March has roared in like a lion, making us wonder how long snow will remain in the forecast. We can peek into the future at most of our favorite weather sites.

Most Internet Service Providers have a page filled with up-to-date news headlines, daily astrology, shopping links, and a current weather report. I’m guessing that most users are like me—they check the weather provided by the ISP and quickly move on to other things. But the weather websites have loads of information to share that goes way beyond current temperatures. Here is a look at some weather websites. You might find a favorite that you will want to bookmark.

Weather Channel . Like most of the weather sites, all you do is type in a zip code for a current report. You do not have to get upset if you fall asleep during the 10 o’clock nightly weather report, because you can get as much information as your television weatherman gives you. You will know whether to take along an umbrella in the morning.

Accuweather. Basically the same information as the Weather Channel, but in a different format. You can download a desktop weather reporter but the free download comes with advertising. If you don’t want ads (who does?), check out the download at Intellicast’s site, mentioned below.

Intellicast. I’ve written about this website in a past column and had found it to be my favorite at the time. It is still a good choice, although the interface may be less appealing to some surfers. In addition to giving you the usual stuff, you can find sunrise and sunset times for today or a date in the future; wind chill factors, and information related to outdoor activities such as sky watching, travel, golf, and beach plans. What I especially like is the “aches and pains map” for arthritis sufferers. The map covers the entire United States, so you can compare easy-on-the-bones areas with what you might be up against in Northern Indiana on a given day. The site also has an allergy sufferers’ report. And their desktop download for current weather conditions is free of ads.

Weather Underground . Besides the usual stuff, this website provides local weather station information, which I did not find on the other sites. I was able to get current temperatures from south Lake County (yours may be different since it depends on the zip code information you type in). And it had flood-stage information for the Kankakee river during the rainy time when I accessed the site.

USA Today Weather . This is a good teaching/learning website with explanations of weather patterns, air pressure, fronts, floods, hurricanes and so much more. All this in addition to regular forecasts. . Check out the hourly fitness forecast here. It even tells you how to dress if you are planning to go out running at 5 a.m. or whenever.

National Weather Service . The Weather Point Forecast gives you forecasts in a choice of formats: digital/tabular, Meteorgrams, text and grid points.

A reminder: The Michiana Area Computer Club will host its next meeting on March 15 at 7pm. They meet at Michigan City High School and the March meeting will be all about spreadsheets.


~ by IndianaDunesPoet on March 9, 2005.

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