Rain Man

Sarah didn't sign up for Poncho. See?

Simple weather service Poncho keeps New Yorkers ready

It’s hard to overstate the importance of weather. It kicked off the bubonic plague, postponed D-Day, and gave us the 1996 box office hit Twister.

So it’s shocking that getting a usable forecast today is still such a bad experience. It seems we’re stuck staring at the TV weatherman’s side part, waiting for something useful, or parsing through loads of online data.

NYC-based Poncho is that modern weather service.

Poncho (who’s a cat incidentally) sends you a simple text or email on the coming conditions, based on your routine. You tell it how you commute, whether you have pets to walk and if you need alternate side parking info – and then you get tailored forecasts each morning and evening, based on the delivery times you choose.

The updates are witty and memorable. Last night’s text read: “…a gusty evening in the mid-40s. Tomorrow will be soaked through. So nasty & so rude.” Hard to argue you would’ve needed any more info for today.

The commuting info is particularly good. Tell Poncho you take the F train to work, and it’ll warn you when the F train is down (frequently, in other words). And for the allergy sufferers among us, Poncho now offers pollen conditions, and gives you a discount on allergy medicine when you sign up via a new partnership with Duane Reade.

In addition to NYC, Poncho recently launched in Boston, and has other major cities in the works.

With spring here, and the weather getting wackier all the time, now’s the time to step up your weather game. Sign up for Poncho now here.

Now go forth (and stay dry out there).

Nitty Gritty:

55M: Domestic box office for Twister, the 2nd highest grossing film in 1996

5/24/1996: Date a tornado destroyed a drive-in scheduled to show Twister that evening

5/10/2010: Date a tornado destroyed a Oklahoma farmhouse where severalTwister scenes were shot