You might not remember it, but the classic Google Maps used to show the weather on a layer of its own. One glance at the map and you could decide between sunscreen and an umbrella.
In the new version of Google Maps, weather is somewhat subtler. It may not be informative enough for hardcore weather geeks, but it is sufficient for getting through the day and planning short trips. And yes, it works on mobile versions as well as the web version.
Start by typing a location in the Google Maps search bar. It must be a location (e.g. city, state) and not an address, place of business, etc. The map updates to the spot and displays relevant information on the left sidebar. As you can see in the screenshot below, real-time weather information is displayed just below the image of the location.
Click on the icon that represents the current weather and you are redirected to the Google Search page which pulls in more detailed data and a forecast.
Google has applied some wonderful touches to this visual that make it more than just a simple forecast. For example, when you look at the wind speed in weather forecasts, the size of the arrows gets larger for stronger winds. Also, click on the “C” to change temperature metric to Celsius, the wind speed automatically changes to kilometers/hour — and vice versa to miles per hour when you click on the “F”.
Rain or snow can change your ETAs. Any great weather app should tell you the weather at a glance, and it should offer smart forecasts. Google Maps does both without the bloat.
It’s not as great for minute-by-minute route planning in Google Maps, though. For instance, you might want the weather information to progress with where you are during a trip, and show the weather estimate for the destination. The feature is on a wish list somewhere for now.
Tell us if you notice the weather spot in Google Maps. Do you trust the forecasts or do you go over to an alternative weather app for the latest?
Image Credit: ThomasDeco via Shutterstock