Google Rolls out Weather Layer on Google Maps but there are Still Better Resources for Paddlers

Thursday, 18 August 2011
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Google Maps weather layer

Google just introduced a new weather layer to their Google Maps system. You can turn it on by hovering the mouse over the graphic in the upper corner of the map and selecting the weather layer.

Powered by weather.com, the new weather layer gives you the current temperature as well as forecast and temperature for the next four days. If you are looking for more detail you can click through to weather.com for more extended forecasts.

I can see why Google decided to keep it simple since most people don’t care about wind, barometric pressure or other weather nerd stuff like that but I wish it would click through to that type of thing.

Don’t be heart broken. The king of Google Maps/weather mash-ups is still Weather Underground’s WunderMap which is by far your best resource if you want weather information that’s deeper then the Channel 5 weather girl but not so confusing you think you just signed up for a university course.

Weather Underground Wundermap

You can zoom in on your local paddling destination and turn on the weather stations layer and you can see exactly what’s going on around in. Looking for severe weather? There is a layer for that but to me the strongest feature is the storm tracker. When enabled, it displays an ice cream cone shape displaying the storm direction as well as the projected location for the next 15, 30, 45 minutes.

Did I tell you this same map is mobile phone friendly? It’s a great resource for getting that last minute update on surrounding storms just before hitting the water.

Other Weather Sites I’m a fan of? Check out Wind Finder or Wind Guru for solid wind prediction and Weather Underground’s Marine Maps. They are slightly more technical but they also provide excellent history for things like water temp, wind direction, speed and wave height. Want to see average wave height for the 3rd week of October, 2001? They will tell you.

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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