Free Android, iOS app wakes you earlier when it snows

Just in time for the winter season in the northern hemisphere: An alarm clock application that automatically wakes you earlier in case of frost or snow. Winter Wake-Up from Boondoggle is freely available for both Apple iOS(s aapl) and Google Android(s goog) devices. The software takes the place of your handset’s native alarm clock and is fully configurable so you can specify how much earlier you want to be woken due to bad winter weather.

The interface is classy and simple to use for setting the clock or early wake-up calls. In fact, Winter Wake-Up has a nostalgic, throwback look to the old clocks that used small panels that flip to show the time. Once set, the app functions as a normal alarm clock, but checks your local weather during the night to see if frost or snow is expected. If either condition looks likely, you’ll be woken up early so you can scrape car windows or shovel a path. Here’s how the developers describe it:

During the night, the Winter Wake Up app collects weather information for where you are. Based on this, the app decides whether it’s necessary to wake you up earlier. How much earlier is something you decide for yourself. With the Winter Wake Up app, Boondoggle hopes that its staff can get to work at a reasonable time this winter. If the situation seems really hopeless, there’s another solution. You can tell the alarm clock not to wake you. Then you can set the app to wake you to make up the lost hours on the following Saturday.

I don’t see a setting for location, so it’s not clear if you need to leave your GPS radio on during the night or if the app gets a general location from Wi-Fi or mobile broadband signals. And I haven’t been able to test the app since I just found it mentioned on Lifehacker. Even worse: We’re not expecting snow for another week or so, according to my weather app. I suppose we could just watch the weather and set our alarms earlier when snow is expected, but where I live, the forecasts often vary wildly from the reality: An expected foot of snow becomes a dusting, while flurries can morph into eight inches of heavy snow.

Of course, since my wife and I both work from a home office, you’d think we have no need for such an app; you’d be so wrong. I think my wife has OCD specifically when it comes to snow — “SnowCD”, maybe? Even if the house is fully stocked to survive a small natural catastrophe and we have no plans to go anywhere for a week, she’s outside shoveling as soon as the snow starts to fall. And by the time she has our lengthy driveway cleared, it’s time to start over again with another wave of shoveling. At least with Winter Wake-Up, we’ll get a head start on that first wave!