Wednesday, August 3, 2011

WoW: That darn summer weather!

It's summer here in my hemisphere, and around here, that means some unpredictable weather. Actually, every season in Utah means unpredictable weather. The only predictable condition is the road condition: terrible and marred by orange cones everywhere!

Anyway, for planning summer outings or just keeping up on what the weather forecast is (or any other weather need!), The Weather Channel has some great apps. Seriously, they have an app for just about anything: climate comparison,  flight status, fitness forecast, plant watering indicator, and pollen forecast are just a handful!

You can also get The Weather Channel on your (computer) desktop, in your browser toolbar (if you use Internet Explorer), on your blog, and, of course, on your smart phone.

However, if you and your phone are "dumb" like me and my phone, you can also get weather forecasts and alerts by text message (SMS). It's so easy to sign up, and easy to change what subscriptions you want delivered when.

If you want a one-time forecast, just text either the zip code or the city and state abbreviation to 42278 or 78676 to receive a text message with a 3-day forecast. (You can store the number in your phone's contacts so you don't have to remember it :)
that's a barometer... in case you didn't know :)

For regular daily alerts, go here to sign up and select the alerts you want to receive for what zip code. You can choose from
  • severe weather alerts (when the National Weather Service issues an alert for your area)
  • school day forecast (conditions/temperatures 7 am, noon, and 3 pm)
  • outdoor activity forecast (conditions/temperatures and wind)
  • beauty forecast (conditions/temperatures and indices for hair frizz, dry skin, and UV -- no, seriously!)
  • farmers' forecast (conditions/temperatures, wind, and soil moisture)
  • rain OR snow OR icy precipitation alerts (if it's expected the next day)
  • extreme cold OR heat alerts (if expected the next day to be below/above your chosen temperature)
  • pollen alerts (if expected to be above your chosen levels)
  • surf and sea conditions (conditions/temperatures, wind, sea temperature, wave height, etc)
You'll provide your email address, create an account password, and then enter your cell number. You can opt to receive alerts via email or text message or both, as well as set the time (in your local time) to receive your alerts. If you leave all the automatic settings, your chosen alerts will come both via email and text message at 8 AM, so be sure to change your settings if that's not what you want!

Once you've signed up, if you need help, text HELP to 78676, go to, or email To stop receiving text alerts, text STOP to 78676.

Note that email and text message alerts from The Weather Channel are free of charge, but standard text messaging rates apply based on your plan and provider. Also, if you are a customer of the Sprint/Nextel, Boost Mobile, or Virgin Mobile networks, TWC can't provide you text alerts, but you can still access TWC mobile or use TWC apps on your phone. 

Happy summer outings!

Lu (or Lorene if you prefer) is the mom of one squirmy boy and the wife of a singing and dancing elementary teacher. She is the proud author of this weekly Wednesdays on the Web (WotW) segment here on Housewife Eclectic and spends the other days of the week blogging about crafts and whatever else comes up at just Lu.

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