Tornado warning issued for University of Maryland College Park by independent company

Were the tornado alerts at UMD false alarms?

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The emergency warning system sounded at the University of Maryland College Park campus on Thursday night.

The campus sent out alerts about a tornado warning in the area at around 6:30 p.m., including a tweet that read, "#Terps: A tornado is forecast to hit the campus within the next 13 minutes. Seek shelter immediately. #UMD"

Several people expressed frustrations on social media sites, upset that there was an alert sent out when there was not a warning sent out by the National Weather Service.

ABC2 news has learned that the alert actually came from the company, Sky Guard, which is affiliated with Accuweather. The company issues weather forecasts, warnings and watches for its clients, including the University of Maryland.

A spokesman with Accuweather said they do not base their alerts on the National Weather Service's forecasts; instead they look at the raw data and make their own determinations. The spokesman said they were glad to get the warning out on Thursday and that people took cover when they needed to.

This situation happened just more than ten years after an F-3 tornado hit the campus, killing two sisters who were UMD students. The tornado continued on a 17.5 mile path and injured 55 others.

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