While the National Weather Service as a national entity has had a presence on Facebook for some time, local offices were not allowed to create their own pages.
Now, one forecast office — Fort Worth, TX — has its own Facebook page, part of a trial program to determine what role, if any, Facebook may have at the local office level. The info tab says that the NWS is using Facebook as “a supplemental channel for improving weather awareness”, and the info box directs those looking “for the official source of information about the National Weather Service” to the main website at weather.gov. Since there hasn’t been any notable weather in north Texas since the page went up, it is too soon to say how the page will be used during a high-impact event, but that certainly bears watching.
There are plenty of reasons why this is, or at least has the potential to be, a very good thing. However, as Kevin noted a few weeks back, other locally-based meteorologists, especially those on TV and radio, should keep a close eye on this trial.
What are your thoughts? Is this the result of “poking the bear”, as Kevin wrote? Or an all-around good thing for the weather-loving public?