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Saturday, April 23, 2011


Why Not Us? NWS Link Now Goes to Weather.gov

When ForecastAdvisor started, the National Weather Service website was much different that it is today. Today, forecast pages come from the national site, with point forecasts being pulled directly from the National Digital Forecast Database.

Back then, the forecast pages were the responsibility of the regional offices: Eastern, Western, Central, Southern, Alaska and Pacific regions. When you typed a city, state on the main weather.gov site, you were redirected to one of regional sites for your forecast. The problem at the time was two-fold. There was no way to programmatically generate an URL to link to a specific zip code. And, the western region at that time didn't provide a zip code to city mapping. The western region's reluctance is understandable, in the west, zip codes cover huge areas, and it's difficult to pinpoint a specific city with a zip code.

So at that time, when you clicked on "National Weather Service" or "NWS Digital Forecast" in the weather forecast accuracy tables below the ForecastAdvisor forecast, it took you to a "Why Not Us?" page, letting you know that the ForecastAdvisor forecast is the NWS forecast, and that we couldn't link to the NWS forecast for your city directly.

Now that the NWS is a fully national site, and there is a way to generate an URL to link to a specific zip code's forecast, I've changed it so clicking on "National Weather Service" will now take you directly to the NWS forecast page for your city.

The "NWS Digital Forecast" link still takes you to "Why Not Us?" since the NWS Digital Forecast is the NDFD forecast and there isn't a web page for that. However, on the "Why Not Us?" page, there is a link to go to the NWS forecast page for your city, rather than just to the home page of weather.gov.

I hope this makes ForecastAdvisor even more useful to you, and I'd like to thank Anthony DeRobertis for emailing me and letting me know the NWS now has a way to generate URLs to get to specific zip code forecasts. Thanks Anthony!

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