Personalized weather on the Web

What can be done with weather content online far surpasses what even the most ambitious meteorologist-editor-designer team can devise for the printed page, Steve Outing says. Newspaper sites like the Star Tribune’s in Minneapolis offer “My-Cast,” a personalized weather service developed by a local meteorologist and his company, Digital Cyclone.
“What makes My-Cast special is its ability to pare weather data down to the neighborhood level. One My-Cast feature lets the website user type in a home address, then receive a personalized weather forecast, neighborhood-specific heavy-weather alerts, and maps with the user-defined address at the center. (Users can even set up multiple addresses.) The service uses weather data that is specific down to an area of about 4 miles square — smaller than the typical ZIP (postal) code.
What’s great about such a system, of course, is the personalization. It takes into account the existence of “micro-climates” within a geographic area — taking advantage of available weather data that supports such micro analysis. While a metro newspaper’s weather page is restricted by space to covering broad areas with a single forecast, Web weather can tailor content to the individual neighborhood.”

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