As a Cyclist & Motorcyclist I Check The Weather A Lot… NOAA!

I’ve dumped the Weather.com site and couldn’t be happier! I’m so glad the Weather Channel sent me that survey…  talk about unintended consequences.

Like a lot of folks, I began using the Weather Channel’s internet site as my primary source for weather information way back when it was about the best site for weather information.

However, over time Weather.com has become bloated with all kinds of “junk links”, pop-ups and other spam to the point where it takes forever to load and, moreover, it’s rare that you can simply get what you need to know from a single page visit.  Imagine that? By design, the site is designed to generate revenue based on page visits and “hits” to all of the crap sites that are linked off the site and they’ve figured out how to make users maximize the number of pages or links that they have to open to get enough useful information.

Screen shot 2013-12-14 at 10.20.55 AM

What I liked about weather.com was the weather radar views they provided and the ability to have snap-shots of several different places at the top of the page so I could see what the weather was at my folk’s place up in Pennsylvania, my sister’s place near Chicago and the place I’d rather be: Key West.

Screen shot 2013-12-14 at 10.37.27 AM

So, I basically put up with all the crap that came along with that useful information.  However, when I really needed accurate forecast information, I’d always go to the U.S. Government’s National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) site, as they are the Wall Street Journal of weather reporting: detailed, accurate facts… no spin.

Screen shot 2013-12-14 at 10.29.44 AM

So, the other day I was asked to take a survey by Weather.com.  I typically delete these things but this time I decided to take the survey.  What was interesting was that as I answered each question I began to realize just how much I disliked their internet site. By the time I was done and had submitted the survey I’d decided it was time to break my habit of visiting weather.com and did some exploring on the NOAA site to see everything they had to offer.  It was a no-brainer, I deleted the link to weather.com.

My favorite feature on the NOAA site has become the hourly weather graphs; hey, I’m a visual learner.  Seeing a temperature plot in parallel with humidity, cloud cover, rain fall, etc. all on one page covering a 48-hour period gives me everything I need to know near-term in a few moments; what could be better?

Screen shot 2013-12-14 at 10.31.13 AM

As for extended forecasts, NOAA provides a summary of what’s ahead but you can also go to the Forecast Discussion where they provide that “Wall Street Journal” level of detail regarding the forecast, to include the probability factors and other conditions that are subject to change.  All-in-all, I now find that the forecast information I get from NOAA is a heck of a lot more accurate and useful than Weather.com ever was.  I’ve also found that their weather radar, while not as “slick” and enhanced as Weather.com, is well… the exact same thing.  It’s not like weather radars are all that different; it’s just how they choose to colorize, smooth and animate that makes them appear different.

Anyway, just thought I’d share my early Christmas present.  As another friend noted, weather sites & apps are like “Geezer Porn” for people like us who ride motorcycles and bicycles year round: we just can’t get enough and find ourselves hitting those sites all the time.  Just glad that I’ve now found one I like.  How, if only I could link my Verizon phone to a NOAA app instead of AccuWeather!

Note: Credit for Geezer Porn goes to our friends Zack & Bobby who I believe had the original exchange this past October down in Panama City Beach!

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About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
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4 Responses to As a Cyclist & Motorcyclist I Check The Weather A Lot… NOAA!

  1. chacebike@comcast.net says:

    You have it right. I’ve worked as a weather forecaster for the Navy though ocean engineering is really my thing. I supplement NOAA with our local Univ of WA Meteorology Dept which has some nice tools for the Pacific Northwest. (Nice version of the radar plot and nested models which provide good detail on a bicycle scale.)

    You might also glance at the http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/forecasts/ when you want a guess at the longer term for trip planning.

    Buff Chace SeaTac, WA PhD Ocean Engineering 74 year old geezer

  2. Shirley D. says:

    Great advice, TG. We are heading south for a few months of tandeming and this will
    be our go to site for car travel as well.
    Happy holidays and safe travels to you.
    Stoker D

  3. Rick Lindstrom says:

    Mark-

    You might want to try out http://www.Weatherspark.com. Lots of graphical stuff, plus history and forecast.

    Rick

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