Severe Weather Alerts


Being as severe weather season is upon us (at least up here in the northern hemisphere) I’d like to know if anyone is using a RELIABLE severe weather alert system tied into HA?


I haven’t done it yet but I was going to look at hooking up the external alert jack on my weather radio to an ESP8266 or something similar and sending out a MQTT message for a very basic signal. If I have some more time I have a Raspberry Pi board with a weather radio decoder on it that I was going to see if I could get some more sophisticated alerting.


Not ideal, but I have created Notify and TTS automations around WU Alerts Sensor, you can also trigger lights or what ever alert method you like.


Which gives the following Attributes

Example alert from earlier today:
Description: Wind Advisory
…Wind Advisory in effect from noon Wednesday to midnight EDT
Wednesday night…

The National Weather Service in Upton has issued a Wind Advisory,
which is in effect from noon Wednesday to midnight EDT Wednesday

  • Winds…west 20 to 25 mph with gusts up to 50 mph.

  • Timing…developing behind a cold frontal passage Wednesday

  • Impacts…strong winds will be capable of blowing down limbs,
    trees, and power lines. Isolated to scattered power outages are

Precautionary/preparedness actions…

A Wind Advisory is issued when sustained winds of 31 to 39 mph,
or gusts of 46 to 57 mph, are expected or occurring. Winds this
strong can make driving difficult, especially for high profile
vehicles, in open areas, and on elevated roads and bridges. Use
extra caution.


I use Weather Underground too. Problem I’ve had is figuring out how to handle multiple alerts. Today we had a combination of Flood Warning, Tornado Warning, and Severe Thunderstorm Warning. I don’t really want a TTS notify for a flood warning, but would for a tornado or severe thunderstorm warning. Haven’t yet figured out a good way to parse the attributes for multiple alerts and act on them.


Were they both under one description?


No, it added additional attributes like such:

Expires_WRN: 7:45 PM EDT on April 03, 2018
friendly_name: Alerts
Date_TOR: 7:12 PM EDT on April 3, 2018
Description_FLO: Flood Warning
Description: Flood Warning
Description_TOR: Tornado Warning
Description_SPE: Special Weather Statement
Expires_TOR: 7:22 PM EDT on April 03, 2018
Date_WRN: 7:29 PM EDT on April 3, 2018
Description_WRN: Severe Thunderstorm Warning
Message_FLO: The Flood Warning continues for...
Message: The Flood Warning continues for...
Date_FLO: 5:00 PM EDT on April 3, 2018
Message_WRN: ...The Severe Thunderstorm Warning...



Can’t you just use the various descriptions, since it’s different for each alert type.

EDIT, found the following list:

type Translated
HUR Hurricane Local Statement
TOR Tornado Warning
TOW Tornado Watch
WRN Severe Thunderstorm Warning
SEW Severe Thunderstorm Watch
WIN Winter Weather Advisory
FLO Flood Warning
WAT Flood Watch / Statement
WND High Wind Advisory
SVR Severe Weather Statement
HEA Heat Advisory
FOG Dense Fog Advisory
SPE Special Weather Statement
FIR Fire Weather Advisory
VOL Volcanic Activity Statement
HWW Hurricane Wind Warning
REC Record Set
REP Public Reports
PUB Public Information Statement


Only issue is it only appends the _TOR, _WRN, etc unless there are multiple (and i’m not sure what it would do in the event of 2 alerts/warnings of the same type.

So if only one alert exists I’d have to check the standard Description and Message attributes, if multiple exist I’d have to look at Description_TOR, Message_WRN, etc. Could get pretty cumbersome in standard automations, though I may be able to whip something up in AppDaemon


Looks like WU it is.

It looks like when there are no alerts sensor.pws_alerts = 0.

What are the changes it makes when an alert is sent?

do you use an attribute of the sensor or the direct sensor value?


The sensor.pws_alerts state will change to the number of alerts currently issued (1,2,3,etc) and then will populate the attributes of that sensor with description, message, etc attributes with the actual alert information.


thanks :grinning:

do you mind posting an example config?


I just use:

  platform: numeric_state
  entity_id: sensor.pws_alerts
  above: 0

But of course, now @cgarwood got my brain in overdrive :joy:


Correct, I’m thinking maybe a script with templates to check the attribute as apposed to creating multiple automations.

Only one problem, I’m a real noob when it come’s to templates.


If you use AppDaemon I started writing a quick and dirty app. It hasn’t really been tested, as the severe weather has moved out of our area so I won’t be able to test it well until we have more severe weather.

It’s firing a special hadashboard event that I custom coded into hadashboard. Most people would want it to call some kind of notify service instead.


Now that Weather Underground may not be continuing their API after the end of the year, does anyone know of a solution to continue receiving severe weather alerts?


Please don’t post the same question in multiple places.


Seriously? I’m being scolded because I found a couple of other existing threads started by, and being potentially followed by, different people and decided to ask the same question to THOSE people?

And besides I’m the OP of this thread.

Not to mention the fact that I’ve started several threads recently with perfectly reasonable questions that haven’t garnered even one response between them. So I guess I assumed that the chances of me being answered in a new thread about this topic would likely yield similar results. So far I’m not wrong.

The only reply I’ve gotten is yours telling me I shouldn’t post the same question in a couple of different relevant threads.


So please tell me the appropriate amount of time to wait before I ask the same question again in different threads if I get zero answers to that question.


Because you’re not helping get answers, and you’re increasing the odds of wasting people’s time.

Maybe you’ve not got answers because nobody has an answer? This time around your question is one where knowing where the world you are matters, and probably nobody’s answered (yet) because without that information they can’t help you.


I’m sure you won’t be surprised but I disagree…:wink:

“Because you’re not helping get answers”

I’m not helping get answers for who? For me? For others?

If I post in a couple of different existing threads on the exact topic I want answers to then that increases the odds of the exposure to more people (who have already shown that they have at least some interest in the topic by their participation in that thread) to try to get the answer that I’m seeking. And if one of those people gives the answer then it not only helps me get an answer to my question now but also helps others who later might try to do a search before posting the same question again (which I did and couldn’t find an answer).

“and you’re increasing the odds of wasting people’s time”

Whose time am I wasting?

The 3 people who are going to see this thread who get a notification because they have previously replied to this thread so had shown some interest in the topic?

The 2 people in the other existing thread that had an open unanswered question in which one of the members specifically said they might be able to get a working integration so I asked if they had gotten anywhere with it since the last time they posted about it ten months ago? Maybe cgarwood still never got an answer to his request there and, therefore, it wouldn’t be wasting their time if they got an answer to a question they had previously asked.

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed the amount of questions here about the most BASIC of topics that have been asked and answered repeatedly and that a simple search would have found 50 different posts that contain the exact answer they are looking for. Or not… Either way it’s simply the nature of the forum to have people ask the same questions over and over again. I may be adding a small amount to that but in my view even though the questions are similar they different enough that I think it adds some usefulness.

Besides this is my thread i started five months ago. Maybe things have changed since I started the thread. Which they have since WU is discontinuing their service.

“Maybe you’ve not got answers because nobody has an answer?”

I can accept that sometimes there truly is no answer but that is usually the great exception rather than the common rule.

Case in point - A few weeks back I had a question about the updater component not working (The updater component isn’t working in Docker). I asked the same question in 3 different threads I started every couple of weeks or so but I never got one reply. Then I got creative with the topic of the thread so it would get peoples attention and suddenly I got the answer to my question. I figured somebody had to know the answer but there is just too much new stuff on the forum to keep track of so lots of threads get dropped thru the cracks unless the topic is especially interesting to people. I made it so it was interesting and got the answer I was looking for. Then wouldn’t you know 28 days later somebody else popped in to that thread and said that they had the same problem and benefited from the answer I got. I doubt that person thought it was wasting anyone’s time that I had asked the same question 4 times in 4 different threads! You’re welcome!

And for anyone who finds this thread in the future and thinks I wasted their time, I truly apologize.

Now back to our regularly scheduled topic…

“This time around your question is one where knowing where the world you are matters, and probably nobody’s answered (yet) because without that information they can’t help you.”

and now after all of the hubbub we finally get back to the question at hand and you have provided a useful follow up question that I hadn’t thought of. Thanks! :grinning:

the answer is I’m located in the Midwest of the US.

I was hoping that @turboc had come up with the NWS integration that he said he would try to work on in the other feature request thread i posted to. That would be the perfect solution to this problem (at least for people in the US) because we wouldn’t have to rely on third party companies discontinuing a free service to people in the future.


Wow, I feel like a sh!t now. I got lazy and didn’t do what I said I was going to do and it escalated to this LOL. I started looking at it last night ( before this thread was posted ). I need some severe weather to test with. :slight_smile: