How Does Wunderground Work?

Though Wunderground was one of the first weather information services on the Internet (or at least evolved out of it), it's so much more than that.  Read on to see what sets Wunderground apart from its rival Internet weather services.

Accessible and affordable weather for everyone

Wunderground states that their goal is to provide accurate weather information that is accessible to everyone on the planet.  In line with this goal, almost all of Wunderground's services are supported by advertising revenue and cost you no money to use. 

There is a paid annual membership option, but it is very inexpensive (around $10/year) and only gives you a few extra benefits, like having a longer range on animated radar forecasts (up to 40 frames, or spanning 4 hours), allowing you to browse Wunderground without seeing advertisements, and getting personal weather alerts whenever you want them via e-mail… also without advertising.

Pretty much everything else on Wunderground — viewing weather forecasts and maps, viewing current weather alerts, viewing weather pictures and videos in the community, reading online weather journals (blogs), viewing conditions for activities like skiing or surfing, or planning a trip with weather in mind — won't cost you a dime.

Driven by the community

One of the big reasons that Wunderground has stayed a trusted name in Internet weather since its creation in 1993 is the community of dedicated weather enthusiasts it has built around itself. 

In the U.S. alone, in addition to sourcing weather reports from major airports, weather balloons, and the National Weather Service, Wunderground also gets its information from a network of over 35,000 personal weather stations.  These are registered weather measurement points set up by private individuals and businesses which allow Wunderground to cross-reference its weather data between over 50,000 different weather measurement points, making it much more accurate than its competitors, who only use an average of about 12,000 measurement points.  A similar network of personal weather stations worldwide allows Wunderground to collect weather data from over 30,000 different points in countries near and far.

But running personal weather stations isn't the only way that Wunderground's users can contribute to it.  Some people help out by submitting photos and videos of what the weather is like in their area and how it's affecting traffic, leisure activities, and more.  Others write online journals (blogs) about the weather in their area and discuss stories and other observations about weather, both local and global.

Supported by the experts

With its roots in the University of Ann Arbor in Michigan, U.S.A., Wunderground has its content backed by meteorologists of every stripe.  From storm chasers to climate scientists to university and college professors who are teaching the next generation of weather pros, they'll tell you what's happening in the wider world of weather and what it means.  Dr. Jeff Masters, one of the founders of Wunderground, maintains an active online journal (blog) on the website, as do the likes of Dr. Richard Rood, Dr. Marshall Shepherd, and hurricane specialist Bryan Norcross.


Wunderground Review

Thinking of making Wunderground your go-to source for quick information on weather both local and elsewhere?  Here are some things you'll want to consider.

Pros

  • Won't wallop your wallet — Most of Wunderground's services are free, and its extra subscription services don't cost much money either (about $10 per year).

  • What you need to know, when you need to know it — Wunderground uses a mix of data from local weather stations all around most cities and towns in the world to offer detailed weather maps that are updated in very close to real time.  This means that you'll be able to track anything developing in your area and respond appropriately.

  • Become a weather whiz — Wunderground also includes a lot of other useful or interesting weather information, such as natural disaster history and likelihood, air quality, astronomic events, or even what the weather's going to be like when you go cheer on your local sports team.

Cons

  • It's raining ads — Because Wunderground is a mostly free service, it uses advertising to support itself.  Try to ignore them as best you can.

  • Interface may be partly cloudy — Some people think that the website is harder to use, now that they've changed their interface.  Fortunately, we at Techboomers are here to help you learn how to use it!

The Bottom Line: 9/10

Even though Wunderground was one of the first weather information websites on the Internet, it has kept up with the times.  By relying on standard weather data, contributions from its dedicated user community, and analysis from its team of meteorology experts, Wunderground delivers some of the most varied and comprehensive weather information around.  And most of it is free, too. 

The main downside is that there's so much information, it can be a bit overwhelming to figure out how to use everything on Wunderground to find what you need.  Techboomers will walk you through how to use some of the most common tools on Wunderground to get that forecast you're looking for.


What is Wunderground and How Does It Work?

Weather Underground (or "Wunderground" for short) is a website offering real-time weather information for most cities and towns across the globe.  It also offers access to news stories and articles about weather, often by professional meteorologists and other weather experts.  If you sign up for an account on the website, you can even log in and offer your input on all things wet, warm, or windy.

Most of the services don't cost any money to use, including viewing the weather or signing up for an account.  However, you can get a few other useful services, such as extended-range radar forecasts and local forecasts automatically sent to you via email, if you sign up for a paid subscription at a very low annual rate.  Whether you're planning for your next vacation or just want to know what to wear for your errands around town tomorrow, Wunderground is one website that's good to know about.