Weather Underground (weather service)
|Headquarters||Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States|
|Parent||The Weather Channel|
Weather Underground is a commercial weather service that provides real-time weather information via the Internet. Weather Underground provides weather reports for most major cities across the world on its Web site, as well as local weather reports for newspapers and Web sites. Most of its United States information comes from the National Weather Service (NWS), as information from that agency is within the public domain by federal law. The Web site is available in many languages, and an ad-free version of the site with additional features is available for an annual fee.
Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, it was founded in 1995 as an offshoot of the University of Michigan's Internet weather database. The name is a reference to the 1960s militant radical student group the Weather Underground, which also originated at the University of Michigan.
Jeff Masters, then a PhD candidate in meteorology at the University of Michigan working under the direction of Professor Perry Samson, wrote a menu-based telnet interface in 1991 that displayed real-time weather information around the world. By 1992, they claim that the two servers they used were the most popular service on the Internet. In 1993 they recruited Alan Steremberg and initiated a project to bring Internet weather into K-12 classrooms. WU's president, Alan Steremberg wrote "Blue Skies", a graphical Mac gopher client, for the project which won several awards. When the Mosaic web browser appeared, this provided a natural transition from "Blue Skies" to the web.
In 1995 Weather Underground, Inc. evolved as a commercial entity separate from the university. It has grown to provide weather for print sources, in addition to its online presence. In 2005 Weather Underground became the weather provider for the Associated Press; WU also provides weather reports for some newspapers (including the San Francisco Chronicle) and the Google search engine. Alan Steremberg, Weather Underground's president, also worked on the early development of Google's search engine with Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
In October 2008, Jeff Masters reported that the site was #2 in Internet Weather for 2008.
In February 2010, FullScreenWeather.com, a full screen weather web tool was launched with integrated mapping and mobile device use in mind.
On July 2, 2012, The Weather Channel announced that it would acquire Weather Underground, which will become operated under its subsidiary The Weather Channel Companies, LLC. The Weather Underground website will continue to operate as a separate entity from The Weather Channel's primary website weather.com and all existing staff will be retained. The Weather Channel also plans on using the site's San Francisco headquarters as a regional office.
Blogs are one of the main features in Weather Underground, allowing users of the site to create blogs about weather, everyday life and anything else. Jeff Masters started the first blog on April 14, 2005, and he now posts blog entries nearly every day. Richard B. Rood has been writing blogs on climate change and societal response since 2007, with new entries on a weekly basis.
The service distributes Internet radio feeds of NOAA Weather Radio stations from across the country, as provided by users. The Associated Press uses Weather Underground to provide national weather summaries.
Weather Underground now has several Google Chrome extensions, iGoogle applications, and applications for iPhone, iPad and Android including FullScreenWeather.com, a redirect to a full screen weather viewer tied into Google maps.
- Weather Underground, Inc. The First Internet Weather Service. Retrieved on 2008-04-05.
- Jeff Master's WunderBlog, 10-27-2008 Heavy Internet Weather Retrieved on 2008-10-27.
- Weather Channel buys Weather Underground, brand stays. PaidContent.org. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
- Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog: Wunderground.com sold to The Weather Channel Companies, Weather Underground, July 2, 2012.
- Weather Underground, Inc. Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog. Retrieved on 2008-04-05.
- Weather Underground, Inc. Personal Weather Station. Retrieved on 2008-04-05.
- WEATHER UNDERGROUND For The Associated Press. Weather Search Retrieved on 2009-10-28.
- Wunderground.com, Weather Underground's main web portal
- UM-Weather, the original service that Weather Underground branched from
- Weather Underground's Wiki page
- Weather Underground on ArborWiki
- Weather Underground Braille Page, a simple text page ideal for screen readers used by the blind, and also useful for those with slow Internet connections