On Wednesday May 23 2018, Wisconsin Weather, the adventuristic alternative source of weather information for the upper Mississippi Valley and Great Lakes region added a new form of communication to it's arsenal. It marks the first time in the Wisconsin Weather's five year history an official facebook group has ever been part of social media experience.
They call it Wisconsin Weather Nation.
If you see one of Wisconsin Weather's live video broadcast, you might here them say "Hello Wisconsin Weather Nation". The name really comes from that, the name given to the loyal followers of the page.
Facebook groups have been around since the start of Facebook. This is really an old idea given a new purpose. The vision of Wisconsin Weather Nation is simple. An open mic platform where members of the community can go to express their interest in weather. It can be a spring board of opportunity for those younger chasers/meteorologists looking to carve out some respect among the chaser community. It can also be a place to share the experience of a bad storm in the past. Or simply talk about future storms. All in a kind and friendly atmosphere.
Justin Poublon, team leader and Meteorologist said the addition was made as a short term replacement for future website projects which are now on hold. "Our goal is to replace some of the ideas we had for the website on Facebook. Things like forums, community discussion, and educational topics. We believe this is a better experience for our members anyway, at least in the short term."
This winter the team welcomed three newborns to the family. For a group that lives off of free time, it has been the biggest challenge since formation."There is more to do and less time to do it. How can we be more efficient?" said Poublon.
What will make Wisconsin Weather Nation group different from the rest? The team hopes the group will encourage growth, learning, teaching, inspiring storm chasers and leaders. Really an extension of what makes the official page so great. There are pages out there that create a suffocating experience, especially for storm chasers. With us it's more like - just get out there and do what you want...but do it kindly and safely."
The team does not expect this group to take away from the official page, Wisconsin Weather; but will be monitoring the new group throughout the season as time permits. It is not a replacement for the anything on the facebook side. Business as usual.
Wisconsin Weather tends to be pretty tight lipped about the projects they are working on. The industry of weather information is surprisingly cut-throat. Technological advantages over other sources do not last long therefore Poublon says the team spends most of it's team thinking ahead. "There are many groups, pages, communities, and websites out there. 90% of them are doing and saying the exact same things. We are part of the 10% who branch out and go our own way. It's anything but easy. It requires us to be very forward thinking, all the time."
So what other projects is the team working on right now "Right now we are very focused on making the 2018 Wisconsin storm chase season successful. We are exploring ideas around storm chase logs and better social media graphics but nothing major."
They hope Wisconsin Weather Nation will give aspiring storm chasers and meteorologists tools they need to grow their passion. "The whole idea is to create a place where people can explore and expand their passion for weather or storm chasing and to do it with people who understand them and want to see them succeed."