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Favorite tools: WeatherBug June 26, 2008

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff, Random musings, Tools.

One of my favorite non-translation tools is WeatherBug. It’s a tiny, free (ad-based) tool that resides in the tray of your computer and monitors your weather using the tracking station nearest you from among its 8000 tracking stations. When you first set it up you have to enter your zip code. It features live local weather conditions, forecasts, and life saving, severe weather alerts. WeatherBug’s application has also come pre-installed on HP and Compaq computers and Logitech peripherals, but you can also download it onto your computer for free using the above link. It can also be used on mobile phones. To date, WeatherBug has registered over 65 million users for the free WeatherBug product and has become one of the largest news and information sites on the Internet.

I like WeatherBug for two reasons: first of all, because it tells me how hot or cold it is without my having to look through an iced-over window at the thermometer outside and secondly (and most importantly) because it alerts me when a severe storm is coming. This way I can power the computer down if it is going to be a bad storm with lots of lightning (I’ve already experienced one fried modem due to a direct hit from a lightning storm and don’t want to jeopardize my computer, which is the lifeblood of my profession). But I suppose it could also be invaluable if there were a tornado alert and I wasn’t able to hear the siren a block away. Luckily I haven’t experienced that yet.

Usually, the WeatherBug features shows the temperature and looks like this: . When an alert is issued, the temperature turns into a bug that looks like this: and starts chattering like a cicada. By double-clicking on the alert I can read the alert and decide what to do. In this case, there is a severe thunderstorm warning for my area until 5 PM. In fact, I just heard the first clap of thunder…



1. Fabio - June 27, 2008

I prefer my weather information to be located on a browser window. So I use this Firefox add-on:

2. jillsommer - June 27, 2008

That’s an interesting tool, but what if you don’t have your browser open? Oh, what am I saying…? If you are anything like me of course you have your browser open from power-up to power-down – and probably have three to six tabs going as well (I use Firefox as well).

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