I used to like the weather.com site. As a runner it was very convenient have a browser tab set up to my local radar. That way on rainy days I could wait for a break in the green "rain" area and hit the road.
At least that was true back in 2005 when I started this blog.
In the intervening years the accuracy of this has changed dramatically for the worse - which to me is a remarkable thing.
I used to be able to time the passing of the "green" rain areas very accurately - down to a few minutes either coming or going. In those days "green" meant actual on the ground rain.
Fast forward to 2010.
Now the radar output is basically meaningless. You can see the "green" rain areas but they are often completely missing from the display while we're getting a good rain and you can see a heavy rain over the house and outside there is no rain at all.
Now I have check this out at both weather.com and accuweather.com and the results seem to be about the same.
The only reasons I can see for this kind of change would be money and dumb. As in charge some customers more for the accurate weather or report things like rain "in the air" as green.
Either way it makes both sites pretty useless for anything other than just checking the basic conditions.
Don't get me wrong - there is still some small value here. I have the AccuWeather iPhone app and its nice for watching big, nasty thunderstorms roll in on picnics in the summer - and you can see big gaps between parts of storms fairly reliably. But you can't rely on the "green" = "rain".