When major weather events like Hurricane Sandy disrupt travel plans and throw life out of whack for a few days, many find that meteorology blogs have become the best resource for up-to-the-minute information.
Internet audiences and weather forecasters alike have learned to rely on websites devoted solely to the latest meteorology reports. Perhaps the most influential is Weather Underground, a site that has branched into the app market and gained popularity via mobile devices. Whereas some news sites only tease the information a weather-watcher is seeking in an effort to get a click, Weather Underground publishes its findings in the center of its front page.
Hurricane Sandy, for example, is documented Sunday afternoon as circulating winds at 75 mph and moving northeast. The blurb at the top might be even easier to digest: “Sandy remains an extremely large storm as she approaches the Mid-Atlantic coast. Sandy is now forecast to bring a near-record storm surge to northern New Jersey and Long Island Sound.”
The frustration-free site also provides tracking and satellite maps along with computer projections, among other things found only on the front page.
Weather Underground also boasts some of the meteorology industry’s top experts. Jeff Masters, the website’s co-founder and director of meteorology, blogs often about the major events in the world of weather. Masters’ blogs always have bright images and break down the complex science that goes into predicting storm patterns.
Regarding Hurricane Sandy’s morphing into the “Frankenstorm,” Masters wrote: “Mother Nature is not saying, ‘Trick or Treat.’ It’s just going to give tricks.”
For New Yorkers affected by the upcoming monsoon, essential reading is NYCAreaWeather.com. The site is full of short, informative posts that have detailed everything from the historic impact Sandy is expected to have to the mandatory evacuations Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered.
Dotearth, a blog written by Andrew Revkin and hosted by the New York Times, runs not by a minute-by-minute structure but offers a more analytical look at the weather events of the day. Revkin might have put it best in a post he titled “Lessons From Sandy, a Brewing Superstorm.”
“This is also a good time to pause and consider the astonishing power of the forecasting tools and intellectual capacity that the United States and Europe have invested in in recent decades – and the importance of sustaining and expanding the human capacity to observe and understand this turbulent, fast-changing planet.”