A stormy experience at Weather.com?

weather.com without the weather?

I was perplexed to visit Weather.com, aka The Weather Channel, today and not find weather, at least not my weather. I looked high and low, “above the fold” and “below” it, but this is what I got.

I am a regular visitor, and I have always liked this Atlanta based business. But, today, I was a bit shocked at their current direction.

weather.com without the weather?
Where's the weather?

Do you find not showing the weather a good user experience for a site that started as “the” place to go to just get your weather or the weather for your travel destination really, really fast and easy?

Once I did type in my zip code, another really unexpected thing happened. A “pop under” ad loaded all sneaky behind all my open windows. Not only is this technique something you usually find in much less reputable places, but the quality of the advertisement was also pretty lackluster too.

Weather.com Pop Up Ad
Sneaky, Pop Under Ad from Weather.com

For me, I think I like my weather sites to be really easy… just weather… just my weather fast. What are your new favorite, fast weather sites? When I Googled “weather,” I got my local weather faster than on Weather.com and with no pop up ads.

Google.com Results for "Weather"
Google.com with quick results for 'weather'

The other thing I did not expect from the world’s largest weather brand, The Weather Channel, is a big old “BETA” on their home page. I didn’t navigate or go to an app for their BETA site, I just got there like the millions of other visitors the site gets each and every day. This doesn’t sit right with me from a major news network focused on the science of weather. Releasing a BETA as your one an only landing page seems to discredit the very sense of being a major network and trusted source. It might as well say, “Under Construction, Check Back Later.”

Can you imagine CNN, Fox News or Bloomberg putting a big BETA on their news websites?

No longer a privately owned company, The Weather Channel was purchased in 2008 by NBC Universal, Bain Capital, and Blackstone Group. Maybe its growing pains or a change in the internal weather that’s got them off coarse. But, I really do wonder what is going on over at The Weather Channel these days and how many users might start to take a different weather pattern as a result of the current experience.


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