What Are The Best Weather Websites?

barometer weather   What Are The Best Weather Websites?I’m rather obsessed with the weather. It’s not my fault, it’s just that I was born and brought up in the U.K., and all British people are obsessed with the weather. I think it’s because the weather is rather changeable on this little island butting up to the European mainland. Over the course of a single week we can experience hot sun, icy frosts, torrential rain, deep snow, and gusts aplenty. It’s fun, but it means keeping up to date with the latest forecasts is absolutely essential.

No matter where you are in the world it’s important to keep an eye on the weather. While the simplest method is to stick your head outside and see for yourself what it’s like, that method can only get you so far. It’s much better to see, hear, or read a weather forecast compiled from data by a meteorologist. Thankfully the Web provides us with plenty of options, and what follows are the best weather websites currently available.

BBC Weather

The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) is known and respected around the world, and it handles its weather service in the same way it handles everything else: with clear and concise reports uncluttered by opinion or obtuse observations. You can instantly see an overall outlook for your area, and with a little extra delving can find a more detailed forecast for anything up to the next 10 days.

bbc weather screenshot   What Are The Best Weather Websites?

Perhaps the best feature on BBC Weather is the map as shown in the screenshot embedded below. You can focus in on your local area or widen the search to include a whole country. You can then see how the weather is set to change in increments throughout the day, with the option of viewing conditions, temperature, or pressure systems.

bbc weather feature   What Are The Best Weather Websites?

Other features to look out for include the constantly changing gallery of user-submitted photos, and a basic guide to the weather conditions in individual countries.

WeatherSpark

WeatherSpark is for those who want more than just a brief summary of what the weather is going to be like for the next few days. The amount of information on offer on this site is overwhelming, with forecasts showing conditions on an hourly basis, in-depth reports which include historical data, and interactive maps and graphs which can be adapted to each individual’s specific needs.

weatherspark screenshot   What Are The Best Weather Websites?

Thankfully this information is all presented in a visually pleasing manner, with a dashboard providing the main points for a specific area. By default this includes a map and a graph which combined give a detailed description of the weather for the next few hours and/or days. Data points that can be turned on or off include temperature, wind speeds, humidity levels, and precipitation probability.

weatherspark feature   What Are The Best Weather Websites?

This is the perfect option for those who, like me, are a little obsessed with studying weather patterns. If you’re more likely to take each day as it comes then WeatherSpark won’t be for you.

Weather Underground

Weather Underground is another website which seeks to offer more information than any TV weather forecaster could ever impart on viewers. Cleverly the site design means the most relevant and easy to read data is at the top of the page, with the more detailed and geeky data hidden further down the page where only those who want to see it will find it.

weather underground screenshot   What Are The Best Weather Websites?

This data is all presented in a mixture of textual and visual formats, but if that’s too much for your brain to take in then clicking on the WunderMap provides an even simpler way of seeing what’s happening outside. You can change the type of map or the data presented, and add extra layers to gain an overall picture of the weather where you are.

weather underground feature   What Are The Best Weather Websites?

Adding to the bookmark-worthiness of Weather Underground is the photos and videos section, as well as the blogs and forums by meteorologists which add a sense of community to the whole site.

Intellicast

It has to be said Intellicast isn’t the best-looking website in the world, or even on this list. It’s too busy, with the links to find the relevant information a little confusing. Thankfully once you do find what you’re looking for you’re rewarded with accurate, up-to-date forecasts that will surely please purists of the genre.

intellicast screenshot   What Are The Best Weather Websites?

The standards of weather websites — current conditions, and both short and longterm forecasts — are included. But there is also a great map feature which allows you to view local, national, or global weather systems developing. There are also charts that offer detailed analyses of various weather elements, such as atmospheric pressures and isobars.

intellicast feature   What Are The Best Weather Websites?

If you can look past the dated look and feel employed by Intellicast the website offers an immense amount of data (with a U.S. bias) that can be broken down into digestible chunks.

The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel is many people’s first port of call when it comes to weather websites. This is partly due to the good reputation it enjoys, and partly due to the killer domain name of weather.com. The site offers accurate forecasts presented in a simple and easy-to-use format, and it’s the one on this list which most closely resembles the weather reports many of us are used to seeing on television.

weather com screenshot   What Are The Best Weather Websites?

The homepage offers news stories related to weather, as well as videos of extreme conditions and opinion pieces looking at longterm trends. Clicking on Weather brings up the current conditions, with severe weather warnings and alerts highlighted. There are also forecasts for the days and weeks ahead, as well as a fascinating Weather In Motion map showing how conditions are changing.

weather com feature   What Are The Best Weather Websites?

In some ways The Weather Channel offers the widest range of experiences, meaning both amateurs and experts alike will be able to get something from the site.

Conclusions

It was extremely hard narrowing this list down, as there are a surprising number of weather websites out there that do a fine job. In the end it came down to choosing those which provide good, reliable forecasts while offering something a little extra or unique. As always we’re keen to hear from you, so feel free to leave a comment below with your opinion on the best weather websites, whether they received a mention or not.

And please remember to wrap up warm/take a spare umbrella out with you/wear suncream/be careful on the ice. Delete as appropriate after you learn what the weather is going to be like in your part of the world.

Image Credit: Andres Rueda

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24 Comments -

William Boggess

Being an amateur meteorologist, I like to roll my own weather site. In addition to my own weather station and webserver, I use simuawips.com as a weather console. Access is free although they do appreciate donations. Create your own maps based upon the most up to date data from the National Weather Service. If I have to use a site, weatherunderground is the best. The rest especially the Weather Channel is all giitz.

Bill

Dave Parrack

I’m definitely going to check out simuawips.com. I do feel like I’ll be risking becoming even more obsessed with the weather by doing so though. Thanks for the suggestion.

William Boggess

Simuawips is US based only, so if you are looking for international weather, this would not be good for you.

Bill

Florin Ardelian

Weather Underground and AccuWeather fail terribly for me (Timisoara, Romania). For example, AccuWeather’s main page says that it’s -9°C, on the hourly page it says that at this hour it’s -7°C and their Chrome extension says it’s -8°C. They also do a horrible job at predicting rain or snow. Weather Underground repeatedly lied to me saying it was raining outside for days in a row and there wasn’t a drop in sight. Several times.

Maybe I can find a better service for my area on one of these websites. Thanks a bunch, Dave!

Also, I’m curious, why didn’t you include AccuWeather?

Dave Parrack

I tried AccuWeather and didn’t particularly like the interface or feel it offered anything above and beyond those featured. Good luck finding the site which suits you best.

Zhong Jiang

Weather.gov, official government site to monitor weather. My choice and pick.

Dave Parrack

I had a look at that but found it very American-centric. That’s not a bad thing if you’re in the U.S. but not so good for the rest of us.

Junil Maharjan

You have a great list here but you forgot Accuweather. It is a great app as well as they have a great website for weather.

Dave Parrack

I didn’t forget it, I just didn’t feel it deserved a place in the Top 5. It would perhaps make the list of best weather apps though!

druv vb

Tried The Weather Channel and it just seems more accurate than AccuWeather. Though AccuWeather displays better satellite image for my place (Mahebourg, Mauritius). But still, its mainly on my Android tablet that I check for weather reports. And then, there’s the local meteorological site which gives satellite images from various sources.
Knowing how the weather is tomorrow, can make a better day.

Alexander

I just use our national tv weather website, since you can choose what city you want weather from and much more :)

Dave Parrack

If you find something that works for you then it’s all good :)

Mike M

I am a big fan of Intellicast.

Codeforest

Definitely the best weather service is http://yr.no

Andrew Rossaak

I agree – yr.no. Most accurate for southern Africa. Not sure why the Norwegians can predict African weather better than any local service….

Also they have predicted high rainfalls (flooding) where every other forecast did not!

Dave Parrack

I did check yr.no out but didn’t feel it was quite global enough.

Keith

YR.no covers almost the entire planet–seems pretty global to me. I lived in the boonies of South Africa (the Karoo) for 2 years, and YR.no offered the best forecasts, when the SA Weather Service offered nothing. I love their YR.no’s Meteograms.

Nancy B

In Canada, while the national weathernetwork.com isn’t too bad, the federal government cut out the local weather person job at the airport and it’s now done by automation and the next closest city which is about 250 miles away and inland. Problem is being on the coast of Lake Superior we often get sudden different weather happening due to lake affect conditions. So while it might be lovely 250 miles away we could be getting a snow storm right this minute.
I use the local weather forecast from the Michigan side’s local TV station, and they have Doppler radar in the city across the river from us as well as across upper and lower Michigan. So I know if there is a storm in Marquette MI in 3 hours it will be here and probably pick up more strength crossing a bit of Lake Superior.
Their radar weather is updated every 10 minutes, as well as forecasts for the week, visibility, wind chills/humidex which are current…plus it’s in Fahrenheit over being in Celsius…..which I know what that feels like! Never did convert me to C.!

Anestis Kozakis

In Australia, I use the AUstralian Bureau of Meteorology’s website – http://www.bom.gov.au

Barry

In Vancouver, Canada there is this site called http://vancouver.weatherpage.ca. It is run by a couple of actual professional forecasters. Most of the time it looks like a typical weather site, but when “interesting” weather is coming, there’s a little essay written by a human forecaster with all kinds of details, comparing weather models, and trying to predict what will happen. Like I said, if it’s just the normal flow of rain off the Pacific, or clear sunny days, there’s nothing special, but when a big cold front is coming down, or a giant Pacific storm is approaching, the forecaster chimes in and gives a lot of excellent detail. That’s why it’s my go-to site for local weather and I wish this existed for all locations. I am in my 60s and had a pilot’s license in my youth. You used to be able to phone a number for the national weather service and ask to speak to a forecaster and have a man-to-man chat about the weather along your flight path. Those were the good old days.

sir

yr.no

sir

harley bellwood

Weather Underground is great, I use it all the time, also The Weather Channel & The Weather Office (Environment Canada).

Don Hayes

A very nice selection of weather sites.