One of the most common things I use the Web for is to get weather reports. For years, I would surf to http://www.weather.com and enter the Zip code of the place for which I wanted weather information. Since I installed the AWS Weatherbug, surfing for weather information has become a thing of the past. AWS Weatherbug is a free download that links to the Worldwide School WeatherNet to provide local weather information.

My kids think it's cool that their elementary school has its own weather station, and they're even more impressed that I configured their computers to provide live updates from their school's weather station. More than 5000 stations are connected to the network that Weatherbug uses, so chances are good that there's a station near you. In some areas, local weather information can differ widely from what other weather sites or media outlets are reporting. My nearest weather reporting station for every other outlet I've tried is across a good-sized river, and weather conditions on my side of the river are often quite different from those being reported. With Weatherbug, I get local reports from my kids' school—only 2 miles away.

If you're a weather information addict, you can also check out the Weather Underground for more weather information (both domestic and international) than you could ever need. If your idea of a weather report is the blurb on the front page of your newspaper, these sites aren't for you. But if the interaction of the jet stream with storm fronts moving across the nation catches your interest, these weather information sites are the tools for you.