Poncho Personalized Weather Alerts Come to Philadelphia

You may never need a weather app — or a meteorologist — again.

Bye, Sheena Parveen. Hello … Poncho?

Philadelphians may no longer need to watch the morning and evening newscasts for the weather report. Nor, for that matter, check their weather apps ever again.

This is not to say these services will become obsolete (Cecily, Sheena, Hurricane, Wunderground and the like will always have a place in our hearts), but their impersonal approaches have a challenger in Poncho, a new weather service arriving in Philadelphia (and all of Pennsylvania) today.

Poncho is, well, a feline who helps bring you your weather forecast exactly when — and how — you want it. Upon registering with the service, you enter your name and ZIP code, which Poncho follows with a series of questions: When do you wake up in the morning? Do you have pets that need to go outside? When do you leave work? Are you allergic to pollen? Wanna know how the day will affect your hair?

From there, Poncho simply shoots you a text and/or email in the morning and/or afternoon (all based upon your chosen preferences). Additionally, you can set the times you wake up on weekdays and weekends and leave work in the afternoon.

Poncho was born in 2013 in New York’s Betaworks start-up studio and had previously been operating in other cities, including Boston, Austin, Chicago, Houston and Washington, D.C. It is powered by data from forecast.io.

Poncho promises not to spam its users, proclaiming, “There’s no app to install or update, no graphs to interpret. Poncho will tell you just what you need to know to get your day started, and nothing more.” The front page provides the current weather and forecast for the next eight hours, as well as a tidbit from Poncho’s cat mascot. Today, for example, is both National Lazy Day and National S’mores Day. So on your way home from work (it’s not looking like rain, by the way), buy some ‘mallows and chocolate and kick back for the evening.

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