I’m a weather watcher

hair frizz risk map from AccuWeatherI’m a weather watcher. Always have been. It may well be because I grew up in Oklahoma, where keeping an eye on the sky, especially this time of year, is in one’s best interest and because the sky is often the most interesting scenery. But regardless, I watch the sky, the forecast, the current conditions. Even if I don’t plan to walk the dog, I want to know the temperature, the likelihood of rain or snow, and the wind speed.

If I’m going for a drive, I want to know what the road conditions will be. And here in Colorado, it’s good to know if you’re going to face a snowstorm or strong cross winds in or near the mountains. And of course when living on the plains, rainfall is always critical. In any given year you may be subject to water restrictions which impact how and when you can water your lawn or wash your car. So I welcome the drama of thunderstorms, as long as I don’t get caught out in them.

I keep several favorite weather sites bookmarked in my browser toolbar so they’re just a click away when I want to check on things. (I also have WeatherBug installed.) The Weather Channel is my favorite for current conditions and forecasts for up to 10 days out. Wunderground offers a beautiful big full-screen weather map that shows current radar and severe weather and tornado watch/warning areas that can be toggled on or off. There are other options as well, such as a toggle for map or satellite view. AccuWeather has a big assortment of national forecast maps (see “radar & maps” tab) for a variety of things including pollen levels; migraine, sinus, and arthritis pain; planting conditions; outdoor activities; travel conditions; and of course, hair frizz risk (gotta love “emergency” on this one). And speaking of dog walking, there’s even a dog walking forecast.

(I’m also lucky enough to have an amateur weather geek living about half a mile from here, which means his detailed instrument readings are as good as from my own backyard.

In truth, AccuWeather wasn’t “on my radar” until I got a tip last night from IzaakMak, a fellow weather watcher. Now its plethora of maps may well become my new favorite stop.

Nah, who am I kidding. I’ll keep checking all these sites. Wouldn’t want to miss anything.

______

Also on Pied Type:
Floor of the sky
Just another spring in Oklahoma
Okies know tornadoes

15 comments

  1. I use NWS (Weather.gov) for almost everything… except for the wind map at hint.fm/wind, fantastic program, updated every hour… one of the coolest wind maps I’ve ever seen (and the only one that I can instantly understand!)
    I too grew up in Oklahoma, and I remember many times going down into the root cellar because my dad thought there was something in the air. I don’t remember if there were weather alerts or not in that era, but I don’t remember them, and the forecasts on the AM radio were pretty vague. Radar was less than ten years old then, and communication was exclusively by phone; we had a crank one, I remember, 4-house party line, heh.

    1. Doh! NWS is such an obvious place to check, and yet I’ve been missing it. And that wind map is gorgeous! Like a piece of art. Thanks so much for sharing that.

      The house I grew up in in Oklahoma City was a big old brick house built in 1909 and now located in the Heritage Hills preservation area near downtown. It was built like Fort Knox, with foot-thick walls, and had a rec room in the basement. As kids we waited out a lot of storms down there, either playing ping pong or sitting under the big solid oak bar. I don’t remember how we got our warnings, or even if there were warnings. We probably just got sent down there whenever my parents thought the weather seemed threatening. Funny, I don’t remember them ever being down there with us …

  2. For up close and personal weather you can’t beat the view from an airplane. Mollie and I, coming home from a week’s vacation, flew from Dallas to Joplin last evening (4/14/12) and say towering, menacing thunderheads all along the way to our west. Fortunately the worst of it stayed there and the flight was uneventful, but the full power of Mother Nature was on magnificent display. Now safely home, I am referring to our weather rock for the latest. It was damp this morning and is now swaying in the wind – feels about 73 degrees to the touch. Never lets me down. 😀

    1. Love those infallible, ever-reliable weather rocks. (I think mine blew away this morning.)

      Man, you picked one heckuva night to be flying that route! But I’ll bet it was spectacular. I thought about you last night; for a while it looked like Joplin was going to get nailed again. Glad to hear all’s well.

  3. This is great! I’m a weather watcher too…my daughter was supposed to have taken off from Dallas and hour ago,,but delayed due to storms…I knew five minutes before she called, that she wasn’t leaving just then. Love all of the tips on the sites! Thanks!

      1. Made it…Now they just have a two hour drive to try to beat the storms home..sure it’ll be fine…but I’ll be staying up until I get that all important text 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s