National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

University of Maryland used a private company to issue a tornado warning. Here's why that could be a problem.

University of Maryland used a private company to issue a tornado warning. Here's why that could be a problem.

The University of Maryland’s decision to issue a tornado warning based on a private weather company’s guidance is sparking questions and scrutiny about the accuracy of forecasts and the firm’s role in public institutions.

The tornado warning was issued Monday evening, an alert that triggered howling storm sirens on campus. Among those receiving an alert was Nicholas Schmerr, a professor of geology, who said he was surprised when he received an email about the weather.

“I’m from the Midwest,” Schmerr said. “I grew up in Tornado Alley. I’m sort of this weather...

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