StormWatch+ EnRoute is essentially dynamic alerting, based on a user in motion, resulting in a non-static location that is monitored for weather alerts. With Fixed Locations, users set the coordinates they want alerts for based on their address, city, zip code, or GPS location. With EnRoute activated, users can receive weather alerts if they drive into a severe weather threat.
On the SW+ Alerts settings screen, users can enable EnRoute with a toggle switch. As the user travels, their location is updated periodically and the new location is compared to known severe weather warnings. If the user encounters a warning polygon, the alert is pushed to their device (provided they have selected that type of alert to receive). EnRoute alerts are currently only sent for the most critical alert types:
- Tornado Warnings
- Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
- Flash Flood Warnings
There are some caveats that users should know.
- EnRoute is designed to be used for travel purposes, not for places where a user spends some time, such as at home or work, or a location they are monitoring for someone else, such as an elderly parent. Those locations should be programmed in as Fixed Locations, for which all alert types are available.
- EnRoute checks your location every FIVE minutes and will send all alerts (of those types listed above) each time it detects them. (We are working to offer more intelligent alerting in the future to reduce the number of alerts received, and potentially poll for alerts more often.)
- If you have your Settings panel open when EnRoute is on, you will notice a small inset map showing your approximate location. This map will update as you move, but your location will still only be sent to our servers every 5 minutes, when it is checked for intersecting warnings and alerts are pushed.
- For Android devices, when EnRoute is enabled, you will notice a "persistent notification" in your notification drawer, indicating that EnRoute is running. This allows your app to poll for your location every 5 minutes, even if the app is in a background state or closed completely. You do not need to have StormWatch+ running in the foreground to receive alerts. (The notification also reminds you EnRoute is still on so you will remember to turn it off after you have arrived at your destination!)
- For iOS devices, EnRoute is a bit more restrictive as to when it will work. As of February 2 (app version 5.1), the StormWatch+ iOS app MUST be running (foreground or background) for your location to update. The phone screen does not need to be on. Note that your location will NOT update if the app is force-closed, i.e., not running at all. We are working to find a a way around this, but for now, this is a restriction placed on the use of location services by Apple. (Google does not have the same restrictions, thus EnRoute is of more use for Android users at this time.)
This article will be updated when further improvements are made to EnRoute.