If all you need is the simple forecast for the week, there’s a dozen sites you could go to, but where do you go if you’re a weather lover and want to get a fuller understanding of what is actually going on? I’ll share a few of my favorite sources…
The National Weather Service has a ton of info.
The NWS is the US government agency that forecasts the weather and is responsible for issuing tens of thousands of meteorology-related warnings throughout the country annually to inform farmers, aviators, surfers, etc. of all foreseeable dangers. Their website is rich in information but unfortunately a bit crude to navigate so I feel a lot of nice info can be easily missed.
They have a constantly updated forecast report issued straight from the nerdy meteorologists themselves at each of the NWS offices. Their technical reports explain why the weather is the way it is and what the models show are going to happen next so I find them very educational and fascinating.
Here is how you can find the detailed “Forecast Discussion” for your home town:
You’ll know you found the right page when you have a page full of text written in CAPS LOCK. I don’t know why it’s always capitalized other than to think they are stuck in the past and think writing with caps lock on makes them sound super-serious.
In all seriousness though, the report tends to be quite educational because it’s full of technical terms that broadcast meteorologists typically avoid using. Luckily, the NWS boasts an internal glossary to help in this regard if there’s anything you don’t understand. Some words are even linked to the glossary in the report!
If you come across an acronym or abbreviation that you can’t decipher, check out this list, it is very comprehensive.
Next, you could visit Snowforecast.com… it’s not just for snow!
Their forecasts make for some great supplemental info because it’s concise and the writing style is different and that helps me get a fuller understanding of everything. Also, their long-range forecast (below the graphical information) provides more insight than the NWS.
Snowforecast.com is made up of real meteorologists who originally created the website to help ski resort operators. Some ski resorts create snow to help open the season early and extend the season for as long as possible. Snow-making is costly though and if the weather conditions are not perfect or if a large storm is on the way with natural snow, that is really useful info for them. This website capitalized on the resorts need for customized forecast data (especially important if the resort has a micro-climate due to nearby lakes or unusual orography). I’ve been following them for a few years already and they’ve grown a lot and I really appreciate their endeavor.
If you want beautiful live (and forecasted) radar, check out Weather.com’s Interactive Weather Map
Weather.com offers this Interactive Weather Map that is quite cool to look at when there is a storm happening. It’s an animated map done that shows the radar, clouds, temps and can even display a forecast model for the next 6 hours for anywhere in the United States.
Just zoom in to your location of interest, click Play to see the motion of the radar, clouds, temps. Switch between Road and Satellite views, play around with the different settings and get a visual understanding of the storm you’re experiencing.
Weather.com’s Interactive Weather Map