|This is part of my weather report archive. This article was not originally written for AccuWeather.com, where I started blogging in 2005. This article originally was a draft for publication in WeatherWise magazine, but it ultimately was not released by AccuWeather. This article was put online in 2012 after I finally did get an article in that magazine.|
COPYRIGHT 1999 JESSE FERRELL / ACCU WEATHER - UNPUBLISHED
Ten years ago the only way for the average person to obtain detailed or graphical weather information was to watch television or pay for an expensive satellite or modem system. Now thousands of Internet sites exist which are dedicated to providing weather information to the public. At last count, one search engine claimed there were nearly 13 million web pages containing the word "weather." [insert promo text about %age of users looking for weather data on internet]
From the comfort of your own computer, you can now read your local forecast, watch the latest storm pass over you on radar, or have severe weather alerts email or page you when adverse weather is closing in. You can view "weathercams" which present live pictures of the weather from just about any place on earth. For the adventurous, one could purchase weather equipment over the web, have it delivered to your house, then hook it up and broadcast the data to the Internet!
Much of the weather information on the Internet can be viewed at no charge, with a handful of websites requesting a monthly subscription for access to the much touted real-time weather data - such as the most current NEXRAD (Next Generation Weather Radar) or NLDN (National Lightning Detection Network) data. Long range detailed forecasts, such as AccuWeather's 10-Day Hour-By-Hour™ forecast can also be obtained for a monthly fee.
Large weather companies have a strong presence on the Internet, for example AccuWeather's AccuWeather.com, Weather Services International's Intellicast.com, and The Weather Channel's Weather.com. While these sites are responsible for much of the Internet weather traffic, smaller sites such as The Weather Underground, WeatherTap, and Storm99 attract many users to their specific services. A lot of data is also presented by Universities (such as the Ohio-State or Penn State Meteorology Departments) or government sources (such as the National Weather Service or the National Climatic Data Center).
International weather is also a hot topic - whether you want the forecast low temperature next week in Vostok Antarctica or you want to view the latest typhoon on radar in Guam, the World Wide Web is ready to provide the data.
If the information you seek cannot be found on the major sites, thousands of personal web pages summarize, organize, and make sense of the plethora of weather information available on the Internet. These can be searched through major Internet search engines such as Altavista, Yahoo, and Google. Specialty weather portal sites such as About.com Weather professionally organize Internet weather resources.
Everyone is involved in weather on the Internet; storm chasers show off their latest photos (a directory of them is on the Storm Chaser Home Page), professors post their dissertations, and amateur weather observers discuss the latest on Global Warming.
Weather organizations, such as CASI (the Central Atlantic Storm Investigators) and NEMAS (the NorthEast Media of Atmospheric Science), accept memberships which enable users to participate in the Internet weather revolution by receiving newsletters, posting data, and opening avenues for research and discussion.
Email lists are available which range from general weather banter to product or equipment discussions. "Newsgroups," or public bulletin boards, many of which feature weather topics but used to be accessed only by the Internet savvy, are now available to the public through Deja.com. Magazines, such as Weatherwise, can also be accessed online.
If you are a weather aficionado and are not yet online, you are missing a world of information which can further your hobby.
Sidebar/Footnote: Internet Addresses Discussed Above
Large Weather Companies:
The Weather Channel http://www.weather.com
Other Weather Sites
The Weather Underground http://www.wunderground.com/
National Weather Service http://www.nws.noaa.gov/
National Climatic Data Center http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/
Storm Chaser Homepage http://www.stormchaser.niu.edu/chaser/chaser.html
Search & News Sites
Deja.com Newsgroups Server http://www.deja.com/
About.Com Weather http://weather.about.com/
EarthCam Webcams http://www.earthcam.com/
Sharx Security has sponsored a recent upgrade of our statewide AccuCam Weather Camera Network and I've been reviewing the hardware and software.
Derecho or no derecho, last night's storm was plenty severe in many places from Chicago to New Jersey, including here at my house in State College, Pa.
Was the incredible photo of lightning striking the new World Trade Center last Sunday real, or was it a hoax? I investigate.
During an unprecedented large tornado outbreak last week in Oklahoma City, Storm Chaser & Engineer Tim Samaras was killed, along with his son Paul, and Carl Young.
I met Sean Casey and toured his TIV2 Tornado Intercept Vehicle in 2011. Yesterday, that vehicle found itself in a large, violent tornado, and the video is incredible.
Snow was reported in Pennsylvania and New York on May 24, as viewers looked forward to temperatures in the 20s on Memorial Day Weekend.