When turning to where to get all your weather related reports, it’s important to research your sources and choose the ones that provide the most accurate and up to date information. But who wants to do research when Snow Scholars can do it for you! In this piece, we’ll lay out the pros and cons of a few popular weather tracking websites/applications.
NOAA Weather Radar Live
Well designed app
Paywall for severe weather alerts and lightning data, which is available for free with other apps
Decrease in amount of free data
NOAA Weather Radar Live is a very well designed interface. Radar imagery is sharp and precipitation can be distinguished between rain and snow. You can view forecast data from any location on the map. However, there are a lot of paywalls to receive alerts or more extensive data.
National Weather Service
Offers a full scope of radar products for free
Resolution is grainy
They offer radar data free on their website, which is easy to navigate. Their newly improved interface allows you to zoom in and out on both desktops and mobile phones. However, the resolution is a bit grainy and does not update as quickly as other apps. As well, they do not have an app because of the non-compete clause with the private industry in Federal law. Therefore, you will not get notifications of severe weather for your area.
The Weather Channel
Well-designed website and app
Access to The Weather Channel’s video coverage and news
Free radar version blurs out the radar too much
Paywall for higher quality radar images
The Weather Channel is consistently rated as the most accurate weather app for multiple cities across the country.
Zooming in and out of imagery is pretty seamless and the satellite map used allows you to zoom down to the street level. It features a future radar option, which attempts to forecast future storm activity up to six hours in advance. However, the smoothing effect can cause some data discrepancies, especially with zoomed in. The smoothing can be remedied by a premium radar opinion, which offers higher resolution imagery and forecast radar imagery.
Aesthetically appealing maps
Various weather data options
Weather data may be old
Not for beginners
For outdoor lovers that are looking for a more holistic report, for example boaters and pilots, Windy is a great resource. Along with radar, it reports wind data in a visually aesthetic way. It allows you to layer features like precipitation and cloud cover. However, for occupations that demand the fastest up to date reports, Windy is often 5 or more minutes behind. As well, it might be too complicated for the average user.
Multiple data options
Not great resolution
Future radar only predicts 3 hours ahead
Offers very localized weather conditions
Surplus of information from its extensive PWS network
Similar to The Weather Channel App
Radar images are not detailed, just like the free Weather Channel App
The Weather Underground is a great app if you want both hyperlocal weather conditions and radar information. This site has the most extensive database of personal weather stations in the world. However, its interface and information is very similar to The Weather Channel app.
After comparing and contrasting these various weather trackers, we hope you have a better sense of which one suits you best. Snow Scholars proudly uses The Weather Channel and the NOAA Report, which as described above are great sources. Through their premium subscriptions, their imagery is sharp, their updates are fast, and their reporting is accurate. We at Snow Scholars did our research and now yours, so you can be a snow expert too.
~ Nina Petrosino, Snow Scholars Writer