Frequently Asked Questions

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The WxNotify website serves as a personalized severe weather notification service allowing subscribers to send alerts for all kinds of different types of weather. Besides watches, warnings, and advisories, subscribers can also choose to be notified for non-severe weather such as forecasts, outlooks, storm reports, and much more! Subscribers can be notified for any type of weather affecting their location using the following notification options:

* Discord
* E-Mail
* Pushover
* Slack
* SMS Text Message
* Telegram

Please visit the WxNotify knowledge base for more details on alerting options.
"Wx" is often used throughout the weather community as an abbreviation for weather. Since the service notifies for weather, it seemed like a natural fit.
Yes it is truly free. However, you may be charged by your cell phone service provider for receiving SMS text messages. Also, use of the Pushover app requires a one time cost of $5. (Pushover is not affiliated with WxNotify in any way) I explain why the service is free on my About page.

I have no immediate plans to start charging for this service, however donations are always welcome!

This is dependent on your personal preference and the locations your choose, since some types of products are not applicable for all locations. For example, Hurricane Warnings will likely never be issued for Midwestern states.

By default, WxNotify automatically creates an alert for you that sends notifications for Tornado Warnings affecting your location at any time of the day, since tornadoes can happen anywhere and any time in the United States. You may also want to choose Blizzard, Ice Storm, and Winter Storm Warnings if you live in areas that experience frequent severe winter weather. If you live in coastal locations, you also may wish to be alerted for Hurricane and Tropical Storm Warnings.

WxNotify has over 100 different types of products to choose from, what you choose to be alerted for is largely a personal preference.
Users may create up to ten (10) alerts and up to ten (10) contacts, locations, schedules, and product lists each. Setting up multiple alerts for differing locations will be important as severe weather may be occuring in nearby counties, or in areas where you may have family, friends, or clients. Weather professionals, storm spotters, enthusiests, and hobbyists may also want to know of severe weather in surrounding locations.
The purpose of the confirmation code is to verify that the owner of the contact would like to receive WxNotify alerts. There are several reasons why you might not receive the confirmation code:

* The message may take a few minutes to reach the contact destination due to network congestion.
* Please double-check that the contact's information was entered correctly.
* The contact' service may be experiencing problems. Please check it's service status page for possible outages.
All passwords are stored encrypted within WxNotify, therefore I cannot tell you what your password is currently set to. However, you can reset your password by going here. If you cannot remember which e-mail address you provided when signing up, contact me and I will find out for you.
While WxNotify will do its best to alert you during severe weather, you should never rely on WxNotify as your sole method of being warned. While the WxNotify system is protected against environmental factors, (e.g. power failures, flooding, high temperatures, network outages, etc.) in its data center, all of the notification methods offered by WxNotify are prone to network outages and other service interruptions from the National Weather Service, which could prevent potentially lifesaving alerts from being received. WxNotify should only be used to suppliment a more fail-safe method of being warned, such as Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), or a NOAA Weather Radio with battery backup.
WxNotify depends heavily on the NOAA Weather Wire Service (NWWS) to receive alerts from the National Weather Service. Without it, WxNotify could not exist. Using open-source software, WxNotify maintains a constant, 24x7x365 connection to NWWS, so any alerts that are issued by the National Weather Service are instantly downloaded, processed, and distributed within seconds of their retrieval.

After a "product" (e.g. warning, watch, statement, forecast, etc.) is received by WxNotify from NWWS, custom software determines various information about it; such as its type, what locations are affected, when it expires, etc. From this information, WxNotify then determines who the product should be sent to.

Before October 1st, 2007, all "short-fuse" weather warnings (tornado, severe thunderstorm, and flash flood) were issued by the National Weather Service for entire counties at a time. After many years of people being warned for severe weather in another parts of the county that didn't affect them, the NWS came up with a more efficient method for issuing warnings. Now, when a short-fuse warning is issued, it is only for that part of the storm and where it's expected to go before it is no longer considered to be severe. The area is usually much smaller than the entire county (or counties). You may have seen a representation of this on TV or the Internet, with the warned areas resembling a cone or some other shape. This is called the "warning polygon", which is basically just a set of connected latitude and longitude points.

WxNotify takes advantage of this "storm-based" warning method and therefore will only send a notification alert for short-fuse warnings if your specific location (based on a latitude/longitude pair) lies within the warning polygon.

Either way, you will only be alerted for short-fuse warnings that affect only you! Other non-life threatening watches, warnings, & advisories, and other products, such as Hazardous Weather Outlooks will use your county when determining your location.

Go here to read more information about storm-based warnings.
It's possible that you just haven't had any matching products issued for your location, or no products have been issued that match your current alert settings. Unless opted out, all WxNotify subscribers should receive a monthly test e-mail. Monthly tests are sent every first Tuesday of the month at 10:00am Central time. To change your monthly test settings, click on the "Settings" menu under the user menu in the upper right-hand corner after you sign in.

If you have verified that you can indeed receive alerts and you believe that you should have been notified for severe weather in your area but you were not, please let me know as soon as possible, and I will investigate. The likely explanation is that your specific location was not within a warning issued by the National Weather Service.

Users can check the Server Status page to verify that all services are online. If either the "NWWS Data Stream" or "Notification Service" are offline, this usually indicates a problem with WxNotify and likely the cause of you not receiving alerts. 24x7x365 monitoring is in place to let the administrator know whenever any services go offline, so rest assured all alerting will be restored as soon as possible.
If you look at the most recent alert, you'll often see something like "COR" or "CCR" at the end of the first line, which indicates that the National Weather Service discovered an error in the previous alert, so they sent another with the corrected text. Unfortunately, WxNotify is unable to detect this and only send the corrected alert because there is no way to tell that the original text had a problem.
Sign in and click your name in the upper-right corner, then select "Profile" from the drop-down menu. At the bottom of the page, click on "Delete My Account" afer typing in your current password.

After deleteing your account, you will no longer receive alerts from WxNotify.
When the Storm Prediction Center issues a Public Severe Weather Outlook, it is typically when they are forecasting a severe weather outbreak over an area of the United States that is larger than a few counties. The location information contained within the product specifies entire states at a time. Unlike most other types of alerts, which usually target specific areas of a state, WxNotify is unable to determine who should get the alert and who shouldn't when entire states are specified.
The best way to know if severe weather is going to effect your area is to stay informed. Your local forecast will likely be the first indication that severe weather is possible. In addition, the National Weather Service also issues Hazardous Weather Outlooks that outline any severe weather chances for your area over the next 7 days. Be sure to add Hazardous Weather Outlooks (HWO) to one of your product lists in order to be kept up to date for potential severe weather in the near future. You can now also enable Storm Prediction Center Convective Outlook alerts. Please see the last question below for instructions on how to enable these alerts.
A "watch" means conditions are favorable for severe weather, and people should be on the lookout for changing weather conditions, while a "warning" means severe weather is occuring or about to occur and this is the time you should be implementing your safety precautions.
Yes! Just go to the Import / Export menu after you sign in. Click the Export button to download a file named wxnotify_settings.txt to your computer. Later on if you make some changes and want to restore your previous settings, just click the Import button from the same Import / Export menu, choose your wxnotify_settings.txt file, and then click "Upload". Once imported, you will be taken back to the main alert dashboard.
This feature is currently not available, however it is on the roadmap for future service improvements. Please check back later.
While it is true that all cell phone users are now receiving Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) for short-fuse warnings, such as Tornado and Flash Flood Warnings, some users typically want more granularity of the types of alerts they are alerted for. WxNotify is the perfect fit for those who want more control over all of their weather-related alerts.
Prior to the updated website launch in spring of 2021, WxNotify absorbed the cost of sending SMS messages to its subscribers. In a continued effort to reduce the costs associated with running the WxNotify service, the decision was made to switch SMS messages to a free email to SMS gateway.

Subscribers can continue receiving SMS text messages using the Twilio contact type, however they will need to enter their own account information. To offset this change, additional contact types, such as Discord and Telegram have been added. You can also choose to send alerts using the Pushover service, for a one-time app cost of $5.
Yes! Once signed in, just click or tap on the user menu in the upper right-hand corner and select "Profile". From there, click on the "Enable" button under Two-Factor Authentication to begin the enrollment process. Be sure to copy down your recovery codes in case your lose access to your two-factor app. Once enabled, you will be required to enter a one-time code from your two-factor application (e.g. Google Authenticator, Authy, Microsoft Authenticator, LastPass, Duo, etc.) when signing in. You can disable two-factor authentication from the Profile menu.
Yes! Once signed in, just click or tap on the user menu in the upper right-hand corner and select "Settings". The first option allows you to enable alerts for Storm Prediction Center Convective Outlooks affecting any of your defined locations. After enabling the toggle button for the option, select the minimum level risk that you want to be notified for. Dont't forget to click or tap the "Apply" button at the bottom once your are done.
A baseline Tornado Warning is issued when a tornado has been detected on radar or by a trained spotter. It is the lowest level of Tornado Warning, but should still be taken seriously. A Tornado Warning with a Considerable threat tag is issued to alert the public when there is substantial evidence of a tornado conicident with a high impact event. This typically means there is a tornado on the ground currently doing damage. A Tornado Warning with a Catastrophic threat tag is typically issued to alert the public in rare events in which a known, violent tornado is likely to produce devistating damage in a populated area.
A baseline Severe Thunderstorm Warning is issued when a severe thunderstorm contains 58+ mph winds or 1 inch hail. A Severe Thunderstorm Warning with a Considerable Threat tag is issued when a severe thunderstorm is occuring which has winds of at least 70 mph or 1.75 inch hail. A Severe Thunderstorm Warning with a Destructive Threat tag is issued when a severe thunderstorm is occuring with winds of at least 80 mph or hail of 2.75 inches or larger. Destructive Severe Thunderstorm Warnings will activate the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system.
Verizon and AT&T no longer provide free email to SMS gateways to non-business (paying) customers. You will need to use another contact type to receive WxNotify alerts on your phone if you use AT&T or Verizon
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