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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

Applications Folder: Wunderstation

Wunderstation

You know that I’m kind of a weather nerd. I have had a weather station in my backyard since 2004. (Yesterday was the hottest day so far this year!) But you don’t need to have a weather station to get local weather data in a fun way. That’s because most personal weather stations (including mine) upload data to the Weather Underground website, and Weather Underground has built a fun iPad app to let you view that data. And there’s a good chance that someone else is already running a weather station near you.

The iPad app is called Wunderstation and it displays weather station data in a fun way, with lots of customizable tiles showing various sets of weather data. I got the app to view my own station data in a fancier format than the web page generated by my Mac server software, but quickly discovered that it was a great way to keep track of the weather in other locations, too. You can look at a map and see all the weather stations available around you, and tap to add them to Wunderstation’s list.

Now I can see how hot it is at my mom’s place in Arizona—it turns out there are three stations uploading to Weather Underground in her neighborhood, one of them less than 200 yards way. There are also a couple of stations within a few miles of my sister-in-law’s place, so on a foggy summer day in the Bay Area I can check their weather and imagine what it must be like to be somewhere hot during the summer.

Weather Underground offers a more basic app that runs on iPhone and iPad. It’s fine. There’s even an Apple Watch complication, though I found the one in Carrot Weather to be far more reliable. But for fun charts and graphs, you can’t beat Wunderstation. And if you’ve got a neighbor with a weather station, you may discover that you don’t need to invest anything in weather-station hardware to get all the benefits.

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