New and Reproved

Sometime recently they have changed the local forecast page at the Weather Channel’s Weather.com. Whatever visionary was in charge of the project managed to convert it from simple and useful to nearly unusable in one swell foop. Now when I search on my zipcode, I am presented with a page on which the important information is many page lengths down, underneath a bunch of shockwave bullshit and – at least on Mozilla on the Mac – a giant expanse of blank whitespace. I just counted and I had to page down 5 times to see the information I was there for – what is the weather going to be like today?

This is a giant leap backwards for this page. Is no one learning the Google lesson? Give me a simple, clean, useful web interface and lose all the bells and whistles that are in my way. I’m not trying to run a nuclear power plant here, I want to know how heavy a coat to take. I’ve been using this page for years as one of my default things I visit every day, and they’ve finally shaken me up to dig around for an alternative that isn’t such a pain in the ass. Bravo, nicely done, Weather Channel web team!

Ah, I found my alternative. Time to update the bookmarks.

9 Replies to “New and Reproved”

  1. I use Firefox on Mac and on Solaris. Several months ago, TWC was getting caught in an endless JavaScript loop, wherein the main page tries to redirect to another page, which in turn tried to redirect back to the main page. All was well when Firefox finally shipped 1.0, but now it’s back in the tank again, because of the problems you described. I found a Firefox extension that sits in the status bar, it’s also from TWC, but I really like it; small, compact, no ads. You can also save profiles; handy for road warriors.
    There’s also a Konfabulator widget that displays weather data; I haven’t used that much; I decided not to register or use Konfabulator, since it looks like those features will be in Tiger’s Dashboard.
    The WeatherUnderground site is really cool, though, the regional radar can be a real trip to watch during severe weather (choose show all storms).
    And, you’ve found yet another way to rub in how nice it is in Conway, you win 51-34 today. 🙂

    — Ken —

  2. Matt Yoder’s RssWeather suggestion is a good one, also. Just added it to my NewNewsWire.
    — Ken —

  3. I ditched TWC a long time ago, and for most stuff I actually skip Wunderground and go straight for the National Weather Service. NWS has really improved it’s regoinal websites (at least in the NC/SC area). I believe you’d be in the one for Wilmington, which is located at http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/ilm/.

    It’s not as dumbed down as other sites, but it contains ALOT of information.

  4. I feel like you’re my evil genius twin sometimes (though you have longer hair, so we’d be easy to tell apart). I went through EXACTLY the same thoughts when they made this change (maybe a few weeks ago? I think I noticed when I was checking weather for our Xmas trip). Some PHB must have decided to “jazz things up” for all of us! They jazzed TWC right off my bookmarks toolbar. I ended up at wunderground as well, though I’ve been checking out NWS as well. (I noted it mentioned above). I headed over there to play with the new XML datafeeds, and saw the good new summary pages. Looks like you’ll be wearing that coat Sat. night, bud…snow likely!

    http://www.srh.noaa.gov/data/forecasts/SCZ034.php?warncounty=SCC051&city=Conway

    Later!

    Ken

  5. For many years now I’ve stuck with Yahoo weather (here’s Atlanta) because it includes the actual forecast TEXT (I’ve assumed it comes from NWS, but I don’t know really). You can’t express a day’s forecast in one pretty icon and two temperature numbers, so I jump down a page or too and read the short blurb. I suppose I could get that from the NWS, but then Yahoo also has all the usual radar/sat/almanac links you expect from a commercial site.

  6. Matt’s RSSWeather suggestion is good, I just added it to my news reader. Weather Underground is good also. I have been using it for years. I have never really liked http://www.weather.com so I found the underground early on when I was looking for an alternative.

  7. You guys might be interested in Weather Watcher – forget the ads and crappy web sites entirely (the data is from weather.com though). Description from the site, http://www.singerscreations.com/AboutWeatherWatcher.asp: Weather Watcher is your personal Windows desktop weather station. Automatically retrieve the current conditions, hourly forecast, daily forecast, detailed forecast, severe weather alerts, and weather maps for almost any city world-wide. The current conditions can be quickly viewed via the Weather Watcher system tray icon.

    This screenshot says it all: http://www.singerscreations.com/Images/WeatherWatcher.gif. That’s the full app – the systray stuff is obviously a normal tooltip. The whole thing is very customizable as well.

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