Data + Design Project

Ourcast: App Predicts Weather to the Minute

Monday 04.16.2012 , Posted by
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If you have a football game to play Saturday, it’s not too hard to find out what the forecast will look like… just head to one of the many popular weather sites or apps and you’ll see if it’s going to be a perfect day or a mud bath. But, what if that game was in 2 hours? That becomes far more challenging to predict, especially down to your specific location.

Enter Ourcast, a free app launching April 18th, which is designed to accurately predict rain and snow in real-time up to 2-hours in the future. Why just two hours? Instead of focusing on what is easy to find – predicting if it will rain today – the app helps you know if that game, run or wedding in 2 hours is going to require a rain jacket or if your kids should walk to school. It’s just the useful and timely information you need when going outside… and it’s provided by people in your own community. (continued below)

Below left: Ourcast’s forecast view shows weather predictions in 10-minute intervals. Below right: The map view displays point-by-point weather information from both users and weather stations.

How does the app produce such accurate, up to the minute weather results? Ourcast cleverly uses a combination of information from weather reporting stations around the United States and user reported check-ins to create an unprecedented level of accuracy at your exact location. Personally, I tried it out on a rainy day recently, and it was scary accurate within a few minutes… and the user base hasn’t even fully kicked in. The check-ins are way more fun than you’d expect too. By socially linking to Twitter and Facebook you can share your weather updates with friends. The check-in options aren’t limited to just ‘sunny’ and ‘rainy’ either. You get plenty of options including current activities and your moods: from ‘sunny and happy,’ to ‘biking in light rain,’ and even ‘purple rain’ for those Artist Formerly Known As fans.

Ready to start your career as a weather reporter? The app will be launching Wednesday April 18th in its social format seen here, but is currently available in a stripped down beta version for your iPhone. Expect it soon for Android devices. You can find out more here.

Ourcast displays a feed of both user and weather station reports on current weather at a location. It also allows a number of entertaining options for checking-in.

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Benjamin Starr

Written by Benjamin Starr



Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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