Saturday, August 20, 2022

Changes ongoing and upcoming at!

A lot has been going on behind the scenes this year for While most changes take place "under the hood," some will manifest themselves to our followers and friends over the coming few months. We thought it would be a good time to shine the light on a few of them:

Staff addition to Cirrus Weather

For at least a few years, I've been keeping my eyes open for the right person to help expand the MWN offerings, grow the brand, and honestly, take a bit of the load off once in a while, especially during active weather periods. In the fall of 2020, I brought on a friend and local meteorologist in a contracting role to write a few blog posts, cover inclement weather for MWN occasionally, and help maintain the StormWatch+ brand. The "trial period" was highly successful and this past spring, our business relationship was formalized. Meteorologist Richard Hoseney joined me as co-owner of Cirrus Weather Solutions, LLC!

Richard was born and raised in the Mid-South, and has always been a fan of the weather since getting involved with Storm Spotter training from the NWS here in Memphis.  He attended Mississippi State and earned his Bachelor's Degree in Meteorology in 2005, interning back in 2003 at FOX 13 with Jim Jaggers.  He chased some prominent hurricanes too! Richard was in Gulfport during Hurricane Katrina, in Orange (Texas) during Hurricane Rita, and in Pascagoula during Hurricane Ivan.  

After graduating, he met his wife who is originally from eastern Oklahoma.  They moved to Oklahoma where Richard worked at a locally-owned radio group as their staff meteorologist, covering everything from severe weather to ice storms to flooding, and formed a partnership with the county's Emergency Management in assisting the storm spotters during severe weather.  While in Oklahoma, Richard got into aviation, obtaining his private pilot certificate and his own plane. (And now he pilots #MWNDrone1 as well!)  In 2018, Richard and his wife moved back to the Mid-South after accepting a job as a meteorologist at FedEx.  He loves the Mid-South and enjoys forecasting the weather, especially severe weather. Richard has been actively working on several projects to improve the services offered by MWN over the past few months. You'll be seeing more of the fruits of his labor soon! Speaking of which...

MWN Live Streams

One of the projects Richard has taken on that we think you all will benefit greatly from is the addition of severe weather live streams via YouTube. We've been tweaking the software setup and training behind the scenes in order to begin offering you the opportunity to "look over our shoulder" and see detailed views of radar and other tools we use during severe weather. There will also be a live chat where you can ask us questions and get explanations on what you see out your window, or just over the horizon! We might even bring on one of our meteorology student interns at times to help out! 

Our goal is to enhance MWN's content in a way that provides real-time updates for the storms affecting YOU. We'll basically be making our hyperlocal, no-hype coverage more widely available - via your mobile device or even your smart TV! And it will be done with no ads, no fees, and no preempting your favorite shows. We'll let everyone know via our Facebook and Twitter feeds when we start a broadcast, but the best way to find out is to subscribe to our YouTube channel then click the bell for notifications when we go live! Be watching for a debut broadcast soon!

Changes to the Cirrus Weather app offerings

A significant shift has taken place over the past year in our mobile app sector. Most of you are aware that we offer two mobile apps - and StormWatch+. These apps (including Android and iOS versions of each) have been the work of a single app developer since their inception over 10 years ago. Our "app guy" is unbelievably smart. He has shown his dedication to all of you for a decade and receives all of the credit for your ability to get your daily dose of MWN, and also to receive valuable severe weather alerts that ensure your safety and sanity. We are eternally grateful for his tireless and dedicated efforts. 

But maintaining what is effectively four apps was becoming a challenge, so we mutually agreed to move in new directions. Fortunately, after searching for just the right match, we are excited to have secured a new development firm based in our home state of Tennessee, Rise Above Creative! This transition will mean a change in our mobile app offerings though (which, to be honest, was the path we were headed down anyway).

The StormWatch+ app is currently being rebuilt from the ground up in an easier-to-maintain format. Once it is "re-launched" in a couple months, we will be integrating your trusted MWN content into the StormWatch+ app. This will simplify things for us significantly, while still allowing us to provide the most-used content from MWN in app form. In addition, you'll gain access to reliable nationwide weather information that some of you have been asking for in the MWN app, as well as maintaining the super-fast and pinpoint-accurate SW+ Alerts severe weather notifications that many of you already use in either the MWN or StormWatch+ apps. As always, all of this will be available without a single advertisement in the app and with a tight grip on your personal data!

We'll be communicating further as the transition time nears, but for right now, there is nothing you need to do. We look forward to a streamlined experience for our app users and getting all of the information you need in a one-stop shop!

That's the gist of it! We hope these changes and additions are well-received, and we always appreciate your support as well as your inquiries. We would appreciate you taking a minute to hop over to our YouTube page and clicking subscribe (then don't forget to click the bell!), and we'll keep you posted on app updates as they draw near!

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Complete MWN Forecast: on the mobile web or via the MWN mobile app
Download our iPhone or Android apps, featuring StormWatch+ severe weather alerts!
MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder

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