$twcweather.alerts

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As of November 23rd, we have been unable to locate an "official" document listing the weather alerts available to SmartThings, with complete syntax and responses. Since most of us would rather not have to wait for that documentation to start programming, a bunch of us have been gathering data the old fashioned way, and combining our findings on this page.

If you see a unique alert for your location, please contribute your observations in this thread, and I will keep the wiki updated.

If you are interested in standard weather data that is not an alert, try: TWC Weather.

Introduction

Everything on this page focuses on $twcweather.alerts. This query will usually return [] unless there is an alert for your location. When that happens, up to 62 different dataPoints may be returned. Every one of them begins with $twcweather.alerts followed by a period, and ending with the dataPoint listed below. (such as: $twcweather.alerts.eventDescription) There are a couple of tables below that got a bit crowded, so some of them will not list the beginning portion, but it is important to remember that every single command on this page begins with $twcweather.alerts.

Accessing the data

It is unfortunate, but a weather alert cannot be used as a trigger. To get alerts for your area, you can program a piston to periodically make a query. (mine is set to run every 15 minutes, but other triggers can work as well, such as right before you go to work) Please program strategically so we don't hammer the weather server too frequently. Any more often than 4 times an hour is a waste of resources and pointless for alerts. We don't want to encourage SmartThings to start charging us for this data. (since they are billed for each query)

Legend

Here is a quick list to show what each color represents on this page...

Headers for each table
Warnings / Reminders
Duplicates
Code found in a 2016 document that needs to be verified

For the most part, the "unknown dataPoints" are listed first, so they get the most exposure & hopefully more contributions. These will be followed by the dataPoints that are likely the most useful, and the occasional flood dataPoints. The final category will be the dataPoints that are probably the least useful.


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Needs More Information Gathered

We really need more data responses for this section. Please add any unique observations to this thread.

Unknown dataPoints

Expression Sample value Notes
$twcweather.alerts.disclaimer null Disclaimer for data
$twcweather.alerts.eventTrackingNumber 0003 4 digit number or a checksum

Unverified dataPoints

The following responses are not returned with $twcweather.alerts, but there is a chance that they exist if a direct query is made. Further testing is required.

(Unverified) Expression (Unverified) Sample value Notes
$twcweather.alerts.synopsis null (Brief summary)
$twcweather.alerts.texts.description "...Flood Warning extended until Monday morning...The Flood Warning\ncontinues for the Guadalupe River Near Bloomington.\n* until Monday morning...or until the warning is cancelled.\n* At 8:00 AM Friday the stage was 25.2 feet.\n* Moderate flooding is occurring and Moderate flooding is forecast.\n* Flood stage is 20.0 feet.\n* Forecast: The river has crested overnight and will continue to fall\nand is expected to go below flood stage by Sunday afternoon.\n* At 26.0 feet Irrigation and oil well pumps, tank batteries, and\nequipment in the lower flood plain below Victoria flood. Livestock\nare cut off, may have to be fed by boat, and could drown. Homes\ndownstream above Highway 35 on the left bank are cut off.\n\n&&\n\nBelow are the latest river stages and stage forecasts:\n\nFLD LATEST FORECAST 6 AM LST\nLOCATION STG STG DAY TIME Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed\n\nGuadalupe River\nBloomington 20 25.2 Fri 08 AM 23.8 21.1 18.7 17.8 17.6\n\n&&\n\n\n"  ??
$twcweather.alerts.texts.instruction null  ??
$twcweather.alerts.texts.languageCode en-US  ??
$twcweather.alerts.texts.overview "...The Flood Warning continues for the following river in Texas...\n\nGuadalupe River Near Bloomington affecting Calhoun...Refugio and\nVictoria Counties\n\n.Recent rainfall upstream and over the area will keep the aforementioned\nriver above flood stage for the next few days.\n\nPRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...\n\nStay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, local TV and radio\nstations, or cable TV outlets, for the latest weather\ninformation, as additional rainfall could affect crest\nforecasts.\n\nFor the latest river stages and forecasts visit our AHPS page at:\nhttp://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=crp\n\n&&\n\n"  ??

I recommend testing these commands shortly after you receive a weather alert, and share your findings here.

So far, we have testing (and failed) with:

AlertFailures.jpg


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Important & Useful

Most of our coding will likely use the data found in this section.
If you discovery any data not listed here, please let us know here.

Alerts

It appears that these next 5 dataPoints are mostly connected, so this table is shown a bit differently than the above tables.
To conserve space, the first three columns are marked with numbers that align with:

  1. phenomena (Phenomena code of an event)
  2. productIdentifier (Refer Inbound PIL/Event Tab)
  3. eventTrackingNumber (4 digit number or a checksum)

NOTE: No patterns have been seen for eventTrackingNumber yet... What is this number really??

Each dataPoint below must begin with $twcweather.alerts. (Such as: $twcweather.alerts.phenomena)
1 2 3 eventDescription headlineText Notes
TAW AWW 0000 Airport Weather Warning Airport Weather Warning until FRI 2:15 PM CDT
TAQ AQA 0000 Air Quality Alert Air Quality Alert until THU 11:00 PM EDT
BH CFW 0014 Beach Hazard Statement Beach Hazard Statement from SAT 10:00 AM EDT until SAT 10:00 PM EDT
TCA CAE 0000 Child Abduction Emergency Child Abduction Emergency until FRI 9:59 PM EDT
TCE CEM 0000 Civil Emergency Message Civil Emergency Message until WED 7:15 PM EDT
CF CFW 0024 Coastal Flood Statement Coastal Flood Statement from FRI 8:00 PM EDT until SAT 12:00 AM EDT
FG NPW 0003 Dense Fog Advisory Dense Fog Advisory from SAT 5:40 AM EDT until SAT 10:00 AM EDT
FF FFW 0076 Flash Flood Warning Flash Flood Warning from WED 7:47 PM CDT until WED 11:45 PM CDT
FF FFA 1, 0015 Flash Flood Watch Flash Flood Watch until WED 9:00 PM AST
FA FLS 0090, 0156, 0169 Flood Advisory Flood Advisory from THU 5:21 PM EDT until THU 7:15 PM EDT
FZ NPW 0003 Freeze Warning Freeze Warning from FRI 2:00 AM EDT until FRI 10:00 AM EDT
FR NPW 0003 Frost Advisory Frost Advisory until FRI 9:00 AM EDT
GL MWW 0024 Gale Warning Gale Warning from TUE 10:26 AM EST until WED 6:00 AM EST
HT NPW 0003 Heat Advisory Heat Advisory from TUE 10:00 AM EDT until TUE 9:00 PM EDT
HW NPW 0002 High Wind Warning High Wind Warning from THU 3:09 PM EDT until FRI 6:00 AM EDT
MA MWS 1 Marine Weather Statement Marine Weather Statement until TUE 2:30 PM AST
RP CFW 0008 Rip Tide Statement Rip Tide Statement from WED 6:00 AM EDT until WED 9:00 PM EDT
FL FLS 0065 River Flood Advisory River Flood Advisory until SUN 7:00 AM CDT
SV SVR, SVS 0106, 0333 Severe Thunderstorm Warning Severe Thunderstorm Warning from WED 6:14 PM CDT until WED 6:45 PM CDT
SV WCN 0547 Severe Thunderstorm Watch Severe Thunderstorm Watch until WED 9:00 PM EDT US
thunderstorm ECA 0000 Severe Thunderstorm Watch Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect Canada
TSG SPS 0000 Significant Weather Advisory Significant Weather Advisory until FRI 4:15 PM EDT
SC MWW 0093 Small Craft Advisory Small Craft Advisory from FRI 12:00 PM EDT until FRI 8:00 PM EDT
TSL SPS 0000 Special Weather Statement Special Weather Statement until SUN 9:00 AM CDT
TR TCV 1005 Tropical Storm Watch Tropical Storm Watch is in effect
TTP HLS 0000 Tropical Weather Statement Tropical Weather Statement until TUE 4:15 AM AST
WW WSW 0025 Winter Weather Advisory Winter Weather Advisory from MON 4:00 PM EST until TUE 7:00 PM EST

(the known "Sample values" are shown in the grey boxes above)

productIdentifier Patterns

Some of the results for productIdentifier shown above aligns with more than one eventDescrition... Here is educated guesses as to their meaning:

productIdentifier Likely? Seen during
CFW Coastal Flood Watch/Warning? Beach Hazard Statement, Coastal Flood Statement, Rip Tide Statement
FLS Flood Statement? Flood Advisory, River Flood Advisory
MWW Marine Weather Watch/Warning? Gale Warning, Small Craft Advisory
NPW National Public Watch/Warnings? Dense Fog Advisory, Freeze Warning, Frost Advisory, Heat Advisory, High Wind Warning
SPS Special Statement? Significant Weather Advisory, Special Weather Statement

Descriptions

It appears that the following dataPoints are paired up, so this table is shown a bit differently than the above tables.

Each dataPoint below must begin with $twcweather.alerts. (Such as: $twcweather.alerts.certaintyCode)
certaintyCode certainty Notes
1 Observed Determined to have occurred or to be ongoing
2 Likely Likely (p > ~50%)
3 Possible Possible but not likely (p <= ~50%)
(Likely never seen) --> 4? Unlikely Not expected to occur (p ~ 0)
5 Unknown Certainty unknown
messageTypeCode messageType Notes
1 New Initial information
2 Update Updates existing message
(Likely never seen) --> 3? Cancel Cancels the earlier message
responseTypes.responseTypeCode responseTypes.responseType Notes
1 Shelter Take shelter in place or per instruction
2? Evacuate Relocate as instructed in the instruction
3 Prepare Make preparations per the instruction
4 Execute Execute a pre-planned activity identified in instruction
5 Avoid Avoid the subject event as per the instruction
6 Monitor Attend to information sources as described in instruction
(Likely never seen) --> 7? Assess Evaluate the information in this message. (This value SHOULD NOT be used in public warning applications.)
(Likely never seen) --> 8? AllClear The subject event no longer poses a threat or concern and any follow on action is described in <instruction>
(Likely never seen) --> 9? None No action recommended
severityCode severity Notes
1? Extreme Extraordinary threat to life or property
2 Severe Significant threat to life or property
3 Moderate Possible threat to life or property
4 Minor Minimal to no known threat to life or property
5? Unknown Severity unknown
urgencyCode urgency Notes
1 Immediate Responsive action SHOULD be taken immediately
2 Expected Responsive action SHOULD be taken soon (within next hour)
3 Future Responsive action SHOULD be taken in the near future
(Likely never seen) --> 4? Past Responsive action is no longer required
5 Unknown Urgency not known

(the known "Sample values" are shown in the grey boxes above)

Significance

The code $twcweather.alerts.significance returns a single letter, as seen in the "Sample value" column below.
The second column contains educated guesses based on the alerts I have seen so far.

Sample value Likely? Seen during
A Watch Flash Flood Watch, Severe Thunderstorm Watch, Tropical Storm Watch
B Bulletin  ??
E Extreme  ??
L Local Alerts Air Quality Alert, Child Abduction Emergency
M Message Civil Emergency Message
O Outlook  ??
R Report  ??
S Statement Beach Hazard Statement, Coastal Flood Statement, Marine Weather Statement, Rip Tide Statement, Special Weather Statement, Tropical Weather Statement
W Warning Airport Weather Warning, Freeze Warning, Gale Warning, High Wind Warning, Severe Thunderstorm Warning
Y Advisory Dense Fog Advisory, Flood Advisory, Frost Advisory, Heat Advisory, River Flood Advisory, Significant Weather Advisory, Small Craft Advisory, Winter Weather Advisory

Times

These seem to be the most helpful times listed.

Expression Sample value Notes Seems to be...
$twcweather.alerts.processTimeUTC 1564471315 Valid unix time UTC Alert process time in SUN
$twcweather.alerts.expireTimeUTC 1564534800 Valid Epoch time Expire date and time in UTC
$twcweather.alerts.issueTimeLocal 2019-07-30T03:21:00-04:00 Alert issuance time
$twcweather.alerts.expireTimeLocal 2019-07-30T21:00:00-04:00 Expire date & time of the information in the alert message
$twcweather.alerts.onsetTimeLocal 2019-07-30T10:00:00-04:00 Usually returns null. Onset date & time of the information in the alert message. (Canada only)
$twcweather.alerts.effectiveTimeLocal 2019-07-30T10:00:00-04:00 Usually returns null. Effective date & time of the information in the alert message

Location

These seem to be the only helpful locations, that may change based on the precise location of the alert.

Expression Sample value Notes
$twcweather.alerts.areaId "NYZ179", "ANZ335" Code for a location where the event occurs
$twcweather.alerts.areaName "Northern Nassau County",

"Long Island Sound East of New Haven CT/Port Jefferson NY",
"Coastal Waters of Southern Puerto Rico out 10 NM"

Mixed case location name
$twcweather.alerts.areaTypeCode "C" = County,

"Z" = Zone,
"CLC" = Canada Location

Type of location
(Usually returns Z)
$twcweather.alerts.latitude 40.01 Centroid latitude of a location where the event occurs
$twcweather.alerts.longitude -75.01 Centroid longitude of a location where the event occurs

Category

The category description of the subject event of the alert message.

Each dataPoint below must begin with $twcweather.alerts.categories. (Such as: $twcweather.alerts.categories.categoryCode although $twcweather.alerts.categories[0].categoryCode may work as well)
categoryCode category More Details Notes
1 Geo Geophysical (inc. landslide)  ??
2 Met Meteorological (inc. flood) 94% of responses seen
3 Safety General emergency and public safety  ??
4 Security Law enforcement, military, homeland and local/private security  ??
5 Rescue Rescue and recovery  ??
6 Fire Fire suppression and rescue  ??
7 Health Medical and public health  ??
8 Env Pollution and other environmental  ??
9 Transport Public and private transportation  ??
10 Infra Utility, telecommunication, other non-transport infrastructure  ??
11 CBRNE Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear or High-Yield Explosive threat or attack  ??
12 Other Other events Civil Emergency, Child Abduction


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Flood

The dataPoint $twcweather.alerts.flood is usually null, but when there is an alert for possible flooding, then these extra dataPoints may appear:

Expression Sample value Notes
$twcweather.alerts.flood.floodCrestTimeLocal null, 2017-10-07T21:30:00-05:00  ??
$twcweather.alerts.flood.floodCrestTimeLocalTimeZone null, EDT  ??
$twcweather.alerts.flood.floodEndTimeLocal 2017-10-07T23:30:00-05:00  ??
$twcweather.alerts.flood.floodEndTimeLocalTimeZone EDT  ??
$twcweather.alerts.flood.floodLocationId 00000, AFBI2 Any valid NWS flood location identifier
$twcweather.alerts.flood.floodLocationName "N/A", "White River at Apache Tailwater" Any valid NWS flood location identifier
$twcweather.alerts.flood.floodStartTimeLocal 2017-10-07T20:30:00-05:00 Flood start date time
$twcweather.alerts.flood.floodStartTimeLocalTimeZone EDT Flood start date time zone abbreviation

floodImmediateCause

When there is an alert for possible flooding, then these extra dataPoints may appear:

Column 1 represents $twcweather.alerts.flood.floodImmediateCauseCode

1 $twcweather.alerts.flood.floodImmediateCause Notes
ER Excessive Rainfall Only response seen so far
SM Snowmelt  ??
RS Rain and Snowmelt  ??
DM Dam or Levee Failure  ??
IJ Ice Jam  ??
GO Glacier-Dammed Lake Outburst  ??
IC Rain and/or Snowmelt and/or Ice Jam  ??
FS Upstream Flooding plus Storm Surge  ??
FT Upstream Flooding plus Tidal Effects  ??
ET Elevated Upstream Flow plus Tidal Effects  ??
WT Wind and/or Tidal Effects  ??
DR Upstream Dam or Reservoir Release  ??
MC Other Multiple Causes  ??
OT Other Effects  ??
UU Unknown  ??

floodRecordStatus

When there is an alert for possible flooding, then these extra dataPoints may appear:

Column 1 represents $twcweather.alerts.flood.floodRecordStatusCode

1 $twcweather.alerts.flood.floodRecordStatus Notes
OO N/A For areal flood warnings, areal flash flood products, and flood advisories (point & areal)
NO  ?? A record flood is not expected
NR  ?? Near record or record flood expected
UU  ?? Flood without a period of record to compare

floodSeverity

When there is an alert for possible flooding, then these extra dataPoints may appear:

Column 1 represents $twcweather.alerts.flood.floodSeverityCode

1 $twcweather.alerts.flood.floodSeverity Notes
N None
0 N/A
1 Minor  ??
2 Moderate  ??
3 Major  ??
U Unknown  ??


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Not Very Useful

The following dataPoints seem mostly useless, but we are still gathering data.
If any of these dataPoints are found to be helpful, I will relocate it to the appropriate section above.

Times

I suspect these dataPoints will only change twice a year (when we change our clocks). IE: EDT in the Summer becomes EST in the Winter

Expression Sample value Notes
$twcweather.alerts.expireTimeLocalTimeZone EDT Time Zone Abbreviation for expire time
$twcweather.alerts.effectiveTimeLocalTimeZone EDT Time Zone Abbreviation for effective time
$twcweather.alerts.issueTimeLocalTimeZone EDT Time Zone Abbreviation for issue time
$twcweather.alerts.onsetTimeLocalTimeZone EDT, null Time Zone Abbreviation for onset time (Canada only??)

Locations

I suspect these dataPoints may never change.

Expression Sample value Notes
$twcweather.alerts.adminDistrict "New York", "Alberta"
$twcweather.alerts.adminDistrictCode "NY", "AB"
$twcweather.alerts.countryCode "US", "CA" country code of the location
$twcweather.alerts.countryName "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA", "CANADA"
$twcweather.alerts.ianaTimeZone "America/New_York", "America/Edmonton"
$twcweather.alerts.officeAdminDistrict "New York", null
$twcweather.alerts.officeAdminDistrictCode "NY"
$twcweather.alerts.officeCode "KOKX", "CWTO" Issuing Office code
$twcweather.alerts.officeCountryCode "US", "CA" Issuing Office Country Code
$twcweather.alerts.officeName "New York City" Issuing Office Name
$twcweather.alerts.source "National Weather Service", "Meteorological Service of Canada" Originating source of alert

I am hoping this last one changes occasionally... It'd be nice to see multiple sources merging for important alerts

In the 15 alerts I have seen so far, none of these locations changed between alerts. I think the best way for us to confirm this, is if each of us observes our own alerts. You'll see patterns after a handful of alerts, and can report your findings here. (Please do not share your real longitude & latitude)

Unique dataPoints

Not sure of the relevance here... They change at almost every alert.

Expression Sample value Notes
$twcweather.alerts.detailKey "8db0a39f-2c26-39c9-862b-37f7256f3d45",
"681e5182-53c2-394e-9440-c4a426680f82"
Detail record key (36 characters)
Might linger if the alerts are similar
$twcweather.alerts.identifier "f1bac66b482866c05c82fc3462978a17",
"6e39ac945ef3c7be4593d528be6388d4"
Checksum value uniquely identifies a bulletin
(32 characters)
Might linger if the alerts are identical


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Conclusion

The data gathering phase is still in progress, so this page will be updated whenever new data is posted to this thread.

I am excited to see what kind of pistons we can create for these weather alerts! Don't forget to share your creations on the forum...


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Future Projects

I think we also need to monitor $twcweather.alerts.length, because
that dataPoint does not return when querying $twcweather.alerts

This makes me wonder what other hidden dataPoints are available...

Note to self: Check out $twcweather.alerts.synopsis

Observations

Normally, on a clear day, the responses are usually:

caption

Unfortuunately, it seems that $twcweather.alerts.length will also count nulls.

caption

OR

caption

I have had about 15 of these the past few days. Each time, the weather was only slightly bad. (not worthy of an alert, IMO)


If you'd like to help me understand what $twcweather.alerts.length represents, here is a piston that is ready for import.


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