I used to be a weather idiot. When it was going to rain, I usually found out by getting wet or by seeing everyone else holding an umbrella or rain coat on public transportation. I wanted something that informed me when it was going to rain (but not something that I had to look for). I wondered if there was a text message alert system for when it rained.
I did some searching and found weather.com’s text message alerts. I signed up for Rain Alert’s and get a text message at 4 pm anytime rain is expected the next day (you can customize the time). It’s fantastic. You can have them send a rain alert for “Any Rain (which I use),” “Moderate or Heavy Rain” or “Heavy Rain only.” I also get the daily forecast every morning at 6, which gives me enough time to grab a jacket before heading to work if the text says I need one. You can sign up for e-mail or text or both messages, and customize times. They have a bunch of other options as well, like pollen alerts, extreme heat or cold alerts, surf conditions. The alerts are free, but you have to pay whatever text message fees your phone company regularly gouges you for. The alerts do seem to get messed up by an hour when the time changes (as do I, I suppose) and I have to go online and change them on my account.
I’ve been using this for two years now and am now better prepared (and happier) when it does rain (plus I get to impress my friends if my pocket buzzes at 4 by announcing it’s going to rain tomorrow). I don’t know if another service like this exists, but I couldn’t find another one when I looked before.