Forecast.io: Great Weather Website

UPDATE October 2016: Forecast.io is now Darksky.net. See my article about Darksky.net and the Darksky app.

Forecast.io is the nicest, cleanest, and most useful weather website that I’ve ever seen. It’s from the same people who made the excellent Dark Sky app for iPhones and iPads, and like Dark Sky it’s all about presenting data in a useful way. My favorite part: they don’t hide behind any “50% chance of rain” predictions. Rather, they show you that it’s going to start raining at 2 PM, and stop raining at 3. That’s information you can really use.

Here’s what the site looks like in Safari on the Mac:

forecast.io_main_screen
(It looks just as good on the the iPad and iPhone. Don’t you just love those blue bars showing the temperature ranges? Fabulous.)

Forecast.io’s presentation is so good that there’s almost no need for me to explain it. However, there are a few fine points, so let me save you some time by pointing them out.

1. If you click on (or tap on) the “Right Now” area you’ll see the kind of details that other weather websites provide (wind speed and direction, humidity, visibility, pressure).

2. If you click on (or tap on) a day, or anywhere in the day’s line, you’ll get predictions by the hour. See below. Very, very useful– if you know it’s going to stop raining at 2 PM you can postpone running your errands until then, knowing you won’t have to go out in the rain.
forecast.io_hourly_rain

3. Tap the globe to see animated radar. It’s just like the stuff on TV, only a million times nicer to look at.

4. You can view local precipitation history and predictions (or regional history and predictions) by tapping the appropriate button at the top of the Precip Map.

5. The Time Machine option lets you see what the weather was like on any day in the past, or what it will be like on any day in the future. Looks as if I’ll need a jacket for the UCLA-Cal game at the Rose Bowl October 12th, 2013.

rosebowl_weather

Pretty nice stuff. And free. One tiny little ad pays the bills so it’s free for you.

One last thing: those groovy icons– so simple and so expressive– are animated. They move. That’s a nice touch. The Forecast.io guys didn’t have to do that but they did, and little things like that make a difference.

I think you’re going to like Forecast.io. Give it a try.

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