Sunday, August 9th, 2020
I had bookmarked a web page for the Dark Sky people, who have a very successful iOS app and, until recently, one for Android too. But then Apple bought them, and has plans, one presumes, to integrate Dark Sky’s technology and approach to laying out hour-by-hour forecasts right into the various Apple operating systems.
The web page still works great, though, at this moment, and it’s bookmarked for the exact place in rural Michigan where we are, and for the most part, it seems to offer good, although changeable, information. That is, we look at when it might start raining late this evening (1 am, it said this morning) with an eye to making plans for when we close the windows and so on. So then later in the day today the pattern of precip had…evolved, where now it was starting later in the overnight and settling down to just being mostly cloudy in the first part of the morning, and then more rain Monday afternoon. It’s certainly understandable (especially up here) that the predictions shift and drift one way or another. These large lakes cause meteorological turmoil, and all that Canadian wind…well, as I say understandable.
It’s a very simple presentation at the top levels, and then you can drill down to a remarkable amount of detail. For me, it might suffice to see “rain,” but Sammy will often ask the cogent question: which way is the wind coming from? It’s there, with a click or two.
I have no idea how long the website will continue to function, since they have already yanked the Android app and the API that allowed a bunch of other weather apps to get data. Probably one day I’ll call up the page and, yeah, it’ll be a placeholder.
A similar ebb and flow happened with our previous favorite weather site, Weather Underground. Founded as a quirky independent site in 1995, it was absorbed in 2012 by the Weather Channel people. That website/cable channel itself was sold at least once in the intervening and is—I think—now owned by IBM and the components of the Weather Underground site seem to be stripped off one by one and I presume at one point it will only sing the song “Daisy” to Astronaut Dave Bowman.
There’s always the official government weather site at weather.gov, but I guess I have my concerns about its health after watching the administration’s machinations with the United States Postal Service.