Whether you're planning to head out around town for an afternoon, or you want to know what the weather is going to be like at your destination before you head to the airport, you probably have a weather site that you trust to deliver an accurate and useful forecast. There are plenty to choose from, but this week we're going to take a look at five popular ones.
BOM is the official go-to weather site for Australians, offering a comprehensive service that includes radar and satellite imagery for the whole country. Operated and owned by the Australian government, BOM also offers information on climate, past weather, water, environment, cyclones, tsunamis, UV and sun protection, marine and ocean, agriculture, aviation and more. Lots of third-party weather widgets tailed for Aussies draw their data from BOM, and it's established itself as one of the most reliable local weather services with good reason.
The venerable Weather Channel has a reputation with for accuracy, simplicity and ease of use. The site is straightforward, remembers your location and offers an accurate hourly prediction for the day ahead, 48-hour forecast, and even 5-day and 10-day forecasts to help you plan for future events. Maps and radar are there if you need them, but the focus of the site is on current conditions, any severe weather alerts like storms, air quality alerts, pollen alerts and other information you may want to know before you leave the office for lunch or head out in the morning before work. Simple and accurate.
Weatherspark prides itself on its attractive graphs, maps and charts, and they definitely deliver on that front. Type in your location, and you'll be treated to a beautiful dashboard with a map of current temperatures around your area, along with an interactive, data-driven graph of temperatures in your area, organised by hour, along with a percentile range of accuracy, so you know exactly how likely it is to stray from the projected temperature, and what the statistical max and minimum temperatures will be. Hit forecasts to see a comprehensive daily or hourly forecast for the next few days. It's not the fastest way to get a forecast, but it's definitely one of the prettiest.
Accuweather's mobile apps and widgets are some of the most accessible for day-to-day use when you need to know how much to bundle up before you leave for work, or whether you should carry an umbrella when you go grocery shopping. But many criticise Accuweather for its forecast accuracy, especially for long-term projections. Even so, Accuweather offers a lot of international forecasts, and there's a lot to like about it.
Accurate forecasts, detailed information, current conditions and forecasts at the top and incredibly detailed data further down the page, and accurate information in rural areas down to the specific weather station that's closes to your house were all reasons many of you prefer Weather Underground to any other site. The site design is a little busy, but the relevant information is at the top right where you can get to it. Plus, large interactive maps, terrain maps, storm tracks, regional, national and international forecasts, and more make for an exceptional weather site. Don't forget to visit the discussions, where meteorologists discuss the day's forecasts, models, and how they arrived at their predictions.
Honourable mentions this week go out to Intellicast, which a number of you said may not be the best looking, but definitely worth a look if you want accurate regional, national and travel-based weather reports. Also, we can't let this topic go without mentioning another runner-up, The F**king Weather, which is absolutely perfect if you don't need frills, maps, projections, doppler or any of that crap, and you just want to know what it's like outside.
So what do you think of the contenders? Have something to say about one of the ones mentioned above, or want to make the case for your favourite that may have not made the list?