The Detroit Post
Monday, 29 November, 2021

Do Not Disturb Weather Alerts

Daniel Brown
• Wednesday, 09 December, 2020
• 7 min read

If you use the iOS donotdisturb function at night and want to be safe during storms you need to read this! Frankly the first thing I would ask EVERYONE to do is poorly rate all the weather apps you use and in the reviews demand the developer request access to the “Critical Alerts iOS API” for severe weather alerts as without it alerts while in donotdisturb are useless to save lives.

flush sign think before sanitary


I also found this thread on Reddit from someone in Nashville stating the National Emergency alerts NEVER came, which I too have never once gotten a severe storm warning in the middle of the night. I did some digging and The National Weather Service publishes RSS ATOM feeds.

Additionally, Pushover fully supports critical alerts in the paid iOS app. I have had one of their monthly paid plans for some time, mostly due to the fact the zaps fire every minute.

As we come into summer storm season and based on the Tornado that devastated Nashville four hours west of me I started to investigate the iOS alerts while in DoNotDisturb. I personally as do most set donotdisturb when I sleep but should a storm event happen the only thing that would override it is the National Emergency alerts but those don’t seem to work.

The National Weather service standardizes the titles using keywords so this is easy. It is required to have a paid Zapier account to get the 1-minute triggers and the path options.

Trigger: RSS feed using the ATOM URL from the NOAA alerts page for the area you want. Both of these as I mentioned are considered ‘Critical’ when sent to the device, the only difference is emergency is repeated on a configurable time interval and MUST be acknowledged.

irma preparing september weather medium updated noaa radio

At this time of the year, there are often severe thunderstorms and the possibility of tornadoes across the southern states or blizzards in the north. There are multiple ways to use your iPhone as an advance weather warning system.

Many people choose a simple weather app, but there are other choices which provide an extra layer of notification. There are numerous weather apps on the App Store that offer advance alerts and warnings, and I’ve found a few to be the most reliable in issuing watches and warnings when severe weather approaches.

All severe weather alerts in the United States are issued by the National Weather Service and each app is basically a wrapper for that information differentiated only in how the alerts are presented. If toggled on in settings, the app alerts you to nearby lightning strikes.

It’s $4.99 in the App Store, and offers lightning strike data for an additional $4.99 per year. Storm offers reliable severe weather alerts as well as lightning alerts.

It offers much more detailed information if you want to know about the storms heading your way such as the height of the storm, how large the hail is, the wind speed, the amount of rain falling per hour, the number of lightning strikes and much more. It’s similar to Storm, but retrieves data from personal weather stations installed by individuals.


Generally the results are very accurate thanks to the many personal weather stations in an area. One of the best features of the app is that for any weather station you have selected, you can view cameras in the nearby vicinity.

These range from personal webcams showing the weather to government installed traffic cams. Storm also has a section for showing weather videos and news from around the world.

I like these as a backup since texts can often get through when more data-heavy transmissions might not make it to your iPhone during a severe weather event. Many local television stations offer text alerts by county for severe weather.

The county I live in offers a free service called Alert Sense that sends texts and an email when a severe weather warning is issued. The area I live in uses this setting to alert citizens when there is a tornado or severe thunderstorm warning.

Not all areas and carriers utilize this, but it’s a setting worth turning on in case they do. There are many weather apps available, so it is hard to make a choice on which one(s) to install.

notification center

But when a storm is incoming, or a heavy thunderstorm is about to hit your area, you may prefer to be notified about it beforehand. In this post, we bring you a detailed guide on how to get severe weather alerts on iPhone.

Turn on the toggle for Severe Alerts and Significant Weather (if you see it). Here is how to get an emergency, government, and public safety alert notification on your iPhone and Apple Watch.

If someday you disabled them, here is how to turn on emergency alerts on iPhone and Apple Watch. Open the Settings app on your iPhone Tap Notifications.

Cellular models of Apple Watch can receive these notifications even if your iPhone is not nearby. Further, these emergency notification options in iOS are not available in all countries or regions.

This article explains how to disable notifications about extreme weather, missing children (Amber alerts), or Presidential Alerts that warn of a variety of emergencies. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and find the section labeled Government Alerts.


Amber, Emergency, and Public Safety Alerts set to on/green by default. Usually, the iPhone's DoNotDisturb feature lets you silence any alert so that it doesn't interrupt you.

Because they signal an emergency that could affect your life and safety or someone else's, DoNotDisturb can't block these alerts. These messages arrive when there is dangerous weather or another severe health or safety event imminent in your area.

If a tornado, flash flood, or other potential natural disaster is heading your way, you'll want to know so that you can take action. Emergency and Amber Alerts go out rarely and only in specific situations.

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