
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