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Internet Helps Weather Get More Local (II).

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Yet a new company, Digital Cyclone, Inc., is challenging sites such as weather.com with neighborhood-level forecasts that promise to be even more precise than a ZIP-code forecast.

The company's first service is called My-Cast (www.my-cast.com) and here's how it works.

When they register, My-Cast users tell My-Cast exactly where they'd like the weather forecasted, down to their neighborhood. Often users will ask for forecasts for their home, workplace, favorite golf course, kids' school, local park and any other number of places. My-Cast will then deliver unique forecasts for each area that are updated every three hours.

Its precision is striking. Golfers can figure out which golf course near them offers the best chance for a full round of golf unimpeded by rain. Soccer families will have a better idea of which child's game might be rained out. Commuters might even be able to select the best route to take to work on a snowy day.

How is My-Cast so precise? First, in most major-metro areas, My-Cast forecast models calculate the predicted weather at data points only four miles apart, as opposed to the 20-mile grid used by the National Weather Service, which is the foundation for forecasts from weather.com and most other consumer weather forecasts. In addition, My-Cast updates its forecast eight times a day, compared to four times a day from the National Weather Service. Finally, My-Cast models use data from many different sources, including satellites, surface observations and soon, NEXRAD Doppler radar.




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