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December 28th, 2000

Handiest Program Ever: Weatherbug

In case you’re unaware, I live in Chicago. Chicago has been the Snow Capital of the state as of late, being covered in snow on every other day of the week for the past few weeks. Oh, and did I mention the cold? We’ve been in the single digits, and right now, 20 is considered a heat wave.

I stumbled across the handiest program I have yet to see: Weatherbug. It sits in your system tray and displays the current temperature at your nearest AWS reporting station. My nearest, for reference, is 5 miles away which gives a slightly more accurate bead on the temp than, say, O’Hare Airport. Should you double-click on the temperature, you’ll get a window full of neat info, like the current temp, high and low, wind chill, and forecast.

The program itself is pretty tightly integrated with the web, but that’s okay, as it lends to a consistent and familiar feel. You can even pull up a few local cams in the program if you’re so inclined. And, a very handy feature: if a severe weather alert of any kind is issued, the systray icon blinks. It’s accompanied by a sound so very annoying (by default) that you can’t help but click on it to shut it up. Which, of course, brings up the weather alert in the Weatherbug window.

It’s free, and it’s very much worth it if you’re a budding weather geek, like me. -pm

Posted in Technology, Weather

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