By Justin Poublon
June 13, 2019 - 10:37 AM CST | 605 0
It's been a very quiet stretch for Wisconsin Weather. We've basically gone into lock-down mode. We are waiting for severe weather season to get going. We are not get caught up in false flags severe weather setups. My personal life is sucking away most of my energy. Literally everything is a struggle right now.
AHHHHHHH!!! Okay let me explain...
False Flag Severe Weather Events
I've been very critical of severe weather setups to this point. We haven't been perfect but our approach has outperformed the NWS and SPC in most cases. Most setups to this point have been trivial. Too cold. With only 20 severe weather reports in 2019; Wisconsin is at an all-time low for severe weather activity. It hasn't been this quiet since 1993.
Given the quiet pattern; Wisconsin Weather is in great position to push information when needed and not lose people to complacency. I believe people will truly hear the message when it counts and the call to action won't get lost. Feel like I've been saying this for months.
We will not hype or push crap.
We haven't needed to push anything. I know that will change. They key is to not fall asleep. Keep looking forward. Be ready for the day mother nature flips the script.
We've tested our communication methods. Facebook live, email alerts, blog updates, etc. The workflow is great. I've found a way to get YouTube going again. I guess we are waiting. Just been so darn quiet.
Personal Life is F**king Crazy
Predicting weather is something I channel. It's a flow. Weekly forecasts, long range forecast, research etc. When I'm in the groove it flows well. When I'm not focusing on it...nothing happens. I'm simply not in that mode right now. Why?
My personal life is crazy.
I've been dealing with occupational burnout for a long time. It's linked to my passion for Wisconsin Weather. I know what I need to do with my life just don't yet have the means to get there. Some days it feels like I'm just wasting my time. It turns me into a negative nancy and I just don't have the right mindset. My employer knows I have an expiration date. This is how I pay the bills so I cannot leave now; especially with everything else going on. It's a daily struggle...though recently things have improved. I always feel on the edge of a knife.
We are moving into a bigger house. We are full bore into the process of selling our house and buying a new one with a closing date for both on July 31. We had to prioritize finishing a bathroom renovation in May. I love our current house just need more space. Then new place is perfect for growing our businesses; wifey being an in-home daycare provider will have plenty of space for the kids. I will have a massive upstairs office to grow WIWX. The housing market is absolutely crazy and this process has been going on for a long time. For a minute there I was worried we'd be homeless!
My wife Sarah is pregnant with our second child due in mid-August! This comes with it's own uncertainty. I haven't had a chance to let it sink in. Anytime now there will be two mini-me's running around. Being a parent is an amazing experience and I don't want to miss out.
If you've done any one of these things you will understand doing them all at once is absolutely insane! So this is why I'm taking my foot off the gas pedal. I'm looking forward to a quieter time; such as fall; to settle in and start driving Wisconsin Weather again. We will still be chasing and doing stuff; just not as aggressively. I apologize for the lack of content in the meantime.
Membership Fee is Coming
Within the next three years Wisconsin Weather will become my full time job. We need to make money to pay the bills, support the family, etc. but also buy equipment and get more people involved. To do truly amazing things! We are planning to turn this into a non-profit organization. We will be purchasing a storm chase vehicle to take to special events and speaking presentations to spread weather awareness!
Wisconsinwx.com has never been and will never be about making a buck. Truth is I'm not cut out for the National Weather Service, TV Meteorologist, or private weather service "job". I just don't fit in. Wisconsin Weather is what I'm here to do. We built it from scratch, by hand. This is my passion, life-work, and dream. I want to share it with everyone. I think that is pretty clear to see there is no other alternative. There is no plan B. This is it.
I've been working on implementing a membership fee since March because this will be the primary source of funds. I didn't want to say anything because I don't tell people what I'm doing before I do it. But after thinking about it this morning; telling you this now feels like the right thing to do. I've been fighting this thing for a long time. Are these services worth paying for? How much do I charge? How many people will be interested? Can I keep up with it? It's a weight I can never escape and I think about it constantly.
This project has been met with adversity.
The original launch was scheduled for April with WIWX 8.0. We were days away from launch when the data loss debacle occurred. It totally derailed us. We could not launch a membership fee at the same time we were recovering from a major data loss. Blessing in disguise. Weeks went by...WIWX 8.0 came out but the membership fee wasn't on it because I wanted to take extra steps to test the transaction logic and payment experience. 8.0 was a big update that would need bug fixing elsewhere. Just too much happening at once. The plan was to roll out the membership fee when everything was stable.
In further testing I found ways to improve the transaction logic and payment experience and the project was delayed a couple more weeks. Here we are on June 13th. I feel similar to how I felt during the data loss in that "you can't launch something like this without momentum". The weather has been so quiet. My personal life so crazy. The system could be launched today but now is not the right time; both logically and spiritually. Need to wait. While we wait I know I can find ways to make membership a better experience.
Starting in Fall 2019; a WISCONSINWX.COM membership fee will go into effect. I still haven't decided exactly what that fee will be. Existing members will automatically receive a free trial period. If it doesn't feel or look right; I will postpone again. The membership experience has to be perfect. For the most part nothing will change. Expect the classic WIWX experience to continue and improve. However if you want that extra insider info and our weather services; you will have to pay for it. We will use the funds to build Wisconsin Weather. I chose membership fee over alternatives such as advertising because advertising ruins the experience. Wisconsinwx.com will be an ad-free experience.
BIG CHALLENGE - BIG REWARD
The biggest challenges bring the biggest rewards.I believe this will bring a major change to the Wisconsin weather community. It will open up a new career path for aspiring meteorologists. My job is to make sure it's done the right way and for the right reasons.