Saturday, August 27, 2011

Following weather events with a Twitter list

Hurricane Irene Captured August 26, 2011
Hurricane Irene, August 26, 2011
by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
I've been curating a list on Twitter for weather events for some time, but it just occurred to me today that I should make it public (I usually make my lists private by default) and let others know it's there. It's been great for following the progress of Hurricane Irene without having to be glued to the TV (or even the computer, since I can check the list using my smartphone).

The list is by no means exhaustive and it's constantly growing. I've tried to throw in nationally known meteorologists (from the networks, for example), some government agencies, and some storm chasers. I add more as I come across accounts which are relevant.

The few locally-based accounts I included are mostly focused on eastern Nebraska. This is really all the list was when I began, but I started adding accounts with broader coverage after the tornado in Joplin, MO this summer.

I've also added some earthquake-related accounts. I didn't feel like making a separate list when I only had a couple accounts for those and there's quite a bit of overlap in reportage. (On a side note, did you know that you can Google "earthquake" and Google will put a list of the most recent earthquakes at the top of the search results? It's handy.)

The great thing about Twitter lists is that you don't have to be following the accounts you put in there, so if you don't want a lot of extra noise in your main Twitter stream, but you want to be able to check on what's going on with a certain subject, you can throw the relevant accounts in a list and then check it from time to time. You also don't have to have a Twitter account at all to view the list, just follow the link.