A Sincere Letter to Weather.com

Dear Weather.com,

First of all: thank you. As the media world adapts to the changing mediums in technology, it is nice to see a new, streamlined version of the weather forecast. Gone are the days where I had to watch fifteen minutes of crappy local news, just to catch a glimpse of what might be happening outside my window that week. Those forecasts, despite their peppy weather… people (what’s the word for weathermen and weather-women?) were often very general, as they could not record a forecast for a specific area, but rather had to cover the region. Not that this method didn’t work, it simply led to more mistakes. People expecting snow might get nothing while those looking forward to flurries would instead take a blizzard to the (metaphorical) face.

Thank you, weather.com, because now I can get a forecast tailored to my town. What’s that, I can get an hourly breakdown? Hold the phone – a summary every fifteen minutes. You gotta be shitting me! Wow, weather.com, you are amazing. An improvement over the old ways in every sense… well, almost every sense. Let’s look at your homepage:

Thank god I know about that spider, seriously.
Thank god I know about that spider, seriously.

Okay, looks good. I have a temperature readout for several areas (available in both Fahrenheit and Celsius) and an active map of an area seeing a strong weather pattern… that’s all pretty bitching. Wait – what… adorable sleeping animal photos? I – what? 20 year-old dies of exposure… that’s bad I guess… was it from severe weather? The fuck is up with that spider?!

Yes, weather.com, while your information is fantastically applicable and usually very accurate… you really have to work on your website design. See, in the old days (and still now, actually), when weather people wanted ratings: they jazzed up the weather. Every bit of snow became the next super blizzard and hot days became DAAAAYUMMM hot days. It feels like you’re trying to compensate with these stories. Eye-catching, eye-catching! Look at us! That’s what they scream. Wouldn’t be so bad… if they all weren’t pretty stupid.

Thank god - THANK GOD - I know about Walmart's new truck.
Thank god – THANK GOD – I know about Walmart’s new truck.

Now this wouldn’t be so bad, if it weren’t on every page. Seriously, like every. single. page. on. your. website. What’s the point? Why do I need to know about cute animals. Actually, let me rephrase that: why do YOU need to tell me about cute animals. I already have imgur (pronounced im GRRRRRRRRRRR) and youtube, what do you really think you can do for me that they can’t? No weather.com, you have one job.

Can someone please explain to me why I need to see a giraffe being tragically cute while I'm looking for an extended forecast.
Can someone please explain to me why I need to see a giraffe being tragically cute while I’m looking for an extended forecast.

If you feel the need (and really, why do you?) to compliment your pages with additional information… well, could you at least make it relevant? That sixteen year old dying, that’s horrible but it has nothing to do with educating me about the weather. You’re WEATHER.COM! I expect two things from you: inform me of the weather and educate me on the weather. Your current links do no such thing. That’s pretty sad when there is amazing free information out there on the internet (it’s the fucking internet after all). Like look at these:

Took me all of two seconds to find those and it didn’t cost me anything. Plus that last one is Bill Nye. BILL NYE. Here’s a rule: if you’re an educational website – make Bill Nye available to your browsers. Seriously it’s not rocket science. Although, if you wanted to learn about rocket science, I’m sure Bill Nye could teach you.

I say look to Google. Google isn’t flashy, Google doesn’t try to keep people on by reading stupid stories. People go to Google because it helps them find the information that they want. If that information is weather-related, Google should be directing them to you.

“But,” you say, “we have to be flashy! People can get forecasts anywhere! We need to stand out!”

Yes you do – but not as that awesome weather site with the really stupid links sprinkled in! You’re not a cool website, you are never going to be a cool website (sorry). You’re where people go when we want the weather. Give us that, in copious amounts we could never hope to fully digest… but give us only that. Please, you’re embarrassing yourself right now.

Thanks for listening Weather.com

 

Sincerely,

One voice on the Interwebs

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