Five Best Weather Web Sites

Sunday, 20 May 2012 14 comments
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 the top five, based on your nominations.

Five Best Weather Web Sites Weather Channel

The venerable Weather Channel has a reputation with many of you 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.

Five Best Weather Web Sites


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, organized 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.

Five Best Weather Web Sites


Accuweather garnered both love and hate from many of you, but enough nominations to make the top five. Many of you pointed to its mobile apps and widgets as being 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 of you criticized Accuweather for its forecast accuracy, especially for long-term projections. Even so, Accuweather offers a lot of international forecasts, which many of you liked.

Five Best Weather Web Sites

Weather Underground

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.

Five Best Weather Web Sites

The vast majority of weather sites get their weather data from stations operated by or at least sponsored by the National Weather Service, so why not get your weather information right from the source? Many of you said you do, and head straight to when you want to find out what the conditions are in your neck of the woods or across town. The interface isn't the best, and don't expect some of the bells and whistles from some of the other sites, but you will get accurate, up-to-date conditions, forecasts, satellite imagery, radar maps, and more, all in one place. In addition to current conditions, NOAA offers all sorts of information about ground conditions, from brush fires to wind advisories. The data is incredibly complete, and most importantly, most of the source information that other services use to build their own forecasts.

What's The Best Weather Web Site? Weather Channel  18.99%  (911 votes)

Weatherspark  10.88%  (522 votes)

Accuweather  8.88%  (426 votes)

Weather Underground  40.95%  (1,964 votes)  20.29%  (973 votes)

Total Votes: 4,796

Lifehacker Poll Results

Honorable mentions this week go out toIntellicast, 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 favorite that may have not made the list?

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