If you had told our original founders back in 2015 that the Global Weather & EAS Society would amass a Discord member base that exceeds 1,000 members, we would have said one thing: “Impossible. There is no way that there are that many people are interested in such a niche topic.” If you would have told those same people that the community they originally created would be around almost a full decade later, they would call you crazy.

Well, have times changed. Beginning as a friend group, called Weather and EAS Community 2015, we only consisted of just 13 users. We had no idea what was to come in the future.

Let’s take a look back at the history of our organization.

The Beginnings

Discord was not well-known when we first started this crazy idea of a community. Facebook, for better or for worse, was our original home. Being a part of another EAS community at the time, some members felt the need to break away from that administration and form their own. It was here that WEC15 was born.

Our Facebook group was not impressive. We decided that there would be no rules, that we’d democratically elect our moderators, and that’s about it. Of course, we talked a lot about weather and EAS, but our big focus was making the group separate from what we had split from.

After the Beginnings

Our attention would turn away from old practices and towards weather and EAS once more. In 2017, three big things happened:

  1. We had changed our name to IWEA (International Weather & EAS Aficionados)
  2. We created the Thunderstorm Watch Organization, dedicated to issuing products in the Facebook group for severe weather situations
  3. We joined Discord

At the time, GWES was the first weather and EAS community to join Discord.

By that time, it was upward from there, at least for a few years.

Current Day

You might remember our blog post back on March 13, 2023. By the time we wrote that post, we had just barely crossed the 600-member mark. Just barely over a year later, here we are in the current day, crossing the 1,000-member mark.

GWES has done many things to evolve over the past couple of years, adding many things such as free resources to anyone looking to get into the hobby, or just see more information about weather and EAS. Our website and resources are regularly updates with all the latest information for you, no matter who you are.

Reaching the 1,000-member mark is something that we never expected to happen.

For those of you who have been with us since the days of having less than 50 members, or those who joined our community today, we cannot thank you enough for your dedication to staying with us throughout this journey.

Note From our Founder

There’s something about being a total contrarian that my younger self absolutely loved. EAS and Weather was only half of the hobby for me — the other was seeing how I could craft a community. I became interested in people more than what the people were interested in.

To form WEC15 was for me to be rebellious where I could not be anywhere else. It was self-expression just as much as it was about weather and EAS. If I wanted to talk about my “roots” in this community, it was just on the idea that I had to counter what everyone else is doing.

That’s obviously not a healthy mindset to have as an adult, and it was not healthy back then. In the process, I hurt people I once considered my friends. I had burned bridges that took some time to build back over.

But from this ugliness, there was something at its core that made GWES exactly what it is today; doing things nobody else is doing. The spirit lives on every time we make new software, design new web pages, create new teams out of thin air, and teach ourselves every single day about what we’re passionate about (even now that we have full-time jobs and adult lives!).

So, this personal note is half an apology and half a celebration. It’s an apology for what took us up here, and a celebration not only that we made it here, but that each and every bridge was rebuilt. I — we — are incredibly lucky.

Where do we go from here, after nine years? I don’t really know, but I know it’ll probably be different from where we were in 2024. If the last nine years taught us anything, it’s that we know nothing about what will happen next.

~ Paul (paulge)


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