Sunday, March 08, 2009

How's the Weather?

Along with being a night photography junkie, I'm also a weather junkie. Although there are many weather forecasting websites out there, few of them are impressively accurate. That's a real problem when you're trying to plan your night photography outings. After all, if you're expecting to shoot under bright moon light, then cloud cover can make or break your evening.

(Peterson Field, by Andy Frazer)

Although weather "forecasting" sites ("expect partly cloudy and 10% chance of rain") are essentially useless, I've found that you can often do a better job yourself just reviewing some simple high-res cloudcover and radar maps, especially if you live in a world of microclimates like the San Francisco Bay Area. One of the classic internet weather sites (Intellicast) recently introduced a high-res, interactive weather map for the United States. Although the website doesn't seem to reveal where they get their raw data, this system looks very good. You can see recent, high resolution, data for anywhere in the US, and zooming and scrolling are very smooth. Unlike the popular NEXRAD data that many of the other sites boast, the new Intellicast maps don't look like a LeRoy Neiman painting.

By the way, the best hurricane geek site is still


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