Four-year-old mobile weather app Dark Sky is mostly known for two things: its beautifully rendered radar maps and startlingly accurate hyperlocal weather predictions. The latter was Dark Sky's killer feature by far, and used your smartphone's GPS to let you know exactly when and how long you'd get rained on. With notifications like "Heavy rain starting in 12 min." it can be a lifesaver in rainy regions or places prone to sudden thunderstorms. Now those same features, along with a suite of new maps and visualizations, are available on your desktop via DarkSky.net.
Dark Sky's co-Founder Adam Grossman admits to Wired that the new site is a bit of a promotional effort for Dark Sky's mobile app, which will set you back $4 on iOS or $3 per year on Android. But the web version adds some powerful new extra features you won't find in the mobile app, like an optimized layout and the ability to zoom in and explore Dark Sky's trademark map and globe visualizations in even finer detail. An experimental new feature even allows users to explore microclimate effects so you can check the weather at altitude in the Himalayas or the temperature different at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Naturally, everything is embeddable and there's an API for third-party developers to play around with.
Because the site itself is supported by app sales, it is also blissfully free of advertisements and sensational WEATHER-MAGEDDON headlines. A trip to the homepage presents you with all the current weather data front and center, plus an eight-day forecast that drills down into hour-by-hour temperature and precipitation data.
Finally, the web launch follows an updated version of the Dark Sky app for iOS 10, which brings even richer notifications, a lock screen widget and new Apple Watch improvements.