The public Iowa Environmental Mesonet chat rooms, which relay real-time NWS products over XMPP, have moved to a new conference server (conference.weather.im), so I updated my reasonably popular (popular has a strange meaning on this blog) post about how to set up popup alerts using Growl to reflect this new info. I also have confirmed that the message phrasing in NWSChat (the National Weather Service’s private chat system for emergency managers and media members) is the same as what is relayed over the public weather.im chat server, so those of you who use Adium with NWSChat will be able to take advantage of Growl’s priority system. I know Growl is less popular now that Notification Center is integrated into OS X, but Growl is still immensely powerful for the right use case (and this is still a great one).
Updated April 16, 2014 to reflect the new conference.weather.im XMPP server.
Many years ago, the Iowa Environmental Mesonet at Iowa State University established iembot, a service that relays National Weather Service products from each forecast office in real time. iembot messages are available using a Web-based interface, via Twitter (for example, I follow @iembot_chs to receive products from the National Weather Service in Charleston), or via XMPP. While I’ve used all three methods, I far prefer XMPP — nothing beats the immediacy of receiving important messages in an IM client, and for me, weather messages certainly fit in that category. Thanks to Growl and Adium, two excellent (and open source) pieces of software that really make the Mac worth using, I’m able to do a number of cool things with the most important messages: sound an alarm, speak out the text of the alert, and even send a push notification to my iPhone when I’m not around (using another app, Boxcar, which has a Growl plugin).