Thursday, April 12, 2012

Appalachian Trail Weather from Google

Just discovered you can get Appalachian Trail weather via a cell phone by sending a SMS text message to Google. Google offers an SMS Search service. You can text various short texts to Google and receive detailed text search results on your mobile phone. One of the SMS text searches is for weather.

To get Appalachian Trail weather reports, just open a new outgoing SMS message and send "wx" and the nearby zipcode to 466453 (GOOGLE). You'll receive a weather forecast for the next 24-48 hours from Google.

I usually depart for the Appalachian Trail with a ten day forecast from the Weather channel. One of my peeves about the trail is the lack of current weather data along my hike. Often there's a bulletin board with warnings and admonitions, but no one seems to pin-up a 72 hour forecast for long distance hikers.

This year I plan to annotate the zipcodes of nearby towns on my hiking schedule so I can get updated weather from Google as I work south along the Applachian Trail. When I send an SMS text message to my safety person following my hike, I'll take a moment and get updated weather from Google!

In addition to adding the Shenandoah NPS 24-hour emergency center (800-732-0911) to your phone's contacts, give strong consideration to adding Google SMS search.

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