Über Cool

If you know me, you know that I’m a weather buff. I love studying weather, looking at the radar, and trying to figure out what’s going to happen before it does.

If you’ve been reading my site, too, you’d also surmise that I’m either too busy to write, or that I’m too bored. Both assessments would apply: I’m excruciatingly busy, and I’m terrifically bored with the Internet — it’s the same-old, same-old…

Today at lunch, however, I was reading last month’s copy of MacWorld, and I found the coolest Web application yet developed: the Weather Channel has a new AJAX-based radar map.

Lookee here:

The Weather Channel's new radar application

This is über cool: it’s actually something that you can use to determine the weather as it applies to your local region. You can zoom in, zoom out; you can change the transparency of the clouds; you can put the map in motion; you can move from frame to frame in the animation; you can glean valuable, up-to-the-minute information from this map at a moment’s notice.

Severe weather heading your way? Go no farther than here: you can find out what’s happening at your home, office, or your company’s far-off headquarters with the flick of a mouse. It’s based on Google Maps, with the interactive satellite and radar images superimposed. It’s quite cool.

In saying this, I also think that the service is still somewhat limited: there are a few things they haven’t included, and the time loop is limited to only 10 minutes currently.

A few things I would add:

  1. A longer loop, say, about 3 or 6 hours;
  2. A larger image size to accommodate wide-screen monitors;
  3. An RSS feed, complete with warning sounds for impending severe weather alerts;
  4. An interactive surface analysis map, showing the isobars and the fronts, perhaps the temperatures as well, moving in real time with the images;
  5. A radar summary to lay on top of it all, for weather geeks like me.

Other than that, it’s still a pretty informative device, one that I will bookmark and view again and again.

Tell me this isn’t the slickest thing to hit the Internet in the last 10 years….

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