TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Kansas Turnpike Authority releases the following statement Wednesday after another series of erroneous tornado warnings were tweeted out by them late Tuesday night to nearly 12,000 followers. SEE STORY HERE Not long after the tweet was sent, KSNT Storm Track Chief Meteorologist Matt Miller went on air on KSNT News at 10 to quickly reassure those in the area targeted by the tweet, that there was no sign of any rotation on the radar.
KTA says they recognize the confusion surrounding conflicting information from multiple weather experts. After consideration, KTA says they will no longer relay AccuWeather tornado warnings via text alerts or social media. This information will still be provided on KTA’s road side digital message signs.
KSNT News is continuing to investigate this story and will have an update Wednesday evening on KSNT News at 5 & 6.
A meeting between the NWS and KTA officials was held in September to talk about what happened and how to avoid confusion in the future. At that time, the KTA released this statement to our sister station KSN in Wichita: “Our goal remains that we want to provide customers with accurate weather information as it pertains to their drive on the Kansas Turnpike so they can make the best travel decisions.” In Tuesday night’s Twitter tug-of-war, KTA tweeted back at Shawnee County Emergency Management that they have met with the National Weather Service in Topeka and AccuWeather. However, they followed that with “Our priority is on getting info to customers.”
A final plan of action from that meeting was not agreed upon. Still, the KTA told KSNT News at that time that it would verify any tornado warnings from AccuWeather with the National Weather Service before alerting customers. That could not have happened in this case as the National Weather Service did not issue a tornado warning for the area referenced in the Tuesday night KTA tweets.