What Real Meteorologists Wish You Knew About Your Weather App

From the article:

My go-to in the U.S. is the National Weather Service, weather.gov. There are local weather forecast offices with real human meteorologists living in a particular part of the country who specialize in predicting the weather for that region. And they know all of the local microclimates, the quirks of weather in your area, including understanding the kinds of regionally specific problems that existing numerical weather models might have. And so all of that human knowledge is actually quite substantial in producing what I think are much more nuanced and better forecasts.

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For any android users, NOAA Weather Unofficial is a great option. It’s just an interface for accessing NOAA point forecast data/discussion, charts, and radar/satellite imagery. Doesn’t cover some of the more specialized products like NOHRSC data, but for easy home weather checking it’s a great option.

One of the things that people struggle with when moving from commercial to NOAA forecasts is that NOAA generally includes much more uncertainty. A commercial forecast may say .37 inches of rain, whereas a NOAA point forecast will say 80% chance of precip with between a quarter and a half inch possible (and the discussion may be more uncertain than that). It’s a more honest approach, but it takes some getting used to.


That linked article in the OP is a good one. This is the issue I have with weather apps:

one challenge is that where the data is coming from and how these forecasts are generated in these proprietary weather apps is very opaque. I actually tried to look at the sourcing for some of the most popular weather apps, and they claim to be transparent, but from a scientific perspective, I have no idea how these apps are actually assimilating the data.

With the NWS the source of the data and the process used is all transparent.

Seems to be a drone with weather sensors.

The meteodrone flies up to just under 17,000 feet. It will provide updated weather data every hour 16 times a day, narrowing it down to about half a mile.