In June 2012, our office officially joined Twitter. The National Weather Service in Mobile now has a presence on both Facebook and Twitter. We look forward to being able to interact with you on both of those social media networks. Here is a little more information about our office's involvement on Twitter and Facebook.
Please be aware that during times of active weather, we may not be able to directly respond to individual questions or posts as we try to disseminate critical weather information as quickly as possible.
Follow us on Twitter @NWSMobile, or click on this link to view our Twitter page.
Our Twitter page will be used to post brief updates or information on area weather. At this time, we are not planning on automating any posts. For an automated feed of some of our weather information, you can follow @iembot_mob, a bot account run by the Iowa Mesonet. We cannot guarantee the timeliness of weather information on this feed, but it is a potential source of information if you would like automated updates for our entire area of responsibility.
We forecast for sections of three states - Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi- that are large, populous, and have active Twitter conversations on the state weather hashtags. State weather hashtags utilize the two letter postal code followed by the abbreviation 'wx' (which stands for weather). Therefore the hashtags in our area would be #alwx for Alabama, #flwx for Florida, and #mswx for Mississippi. We may still check those hashtags from time to time, but they will often contain a lot of information from outside our area.
Therefore, we will monitor the hashtag #mobwx, and we encourage people tweeting about the weather in our area to join the conversation using that hashtag. Note that the area that we cover extends out from Mobile, and includes cities like Pensacola, Destin, Andalusia, and Leakesville.
If you have an automated feed of surface observations, warnings, or other posts, we ask that you do NOT use the #mobwx hashtag. This will make it much easier for us to monitor the hashtag in real time.
Submitting Weather Reports
In order to ensure that we see your weather report, we recommend that you do one of the following. These are listed in order of how quickly we are likely to receive the information.
Remember that location and time are very important to us when we are receiving weather reports. Therefore, you are encouraged to use some method of geotagging on your report.
Here's What You Need to Do to Submit a Storm Report via Twitter:
If Geotagging is available on your 3rd party Twitter application:
Some examples of weather report tweets with geotagging:
Ex. 1: @NWSMobile 1.79" of rainfall today as of 1 pm
Ex. 2: #mobwx Hail 3/4 inch in diameter at 4:25 pm
If Geotagging is NOT available on your 3rd party Twitter application (or you want to use the web-based Twitter.com):
Some examples of weather report tweets without geotagging:
Ex. 1: @NWSMobile WW 1289 W Oakridge Circle, St Louis, MO WW 1.79" of rainfall today as of 1pm
Ex. 2: #mobwx WW 44.115, -88.595 WW Hail 3/4 inch in diameter at 4:25 pm
What You Can Report
You can tweet any weather event that occurs in your local area, but we are most interested in significant events: snowfall, severe weather, flooding, etc. In particular:
You can like our Facebook page and also get updates there. Click on this link to view our Facebook page.
Our Facebook page will continue to be used to post brief updates and information about area weather. The easiest way to submit a report, share a picture or video, or join the conversation about area weather is to post to our Facebook wall or comment on an existing photo or update.
We encourage our Facebook fans and Twitter followers to get involved! Our forecasters will occasionally post things like a hand-drawn surface analysis, or a behind-the-scenes photograph. Liking, commenting on, or sharing a post on Facebook lets us know that you value this content and would like to see more. Similarly on Twitter, sending us a quick reply or message, retweeting us, or favoriting one of our tweets will also let us know that you enjoy the content that we are posting.
Be A Force of Nature
The National Weather Service is encouraging people to "be a force of nature" as a part of the Weather-Ready Nation campaign.
How does this relate to our presence on social media networks?
Studies show that individuals need to receive messages a number of ways before taking appropriate action. Many people are more likely to act when the messages are received from a trusted source such as a family member, friend, or community leader.
If you see some critical weather information that we are sharing, a good safety tip that we post, or you are actually experiencing severe weather, we encourage you to "be a force of nature" by letting your social network know. Social media like Twitter and Facebook make it very simple and fast to share information.
To read more on the Weather-Ready Nation campaign, visit the national website by clicking here.