Dark Sky has made a name for itself over the past four years by creating beautiful weather maps and hyperlocal weather predictions, seemingly more accurate than your local weatherman. But it was only offered as a $3-per-year subscription on Android, and $4 on iOS, with no way to view it on your desktop. That changed as the developer now has brought its weather service to the web.
This isn’t Dark Sky’s first time on the web, as it also is behind Forecast.io, created as a side project to experiment with delivering a full forecast beyond its trademark precipitation forecast. The new Dark Sky website will eventually replace the Forecast.io service, and offer a no-frills, full-service weather site with nothing but the weather.
The site is free thanks to the success of its apps, and you get the same service that the app has always provided, including those down-to-the-minute forecast changes in the weather and when and for how long it might rain or snow. But the web version is even better, allowing you to explore the service’s visualizations in finer detail, including a new “microclimate” feature.
In plain English, microclimate refers to the changes in weather conditions over a short distance. For example, the temperature at the bottom of a mountain is typically higher than temperatures at the summit — a detail Dark Sky’s new web site is able to handle.
Dark Sky now also allows visitors to embed its maps into their own sites, along with an API that will allow third parties to take Dark Sky’s weather data and possibly do even cooler things with it. But certainly it’s a big deal that you won’t have to pay for it, considering what other weather sites do.
That means no ads, and no hype, and no strange articles about topics that have nothing to do with weather, unlike a certain big-name weather website who’s domain name sometimes doesn’t reflect the content. That’s a plus.