Friday, May 21, 2010

Stormy Weather

Don't know why there's no sun up in the sky. It sure has been a stormy or cloudy spring. The weatherman recently displayed a graphic showing only 4 sunny days in the last month and a half that we have been here. Even before we became full-timers we were weather obsessed trying to catch as many forecasts as we can and then averaging them out. Most of the time they are fairly close but every once in awhile one of them will go out on a limb and be different. They may be the same or they may be different but they are invariably wrong.

When we were in our planning stages for full-timing we decided we needed a weather radio since we would not have a basement anymore. Since we were near two county lines we added both counties into the mix. We finally turned the dang thing off and sold it at the estate sale because we got sick and tired of getting woke up in the middle of the night because there was water in Millie's back yard. Every watch or warning was blared out and to be brutally honest 99.9% of them only served to annoy us.

Since we are weather obsessed we watch local weather no matter where we are, along with ForecastFox, a Firefox extension that puts weather based on a zip code in the statusbar of your browser. We also watch the Weather Channel but we still felt vulnerable even with all that. We are currently back in our old stomping grounds, the Kansas City area, and saw an article in the paper interviewing a local weatherman. They have hooked up with WeatherCall ( and this info is from their website, "WeatherCall combines this new method to determine a warning area with robust emergency telephone notification. Using computerized mapping, WeatherCall matches the danger area defined by the National Weather Service with your address. If your address is within the danger area of the weather warning, Chief Meteorologist, Bryan Busby will deliver the warning message to the phone numbers you register, and also send you an email if you provide one." SMS text messages are also available and an iPhone app is in the works.

This service is available for $6 a year but you must provide a specific street address. We contacted WeatherCall and was told we could change the location address on the profile at any time so we signed up. So far we have received one phone call that was for a severe thunderstorm that gave us enough warning to lower the satellite dish on the roof due to 70 mile per hour winds. Last night it was mentioned that WeatherCall warnings went out to phones 10 minutes before the sirens went off in an area that had tornadoes.

We may have had only one phone call but there has been numerous interruptions of television broadcasts for weather reports on local television. There is a website for one local weather personality,, that we swear will break into network shows when there is water in Millie's back yard. One night all three hours of network television were interrupted for a severe thunderstorm lasting a few minutes. We then had to follow it way out of the viewing area and see what the same storm front was doing in Oklahoma for a few minutes, freaking Oklahoma hundreds of miles away for heavens sakes. Luckily now that we are full-timing our network channels are out of New York and believe us they do not break into network programming as often as Katie does. We do lose the satellite signal occasionally in heavy rains though.

So far we have been pleased with WeatherCall and we will keep you posted as we change our physical address in the profile and see how that works.

Till next time,

Bob & Jo

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1 comment:

  1. Definitely keep us updated on how the weathercall is working out. I would certainly be interested especially if we ever get brave enough to venture into OK or KS or any of those state in tornado alley.