Snowmaggedon, Earthquakepocalypse, #Irene, Heat Wave 2011 – these are all terms I’ve seen scrolling through my Twitter feed over the last year as Mother Nature has unleashed her fury on the us. It’s been anything but normal this year, especially in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This year alone we’ve been battered with ice storms, high winds and tornados and a record-long heat wave!

I’ve always been fascinated with weather – I took a Severe and Unusual Weather class in college, submitted weather pictures of the day to David Finfrock when I was in elementary school and even considered a career in meteorology (my lack of interest in math and science though led me in a different direction). However, my friends have come to call me Weathergirl Ashley as I am always in touch with the day’s forecast. The secret to Weathergirl Ashley’s success though – Twitter.

Twitter has become my number one resource for learning about weather events and what’s going on in my neck of the woods (and yes that’s an Al Roker reference).


Earlier this spring when I woke up in the middle of the night to tornado sirens and no electricity and wondered how in the world I was supposed to know if a tornado was about to sweep my apartment away. After the devastating tornados in Alabama and Mississippi, I was on high alert and quickly checked my Twitter stream to see updates from one of my favorite local meteorologists, Pete Delkus. His Tweets were going out as soon as he knew something new – where the storm was at, when it would be over and what kind of damage it was causing. I was also able to use the hashtag #txwx (Texas Weather) to track updates from the National Weather Service as well as people in surrounding neighborhoods who were using the hashtag.

Twitter was also extremely informative when an earthquake struck Washington DC in late August. Within 30 seconds of the ground shaking, there were already Tweets going out. They were even read in New York City before the effects of the earthquake were felt! According to Twitter, they hit 5,500 Tweets a second and there were 40,000 Tweets within a minute relating directly to the quake. Foursquare also reported a large spike in activity – more than 29,000 people checked into an Earthquakepocalypse venue, some leaving helpful and newsworthy tips, others leaving some humorous advice.

Living in North Texas for most of my life, I’ve learned the weather can change in an instant. How can you stay on top of it? Check out some of my favorite weather-related Twitter accounts for the best news and tips:

Pete Delkus – @wfaaweather
NBC 5 Weather – @nbcdfwweather
The Weather Channel – @weatherchannel
Jim Cantore – @jimcantore
Al Roker – @alroker
WFAA Weather – @wfaaweathertoo

Have questions about how you can use social media in your every-day life or just want to keep up with Weathergirl Ashley? Tweet me at @aecarter or visit for more information!

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