Early Tuesday morning, National Weather Service stations along the eastern United States issued a series of text notifications alerting recipients of a tsunami warning. From New York and Boston to the Carolinas and Florida, people who received the alerts took to Twitter to inquire about what exactly was happening. So… what happened? And why was the east coast getting blasted with a general tsunami warning? According to subsequent messages from the NWS, AccuWeather, and meteorologists at several news outlets, nothing had happened. There was no impending tsunami for the eastern U.S. or elsewhere.
Turns out the text alerts that were sent out were actually part of a test that conveniently forgot to mention it was a test. Oops.
The NWS’s New York station later said the test alert did have the word “test” in it, but many people nonetheless apparently received notifications without this clarification. “We are currently trying to find out how a message went out as a warning,” they added. “We will update you when we find out more.”