Some Indiana residents receive tornado warning in error

Update: My contact at the National Weather Service (NWS) provided the following information this morning: There are now a lot of federal agencies investigating the cause/origin of this event. NWS will release the details as soon as possible after all investigations are complete. There is just not enough concrete evidence to state with certainty what actually happened or how.

Tornado warnings went out over the Emergency Alert System Tuesday morning in parts of northwestern Indiana, according to various sources. The alerts were heard on radio and television stations and received by individuals on cell phones that support Wireless Emergency Alerts. The northern Indiana office of the NWS had nothing to do with the alerts, as it tweeted Tuesday:

We’ve verified that this morning’s false tornado warning was not sent out from our office. We’re continuing to investigate the matter.
— NWS Northern Indiana (@NWSIWX) March 4, 2014

An article by Lafayette’s “Journal and Courier” newspaper indicates that the Indianapolis and Chicago NWS offices didn’t send the alert either. The Associated Press also ran a version of the article, which appeared on the websites of many publications and broadcast outlets.

I have seen no coverage that indicates the geographic area covered by the erroneous warning, but it apparently did not reach the Fort Wayne area. I sent a note to a contact at the northern Indiana office to ask whether any more is yet know. When I learn more, I’ll post it here.