Monthly Archives: September 2009

A Couple Weather Tweaks

Pushed out a couple little fixes:

  • weather.ericson.net should now default to the last place you viewed each time you visit. (I think my cookie handling code is OK, but if anyone runs into problems, post a comment.)
  • And there’s now better error messages when you enter a non-U.S. city or a non-existent place. The rails “Something went wrong” screen should be banished, I believe.

And next up on the to-do list: the iPhone friendly version. Maybe this weekend …

A Better Weather Page

weather_ericson_net_screenshot

I’ve long been annoyed by the design of nearly every weather site on the Web. Usually, there’s only about three things I care about: the weather right now, the hourly forecast and the forecast for the next several days.

But almost every site spreads those items across multiple pages and gives me all sorts of stuff that’s irrelevant to me. When I plug in my ZIP code to weather.com, for example, the page that comes back tells me the current temperature, the UV index, the dew point, the pressure and the visibility in miles. Some people may find those useful, but not me.

That page doesn’t have the hourly forecast (which is split among 3 pages for the next 24 hours) or the 10-day forecast (yet another page).

So, I designed a weather Web site just what I want on one page:

weather.ericson.net

Data comes from the National Weather Service via their XML APIs.

Obligatory disclaimers: It’s a big buggy, to say the least. I’m cheating a little bit doing a little interpolation with some of the weather data (tho it should be mostly correct for most locations. I think.) The icons are a bit crude (Anyone want to draw better icons? Drop me an email.) And it may fail rather spectacularly with non-U.S. locations.

The one last feature I want to add: the site always defaults to the last location you search for. Maybe tomorrow …