Weather information is one of the most important things farmers need to know when planning daily and weekly work as well for longer-term farm management. Every producer I talk to has a different favorite source of weather data they like to use for their planning. Some sources include The Weather Channel and internet web sites for commercial forecasting firms like Accuweather and Intellicast or other more agriculture-related private forecasting firms. Increasingly, people are turning to smartphone apps which provide current weather data wherever they happen to be.
This week several articles have come out discussing shortcomings in both The Weather Channel and many smartphone apps. In the Washington Post, the Capital Weather Gang blog posted a story about how TWC has lost its mission and has gone to sensationalism and hype rather than science in their stories and on their web site. You can read that blog here. The New Republic had a similar story about how TWC is chasing clicks (here). In addition, a column on Medium.com by Mary Mann discusses how weather apps have taken over many people’s lives for better or worse.
Since I don’t own a smartphone (yet) I can’t comment on how useful any of the current weather apps are, but I will be looking into them soon. You can search online for lists of best weather apps and you will find a number of choices that may or may not work for you. If you have found one or two you think are really useful, please feel free to post them here in a comment (no ads, please!) and tell us what you like about them.