Tomorrow the Weather Channel is officially launching a new Interactive Local Maps service. If you live in a city where the weather tends to vary by several degrees while just a short distance away, this new tool lets you to scope out the lay of the land--literally. The tool uses The Weather Channel's HiRAD (High Resolution Aggregated Data) technology which pulls in its weather information from several different integrated tracking services.
Like any other mapping tool, you can search for a specific location or just browse around. You can also turn on and off various layers, similar to Google Earth, to pick what kind of attractions you're looking for (parks, schools, landmarks), along with the type of weather overlay you want to see, like radar or cloud cover. Any items that pique your interest can be clicked for further information including the daily outlook and "fitness forecast" to gauge how the weather will impact your workout.
The tool currently works only in North America, although international users can toggle things like the cloud cover.
In my testing I didn't find a great deal of variation from point to point. The biggest differences happen around mountains and bodies of water, with some of the oceanside parks and recreation areas exhibiting fairly noticeable differences from those just a little inland. This will likely be the new favorite tool for people who are concerned about these minute differences from place to place, and to get a more precise outlook for smaller parts of a region. Anyone else is likely just as good sticking with the basic local forecast.
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