The First Internet Weather Service!
Weather Underground is committed to delivering the most reliable, accurate weather information possible. Our state-of-the-art technology monitors conditions and forecasts for locations across the world, so you'll always find the weather information that you need.
In addition to providing free, real-time online weather information to millions of Web users around the world, Weather Underground is pleased to offer a variety of Newspaper Weather Services and Custom Site Weather Packages.
In 1991, while working under the direction of Perry Samson at the University of Michigan, PhD candidate Jeff Masters wrote a menu-based telnet interface which displayed real-time weather information around the world. By 1992, the two servers his system used were rattling off their desks as "um-weather" became the most popular service on the Internet.
In 1993, Perry and Jeff recruited Jeff Ferguson and Alan Steremberg to help build a system to bring Internet weather into K-12 classrooms. Chris Schwerzler joined Alan in his work on the Mac gopher client, "Blue Skies," which won numerous awards for its interactive imagery and text information. In the interest of expanding "Blue Skies" to other platforms, Dave Brooks, author of the Windows "WS Gopher" client, developed "Blue Skies for Windows" in 1994. The growing Internet weather program was given the name Weather Underground, a reference to the 1960's radical group that also originated at the University of Michigan, which had taken its name from the lyrics to Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues, "You don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows."
During early 1995, Netscape's prime, Alan and Chris embarked upon the "Blue Skies for Java" project to replace the aging gopher client with a sleek web interface. "Blue Skies Java" was included in Sun Microsystems' first set of Java Success Stories and led to the development of a full fledged web weather service. At the same time, Michael McDonald, a web developer, was building a comprehensive database of weather related information and tropical weather links on the web, which he later integrated into the tropical storm section of the Weather Underground site.
Incorporating on the Web
In late spring of 1995, Weather Underground, Inc. evolved as a separate commercial entity from the university. By fall, the official web site, www.wunderground.com, was released with daily forecasts and hourly conditions for 550 US cities. After announcing the new web site on the telnet service, traffic immediately soared, creating a substantial user base. During 1996 and 1997, Jeff, Alan, Chris, and Jeff transformed the site into a dynamic service where information was updated in real-time with several innovative new features. These included one of the first zip code searches, severe weather warnings and advisories, international conditions, marine weather, and detailed local forecasts. They also began developing custom weather sites for TV stations and Internet portals.
Weather Underground Today
The web site has never stood still and many new features have been added in recent years. Of particular note, Weather Underground has developed the world's largest network of personal weather stations (almost 23,000 stations in the US and over 13,000 across the rest of the world) that provides our site's users with the most localized weather conditions available. Embracing the community aspect of the web, we have developed WunderPhotos, a section where our members upload and share photographs of weather related content; our popular Blogs section allows members to post weather-related blogs in addition to Jeff Masters' widely-read WunderBlog.
In 2008, we launched WunderMaptm, the web's most interactive weather map, that allows users to choose from a number of different weather layers that are plotted on top of a dynamic map interface. Other popular features include a tornado tracking product, in-depth sports and ski weather and our Trip Planner application. The list is endless but we hope that you will take the time to delve deeper into our site and discover all of our weather products for yourself.
In July 2012, Weather Underground became part of The Weather Channel Companies.