What do you tune into during severe weather?

I get all the news I need from the weather report. Here's where I get the weather report from.

Twitter, to chat with people who are also in their basements. The local hash tag is #miwx for severe weather. I have a list @vielmetti/weather that I follow for the news.

Weather Underground for radar and forecasts and what not. I like the classic version of the user interface, which is busy and deep and which I know well enough to navigate. The minimalist mobile version of the site is starkly unbusy and works fine even on a relatively dumb smart phone.  

SKYWARN, the local ham radio emergency weather channel. The local repeater is N8DUY, located near I-94 and M-14 in Scio Township, available at 145.150 Mhz or via the Radio Reference relay online. This is the single best source of real time news during events.

The DTE Energy outage map is good for tracking storm damage starting about 30 minutes after the storm has gone through – you start to pick up which power outages will take a long time to fix. Note in this map below from Sunday, May 29, 2011, that the storm damage near Lansing ends at the DTE boundary; that doesn't mean there isn't more storm damage, only that I don't have a map of the other.

Picture 22

Television, which we don't have for over the air reception. WDIV Channel 4 "Click On Detroit" has useful email weather alerts and a Detroit JustWeather page, and WXYZ Channel 7's #backchannel on Twitter always has good chatter from the news desk there.


AM/FM radio. Locally the best bet is WWJ "News radio 950", with traffic and weather together on the 8's; it's intended to be listened to while you are driving, and they do talk

Weather band radio, which speaks in a synthesized scary voice. There are receivers that only turn on when there is an alert in your area, but I don't have one. Details from National Weather Service Detroit about the network of weather radios in the area.

Weather facsimile. Again, never have managed to do this, but if you have the right radio you can decode faxes with weather maps on the that are broadcast over the air. Also known as WEFAX, the technology dates from the 1920s. Details if you are good at such things from National Weather Service marine forecast services.

You should be able to get real time notifications of severe weather even if you have no power, no cell tower, and no Internet; that's why you have batteries for your radio.

Related articles

Power Outage Mapping
What do you tune into during severe weather?
DTE substation fire and Ann Arbor power outage, June 28, 2012
Severe weather expected Sunday, April 15, 2012 for #annarbor area #miwx

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