Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Sky Script

People in Denver love to talk about the weather. No wonder.

As a native Californian I always thought that people talked about the weather when they ran out of anything else interesting to say. Weather in SoCal is always pretty good and very predictable in spite of the infrequent and rainy El Nino years.

The local newscasts in LA had to resort to hiring entertaining clowns to do the weather because there wasn't much weather to report. A surfer/weatherman named Dallas Raines (sort of like "rains") was one of the "deans" of SoCal weather when we lived there.

The weather in Colorado needs no media boost to create interest.

You never know what's next in a mountain climate. We sometimes get all four seasons in a single day and the calendar doesn't necessarily give you much of a clue.

Overall, the weather is great in the Rockies. But making plans for activities can be a challenge.

A Denver native asked one of our local weathermen here why we can land men on the moon but can't predict the weather better. He replied, "Because it's easier to land men on the moon." Nice response.

I'll write more about the weather culture in the Rockies at Hieronymus in a future essay post.

Anyway, I appreciate accurate weather forecasts more than I once did. My frequent trips overseas make that even more true.

Here are some of the best sources I've found for an accurate sky script:

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Meet the weather geeks. What a cool site. Their main lab is here in Boulder since Colorado is American weather central.

This is the place to get the most accurate and detailed daily forecasts for the US. You can get a 7 day forecast broken down into day, night and overnight details. For some reason you have to enter in your city name and state instead of a zip code, but that's the only annoying feature I've found.

You can also learn about tsunamis, el nino, environmental research, weather satellites, etc.

My first choice for US weather.

CNN Weather

Good US weather and one of the best international weather sites. Daily, weekend and 10 day forecasts.

Accu Weather

Not a very intuitive site but once you get to the international section they have forecasts for an astonishing number of places around the world. If you want to find the weather in some minor town in Uzbekistan, this is the place to check it out.

The Weather Network

Good international forecasts

Lemme know if you've got good weather site suggestions for US or international cities or interesting weather science sites.


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