Cool Toys Pic of the Day – Weather Spark

Weather Spark:

I have a new weather-love. I’ve always preferred Weather Underground (a.k.a. WUnderground) to any other weather information site, and I still love WUnderground, but … now that I’ve met Weather Spark, that little sizzle is back in the air, and I’m not sure I can be (or want to be) solely faithful to just the one source.

You see, I’m from Iowa. In Iowa, we take our weather SERIOUSLY. Even after 15 years in southeast Michigan, I remain disgusted and disappointed by the local weather reporting. I’m accustomed to details, metrics, radar, front lines, animations, movement, actual predictions that include expected impacts on personal health as well as businesses and fairly detailed suggestions for how to prepare. Let’s just say, Fox New Detroit? Has no clue.

WUnderground is wonderful for its detailed and granular accuracy, integrated crowdsourced data with the NOAA data for both reliability and accuracy that reaches within a mile of my house. Not just what temp is it in the town, but what temp is it in my neighborhood (which is sometimes a couple degrees different!). WUnderground also has the radar I enjoy so much, fronts, 10 day predictions, pollen & allergen counts, photos, automatic conversion between Fahrenheit and Celsius, and more.

WUnderground: Ann Arbor:

Weather Spark: Ann Arbor:;a=USA/MI/Ann_Arbor;dt=23;mspp=900000

Now, since WUnderground is so, well, wonderful, why am I enchanted with Weather Spark as well? Data. Especially beautifully visualized. And interactive. Gives me the shivers and goosebumps. Weather Spark gives me hourly data, for the entire day, mapped directly over the means, with forecast, sun/moon, precipitation, wind direction/speed, maps, radar, control data sources, and the ability to download historical weather data (for a fee). It has wonderful yearlong / daily / monthly temperature averages charts. They even have climate trends data and tools.

Climate Trends Tool:!climate;ws=29939;ctum=0;cth=500;ctmy=15;ctsy=1949;ctey=2010


Try comparing the synthesis data here:

To this PDF from NOAA, which is released monthly, but sadly a couple months after the month it describes.

See what I mean? You really need both. Or rather, all three. It’s a bit like that old joke, something about a woman needing a man who makes her feel beautiful, sexy, and romantic, and that it’s best if the men don’t know each other.

Weather Spark gives me a competely different set of data than WUnderground.


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