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January 28, 2011

The Sun's new print weather page arrives Sunday

The Sun's print subscribers will get a bonus with their Sunday papers this weekend as the paper  unveils a bigger, more colorful and informative weather feature.

As the newspaper continues to rebound from a long period of downsizing, it's now the weather page's turn for some upgrades and revitalization. Many of the changes have been made in response to reader requests and suggestions in recent months. Many thanks for your interest and your ideas. We have listened.

Here's some of what you'll find when you open your paper, beginning on Sunday:

Weather page* The feature will double in size, from the current quarter-page, to a half-page. We're also moving from page 3 to the back page of the Sports Section. Look for us there.

* We will be leaving the 1950s world of black-and-white behind, moving back to a full four-color display.

* Readers' most-requested feature, the national weather map, is back. It will show temperature patterns and the barometric highs and lows, cold fronts and warm fronts all across the Lower 48 states.

* A larger Maryland map will include high and low temperature forecasts for more cities and towns.

* We'll have an easier-to-navigate list of U.S. and foreign cities, with forecasts for today and tomorrow. We're also adding red indicators showing where travelers can expect travel delays. The section will also include the high and low extreme-temperature readings for the Lower 48 states, and the world.

* The Baltimore Almanac will include all the highs, lows and records for BWI-Marshall Airport. New "trend" graphics will also give readers a quick grasp of recent trends in precipitation and temperature.

* We are also adding easy-to grasp graphical representations (in season) forNational map pollen counts, UV and Air Quality Index readings.

* Plenty of readers also asked us to provide degree-day reports, so they can estimate how much energy they're using for heating and cooling. So we've added that, too, along with the long-term averages for comparison.

* We will continue to provide a Marine Forecast, with tide times for the Chesapeake and the beaches, wave heights and water temperatures.

* Stargazers will appreciate another new feature. In addition to the moon phases, and the rise and set times for the sun and moon, we will now be listing rise and set times for all five naked-eye planets, so they can see what they'll find in the night sky and when to look. 

* And, in addition to the five-day forecast from the WJZ First Warning Weather Team, our forecasts and reports will be backed by the power and reliability of AccuWeather. Finally, the new page will continue to be anchored, at the bottom, by me (with a smaller photo, thank heavens) and the Maryland Weather Blog.

So, if you are a subscriber, we thank you for your loyalty and patience. If you're not, we hope you will take another look at the paper and consider joining us. Tell us what you think of the print weather page improvements. And if you have any suggestions, we're always listening.

(SUN PHOTOS: Weather page mockups, Frank Roylance)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 7:54 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Notes to readers
        

Comments

Looking good! I like the direction this is taking.

I cancelled my subscription when the paper starting shrinking. They still send it to me though, but when that ends I may look into resubscribing - this looks really good. It is refreshing reading about an upgrade for a change!

FR: Great to hear! Thanks!

First, you might want to repeat this post and get more feedback, since people won't have had a chance to see the printed page until yesterday or today.

Second, I agree that it's a big improvement, and I'm glad to have more info, the national map, and the improved MD map. I'm sure a bunch of people worked on it and it shows the effort. Very readable.

Third, I'd love to see a brief narrative somewhere, like what the NY Times has, that says things like "A low pressure system over the Mid Atlantic will gradually move offshore, and cold, clear weather will move into Maryland overnight etc. etc."

Fourth, my personal wish is to see more humidity info, especially 3-day (or even longer) forecasts, especially for the summer. Humidity is often the most important comfort issue during the summer, often more than even temperature.

Assuming space is an issue, I think UV listings aren't necessary -- in this day and age I think the blanket assumption is lather on the sunscreen if you're outside. Also, while I think foreign forecasts are nice, I'm much more interested in local info. If I'm travelling, I'm most likely to need a more detailed forecast than what's available through the Sun.

Again, thanks for the work on this, it shows.

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff
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