WxNotify has one main purpose, to notify its users of short-term severe weather, mainly severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. Sure, you can get weather information from the TV, radio, or otherwise looking out the window. But what are you going to do when severe weather threatens while you're sleeping or when you aren't able to watch TV, listen to the radio, or constantly look outside? Some people have NOAA Weather Radios, which are great when severe weather happens while you are home. However, most people probably don't usually drag their weather radios around with them wherever they go, even if they're portable. Nearly everybody has a cell phone these days, and most people have them nearby both day and night, so using the cell phone for notification seems like a good fit.
WxNotify pulls information straight from the National Weather Service, (specifically the NOAA Weather Wire Service) so subscribers of the service usually get warnings seconds after the NWS issues them. This is crucial for possible life-threatening situations. In fact, many current subscribers say they frequently get alerted by WxNotify before their local sirens are even sounded.
A new WxNotify web site launched in the spring of 2017 that provides the following features:
- Fully reponsive site that works and looks great on any device.
- All new branding w/ social media pages for Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
- Custom user admin portal for managing personalized alerts and account information.
Once users register for an account and sign in, they can add their cell phone number, customize locations, when how they're notified, and types of weather alerts they would like to be notified for. The service can notify by SMS text message and e-mail, but most people find text messages sent to their cell phones the most useful. The service *only* send texts for the specified weather alerts and a single "test" text message every month. (unless they opt-out of monthly tests) Users can also choose to be notified by e-mail, but unless you constantly check your e-mail, this method may not allow enough of a warning for severe weather headed your way.
As mentioned above, this service is free and probably always will be. Many people ask, why I am I offering this service at no cost to its users? Several reasons:
- Alerting people for severe weather is something I feel I was meant to do. Ever since I can remember, I have always been fascinated with severe weather and my excitement & concern would be evident by anybody I was around.
- It is very important to me to be "in the know" when it comes to severe weather. I strive to NEVER be caught off-guard when it comes to severe weather. Allowing others to benefit from my near-constant monitoring of the weather, I use this central aspect as the basis of my service.
- This service has allowed me to learn a great deal about two of my hobbies; computer programming and meteorology.
- For right now, I don't mind paying the $20/month for hosting and occassionally adding credits to my Twilio account. So until it becomes cost-prohibitive to accommodate my users, the service will remain free. It's never been about making money for me. (though having my aforementioned operational costs covered would be nice!)