Accuweather.com is an international online weather site. The site primarily offers weather forecasts and historical data for the US, but also has sections for international locations. Weather information provided by the site includes localized forecasts, historical data, radar maps, satellite maps and a variety of weather maps containing information such as precipitation, wind, flight delays, etc. Users can enter their location and view a summary page which includes the forecast for the day, an hour by hour forecast of temperature and rain chances, radar and satellite maps, 5 to 15-day, and even next month forecasts.
Accuweather is one of the most comprehensive weather sites on the Internet. The site is extremely large, and contains a huge amount of weather data. Accuweather has been in business since long before the Internet, and provides weather forecasts to companies, TV and radio stations, and newspapers worldwide. Premium services are available from the site, which include personalized weather forecasts and data, storm timer and storm data similar to the storm radar used by TV stations, a weather planner, 15-year historical data and more.
Accuweather was founded in 1962 by Dr. Joel N. Myers, then a graduate student in meteorology. The company first provided weather forecasts to various companies, then branched out into providing forecasts to newspapers and television stations. The company is now the world’s leading commercial weather service. Accuweather.com was launched in 1996.
Competition to Accuweather comes from sites such as Weather.com, Weather Underground (Wunderground.com) and Google Weather. All of these sites provide weather information for free, with Weather.com and Weather Underground also offering premium memberships which provide access to more weather information. Google is entirely free, but does not provide as much information as Accuweather. Weather Underground offers free, advertising supported information, but you must sign up for a premium membership to receive email forecasts and alerts. Accuweather offers free weather information, including email forecasts and alerts, which is ad-supported, and also offers premium memberships.
The Accuweather site is very busy, with many links shown on most pages on the site. Free users of the site must view advertisements, which are somewhat obtrusive. Navigation, however, is intuitive, with a convenient top menu bar shown on all pages of the site. The site is quite responsive, and page loads are fairly quick given the amount of graphical information provided on most pages. The radar and satellite animations are very responsive and load quickly as well.
Registration is not required to view weather information on the Accuweather site. Users can register to receive free email forecasts and alerts. The registration process asks for email address and zip code. Users can optionally provide a username, password and gender for control over their email settings.
The Accuweather site also offers Premium and Professional memberships. In addition, they offer premium services such as RadarPlus and Lightning Plus. A Premium membership costs $7.95/month or $79.95/year. The Premium membership removes the advertising and offers many enhanced features. A Professional membership costs $24.95/month or $249.95/year for a personal account or $69.95/month or $699.95/year for a professional (commercial) account. The Professional membership offers even more features and access to a huge amount of forecast models and other data.
The Accuweather site is recommended to anyone requiring accurate weather information. A free account can provide users with accurate weather forecasts and email alerts for severe weather in their area. The Premium membership is recommended to anyone who needs more detailed information and more features, or simply wants to remove the advertisements displayed on the site. The Professional membership is recommended to weather enthusiasts as well as individuals and companies whose business relies on accurate weather data.