Google Earth is already a great way to travel around the world from the comfort of your armchair and now it’s got a new feature that makes it even more immersive, real-time weather. If it’s raining or snowing in the location you’re currently visiting, the weather is depicted in Google Earth as well. It has some practicability, but there are probably better ways to get a weather report than to use Earth. None of them are as much fun though.
“It’s the middle of summer, but for those of us who long for the return of cold winter weather and warm cups of cocoa, throw on your favorite poncho and check out the weather in Google Earth 5.2. The latest version projects images of rain and snow over the areas with those weather patterns as it’s actually happening!,” Quarup Barreirinhas, Software Engineer at Google, announced.
“First enable the clouds layer, then zoom in to a particular location where it might be raining or snowing. I’m willing to bet London is a likely spot, even these days, or the Lone Star state (pictured below) which is in the midst of tropical storm season,” he added.
To see the feature in action, fire up Google Earth 5.2 and enable the cloud layer. Then, if you’re zooming in close enough, you should see rain and snow animated in Google Earth. Unfortunately, the weather data is only available for some parts of North America and Europe, so it’s mostly hit or miss. If you want to check out if the data is available in one particular area, just enable the radar layer which will show you exactly where Google has weather info.
It’s a fun new feature and should give users a much better sense of immediacy. In terms of practical uses, there aren’t that many. For traveling, you’re not going to rely on Google Earth for data, there are just too many good weather-dedicated websites out there. But it does add a new dimension to the experience.
Google Earth for Windows is available for download here.
Google Earth for Linux is available for download here.
Google Earth for Mac is available for download here.