Obtain accurate weather forecasts and data from these sources for free or for a relatively small fee.
The weather affects everyone, but we don't always pay attention to the source details of the weather forecasts we see, hear or read. The weather can make the difference between an easy or difficult trip, on-time or delayed deliveries, and / or successful or canceled events. That is the reason why transportation providers, delivery services and the main outdoor event managers pay significant fees for personalized weather forecast information.
Almost everyone, from individuals to small and medium-sized organizations, can access a significant amount of highly detailed and accurate information. weather information. Below, we explain how to better understand the source of the weather forecast information, identify accurate forecast providers for a location, and obtain additional weather data for free or for a relatively small fee.
SEE: How are relief workers using data analysis to support and measure their efforts (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
1. Start the search
If you have a computer connected to the Internet, you have access to a weather forecast. Search for the keyword "weather" along with a name or location identifier (such as a zip code), and the results will show the current temperature and a forecast. Voice assistants such as Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri also answer questions related to the weather, such as "what will be the weather forecast for tomorrow?" or "will it rain today?"
Meteorological data providers vary by provider. For example, Google delivers data from The Weather Channel in response to weather queries from Google.com and Google Assistant. The Weather Channel also provides data for both Apple's Weather app on iPhone and for Siri responses. Microsoft's Bing and Windows 10 weather applications are based on Foreca forecasts. Amazon's Alexa sources come from AccuWeather, while DuckDuckGo provides the results of its Dark Sky partner ( Figure A ).
2. Look for precise sources
The accuracy of different forecasters varies. ForecastAdvisor allows you to enter a location and then provides a precision classification of the performance of the forecast providers for that location. Compared providers include AccuWeather, Dark Sky, Foreca, MeteoGroup, National Weather Service, The Weather Channel, Weather Underground and World Weather Online. Note: "Persistence", which is also on the list, is simply a forecast that predicts tomorrow's weather will be exactly the same as today's weather. Persistence provides a baseline forecast against which to measure other forecasts.
For example, The Weather Channel can provide the most accurate forecast during the last year for a location, while in another area, AccuWeather can score better. ForecastAdvisor can help you identify a weather forecaster to rely on for each site ( Figure B ).
3. See different forecasts
Windy provides free access to forecasts based on four different models, along with a compelling weather data visualization application on the web, as well as Android and iOS applications. You can choose to show wind, temperature, radar, air quality and much more. The application includes access to meteorological data (known as METAR) from airports.
Windy also offers the possibility to view four different forecasts simultaneously. These include the basic model of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a regional model administered by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, a model developed by Meteoblue, as well as a model of the European Center for Forecasts Meteorological Medium Range. A review of these four forecasts can help give you a good idea of the potential climate range for a location ( Figure C ).
4. Add an application that allows you to change data sources
In addition to the weather applications available directly from major weather services, some third-party weather applications may display forecasts from different sources ( Figure D ).
5 Check the radar
Radar images can help you track and understand how rain, hail, snow and other weather systems move and change RadarScope sets the standard for timely, accurate and detailed access to data radar, on Android or iOS, for a one-time purchase z of $ 9.99, you can access data from hundreds of radar sites ( Figure E ).
Two additional subscriptions (and optional) levels provide greater access to data such as real-time lightning and radar animations (Level 1) or recent radar data from the Last month (Level 2). Level 1 is $ 9.99 per year, and Level 2 is $ 99.99 per year. RadarScope also offers desktop applications for Windows and macOS.
6. Track the weather on the road
Specialized applications allow you to find forecasts for travel by land, air or water. Paid and / or subscription-based services offer weather forecasts for land routes (inRoute for iOS), air routes (WeatherSpork for iOS and Android) or water routes (iNavX for iOS and Android). See the links to the respective sites for detailed information on features and prices.
The free WolframAlpha service allows you to explore the weather as you travel through time or, more precisely, provides access to historical weather data in the modern era by date and place. For example, I searched for "Climate in Dallas, Texas, on July 24, 2000" and saw results that the temperature (in Fahrenheit) ranged between 66 and 90 degrees that day ( Figure F ).
Your experience with these or other meteorological applications?
What source of meteorological information do you value most? What has been your experience with one or more of the applications mentioned above? Are there any additional weather applications or services that you recommend? Let me know, either in the comments below or on Twitter ( @awolber ).