Weather Underground (weather service)
|Headquarters||San Francisco, California, United States|
|Parent||The Weather Company|
Weather Underground, a commercial weather service, provides real-time weather information via the Internet. Weather Underground provides weather reports for most major cities across the world on its website, as well as local weather reports for newspapers and websites. Most of its United States information comes from the National Weather Service (NWS), as federal law specifies that information from that agency falls within the public domain. The website is available in many languages, and customers can access an ad-free version of the site with additional features for an annual fee.
Weather Underground (WU) is based in San Francisco, California and 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, a doctoral 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. 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" for the project, a graphical Mac gopher client, 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. became 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 was launched, a full screen weather Web tool 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 as part of The Weather Channel Companies, LLC (later renamed "The Weather Company"). The Weather Underground website continues to operate as a separate entity from The Weather Channel's primary site, weather.com, with its existing staff retained. Third-party web analytics providers Alexa and SimilarWeb rate the site as the 117th and 98th most visited website in the United States respectively, as of July 2015. SimilarWeb rates the site as the second most visited weather website globally, attracting more than 47 million visitors per month. The Weather Company also uses the site's San Francisco headquarters as a regional office.
On May 4, 2015, the Weather Underground closed their classic Wunderground website, justifying the closure to higher site maintenance costs. Much of the extended customer base cried foul and cancelled their accounts in protest. The site has been criticized for commercializing their website with the new design, with a visible increase in web advertising as well, which many users claim slows down the site and have unsuccessfully campaigned to see the older site design restored.
Web logs (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.
Weather Underground also uses observations from members with automated personal weather stations (PWS). Weather Underground currently uses observations from over 100,000 personal weather stations.
The Weather Underground's WunderMap overlays weather data from personal weather stations and official NWS stations on a Google Map base and provides many interactive and dynamically updated weather and environmental layers.
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 has several Google Chrome extensions and applications for iPhone, iPad and Android including FullScreenWeather.com, a redirect to a full screen weather viewer tied into Google maps. There is also an app developed for Roku devices.
In February 2015, Weather Underground released an iOS app called Storm. This app is universal, and can be used on both iPhone and iPad. Other apps by Weather Underground include WunderStation for iPad and WunderMap for iOS and Android.
- WUHU (software) — program for contributing personal weather stations observations
- 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.
- "wunderground.com Site Overview". Alexa. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "Wunderground.com Analytics". SimilarWeb. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "Top 50 sites in the world for News And Media > Weather". SimilarWeb. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- 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, Inc. Personal Weather Station Network. Retrieved on 2015-02-16
- Weather Underground, Inc. WunderMap Retrieved on 2015-02-01.
- WEATHER UNDERGROUND For The Associated Press. Weather Search Retrieved on 2009-10-28.
- "Weather Underground - Chrome Web Store". Chrome.google.com. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
- "Weather Underground - Android Apps on Google Play". Play.google.com. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
- "Weather Underground for Roku". Wunderground.com. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
- "Storm by Weather Underground | Weather Underground". Wunderground.com. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
- "WunderStation by Weather Underground | Weather Underground". Wunderground.com. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
- "WunderMap® by Weather Underground". Wunderground.com. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
- Official website
- Weather Underground Braille Page, a simple text page ideal for screen readers used by the blind
- UM-Weather, the original service from which Weather Underground branched