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AccuWeather.com

Like many Midwesterners, my family displays a near-obsession with the weather, and they passed this meteorological curiosity on to me–I learned the difference between sleet and freezing rain before I could even pronounce the word “precipitation.” This education in the elements means that when it comes to weather information, I’m not the type who’s content with a few glitzy charts on the local news or a brief description in the day’s newspaper. I’m the kind that needs a site like AccuWeather.

My former destination for all things atmospheric was the more popular Weather.com, run by the Weather Channel, but that site tends to be cluttered and is rife with much more advertising. Although it has less content in Weather.com areas like college football forecasts or appropriate skin protection, the AccuWeather site seems visually cleaner and less packed with links. Navigation, too, is refined, since it’s limited mainly to a left-hand bar with clearly stated headers like “Winter Center” and “My Local Forecast.”

The stripped-down look doesn’t mean that AccuWeather lacks content, however. Even a weather junkie would wear out before viewing all that the site offers. Of course, there are forecasts for regions from local to worldwide, and maps galore, covering everything from wind speed to air quality. Also included, though, are weather-related treats like soil moisture maps for gardeners, slope conditions for skiiers, and hurricane forecasts for tropics-bound travelers.

A less meteorological devotee may feel a bit overwhelmed by the wealth of topics, but just a few searches on the AccuWeather site will allay any anxieties, allowing even a weather novice to play forecaster for a day.

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