Weather. Before you say “boring,” you haven’t seen this site.
There are countless weather apps and websites out there, and most of us know the defaults that come loaded to our smartphones aren’t all that good. Try one of my favorites that only people in the know use called Windy.com.
Here’s the backstory. Windy started in 2014 as the pet project of a kiter, helicopter and jet pilot “who seeks the wind, waves, METARs and powder snow almost constantly.” It’s so accurate, Windy has become a major source of weather information for governments, institutions and individuals during scary times like hurricane season.
Get a real-time look at weather anywhere in the world, try out 42 different map layers (like wind gusts, visibility or snow depth) and zoom forward 10 days to see what the coming days will bring.
If your browser’s location services are enabled, Windy.com will display the current forecast where you are when you visit for the first time. You can also use the search bar at the top left corner of the page to view weather patterns based on your location.
Windy displays satellite images from NOAA, EUMETSAT and JMA’s Himawari, in one map covering the whole world. These images refresh every 5 minutes or so for European countries, and every 10 to 15 minutes in other parts of the world.
Try the radar, lightning, wind, rain, thunder and temperature laters using the icons on the right-hand column. Click More layers … to display a whopping 42 different options you can try out.
It’s fun to go exploring on the map too, too. Zoom in and out and click on various cities across the world. Once you click on a specific city, you’ll see the weather forecast for that specific area up to 10 days out. The forecasts are highly detailed and can provide you with hourly temperature readings, rain gauges and even wind gusts.
You can also set up custom alerts for any place on Earth, based on weather conditions of your choosing, including wind, waves, rain, temperature and clouds. This is especially handy if you’re planning a trip or have an outdoor event coming up.
While Windy’s paid version brings you even more info, the free (and ad-free) version is enough for most of us. If you’re a pilot, paraglider, skydiver, surfer, boater, fishermen or storm chasers, though, the upgrade might be worth it.