How to stay one step ahead on vacation!
You know what it’s like; you’re on holiday and it’s tipping it down. It’s not what you signed up for, and the kids (whom we love dearly of course) are driving you nuts. “When’s it going to stop raining??” they wail. How do you answer that question? Do you turn on Greek TV and watch the καιρός? Yeah, no, I didn’t think so. (ευχαριστώ google translate)
I’m just back from my own holiday, a lovely half-term break in France. The weather set-up there was the same as back in the UK. Warm sunshine and then thundery showers. Did my UK-based app pick those downpours up? Nope. Not once.
We’re going to have to get a little bit technical here for a minute. It’s all a question of micro vs macro – or fine grid data vs coarse resolution data. The top UK weather apps which perform the best at home are not going to perform best outside of the country because they go from very fine data led forecasts to something coarser. In our recent Facebook Live about apps, I likened it to the difference between pointillism and impressionism art. From afar, to most of us it looks the same. But there are gaps between the dots of paint in pointillism and if you look closely at coarse resolution weather data you’d also see gaps. The UK-based apps have the fine resolution at home, and so are the most accurate here; but go abroad and you shift into the coarser model.
But, very few of us probably speak the local language well enough to turn on the tv and get a human-led fine model forecast. Not to mention the fact that we don’t know what time the local news is on or the best channel etc.
What you want to do as a general rule of thumb, is download the national met service app or check out its website, because many of them also have their own high-resolution model. As always with apps, know its limitations though. My advice is always to look at the satellite and radar pages to see what’s going on in reality right now (and back a few hours) and combine that with the guidance from the hourly data symbol forecasts.
Every nation has its own Met Service. Below are just a few to get you going, and most of them have apps to download for your trip and an ability to translate their websites into English. So now you can get on with having a fabulous holiday!
(Love video? See more about weather websites you can trust on holiday here in our recent Facebook Live!)
EUROPE – MeteoAlarm (Guide to weather warnings across Europe)
France – MeteoFrance
Italy – Meteo Aeronautica Militare
Spain – Agencia Estatal de Meteorologia
Greece – Hellenic National Meteorological Met Service
Belgium – Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium
Netherlands -The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute
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