<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/weathervane.jpg”>These days, there are a lot of really useful ways that you can use RSS feeds. They are the fastest and most efficient way to receive alerts and updates from anywhere. You can serve those updates up on the sidebar of your website or blog, in your RSS reader or on your mobile phone. So, it’s easy to see why receiving RSS weather updates is the quickest and easiest way to be prepared for whatever mother nature is getting ready to throw your way.
In general, there are two categories of RSS weather updates. In the one case, you can get weather alerts or warnings for a general area, including an entire country or a region of the country. In the other case, you can sign up for RSS feeds that give you today’s weather as well as weather predictions for a specific area.
This isn’t the first time we’ve covered ways to access weather information at MUO. We’ve covered Zazu, a useful Android weather app, and Justin covered a very cool weather website called Weather Underground. So, to help you get even better access to weather information, and to show how useful these RSS feeds can be, I hand selected the top 7 RSS weather feeds and then plugged them into my RSS Bandit reader to show you what those feeds look like.
Receiving Current RSS Weather Updates
One of the most common uses for RSS feeds when it comes to weather is simply to receive a daily update on the weather. This is usually a simple feed with today’s current conditions, and a short blurb about the immediate forecast. In the better feeds, there’s also a little image that reflects something about the current weather. Believe it or not, the first RSS weather feed I’d like to cover comes from none other than Yahoo.
If you visit Yahoo Developer, you’ll see a breakdown of the parameters you can use in the RSS feed address in order to customize the feed for your area. But before you do that, first visit Yahoo Weather, plug in the area you want to monitor, and make note of the numeric code for that area at the end of the URL address.
When you insert the URL feed address into your reader, you just use the following syntax: “http://weather.yahooapis.com/forecastrss?w=xxxxxxx” and replace the code at the end with the one for your region. You can also set the temperature for either Celsius or Fahrenheit by following the instructions at Yahoo Developer.
Once you’re done, the feed update will always read current weather conditions for your area. Whenever the feed is refreshed, it is updated with the latest temperature and any weather updates. It’s a very cool way to stay on top of the current weather.
Another excellent resource for a weather data feed is the AccuWeather RSS center. This website lets you type in the location where you live (U.S. only) and it’ll give you the RSS feed link for your weather updates.
In addition to standard weather updates, you’ll also get additional weather news feeds like “Weather Matrix”, “Weather Teams” and “Global Warming Blog”.
By far, one of my favorite weather RSS Feeds comes from Weatherbug. This website really has everything you could want when it comes to weather, and the coolest thing is that it lets you customize your blog by filling out a simple form.
When you’re done, the page gives you your customized RSS URL, which you can load into your reader or anywhere else you use RSS feeds. In my case, I wanted the photo feed. Today, WeatherBug sent out a “Hall of Fame” photo taken by a member in 2008.
I think one of the most useful sources for RSS weather updates from any point in the entire world is RSS Weather. This site lets you drill down starting by Country, and then all the way to a specific area. At that point, you just click the RSS link on the right side of the screen to get the RSS feed.
The best way to make use of these individual location feeds is to group them by area in your reader. For example, if you want to see current weather conditions for several regions in the United Kingdom, just create a category and individually add each of those feeds. In the example below, I included weather feeds from throughout Europe.
Receiving Weather Alerts
If you’re in the U.S., the National Weather service provides feeds for weather warnings and advisories for every State. The feed provides the alert title, as well as specific details about what weather conditions you can expect in that area and any public warnings, such as whether people should evacuate due to a hurricane, for example.
These alerts are best suited for your mobile phone, where you’re most likely to receive them the fastest. These alerts can really help you with planning your travel when you know conditions are just too dangerous. As you can see below, the list of specific feeds offered by the National Weather Service is pretty impressive.
No matter where you are, there is a RSS weather update that’s tailor made to protect you from the forces of nature. Information is power, so why not bring that information directly into your hands as quickly as possible through RSS feeds. It’s fast, it’s easy, and you can receive them anywhere.
Give some of the feeds above a try and let us know what you think. Do you know of any other useful weather feeds? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Image Credit : LesKZN