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Best Weather Tools for Travelers

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Sick of winter yet? New York City just experienced its snowiest January on record, and Chicago is currently digging itself out from yesterday’s Groundhog’s Day blizzard, which was the third worst snowstorm to ever hit the city.

In a season like this, weather dictates how people travel. Weather Underground, home to the world's largest historical weather database, just re-launched its website Wunderground.com yesterday, which caused weather geeks around the world to rejoice. It's built several great travel tools, drawing info from their massive database to help you stay one step ahead of the weather while planning your next trip. Here are my favorites:

Trip Planner:
With this easy-to-use tool you can check out 10 years of historical weather data for a specific city. Just plug in the dates you’ll be there to get a general idea of what the weather should be like then. Pretty cool, huh?

Road Trip Planner:
If you have a road trip coming up (spring break, anyone?), use this tool to plot the weather along your route. Simply plug in where your trip begins and ends and it will give you the weather forecast for your entire trip, up to two weeks in advance.

Flight Aware Flight Tracking:
This tool—which tracks whether or not your flight is scheduled to depart on time—is an invaluable winter travel tool considering all of the storms wreaking havoc on airports lately.  You can also look up data from the past two weeks to see the likelihood of an on time departure for a specific flight.

Snow Conditions & Ski Report:
Winter sports buff? This one's for you. Check out stats at ski resorts around the world—including how much new snow is on the ground, surface conditions, and a color-coded “powder potential” map showing where the fluffiest snow is on the ground at the moment.

Weather Quickie app:
This simple tool tells you if it’ll be cooler, warmer, more rainy, etc. compared to yesterday. Unfortunately it’s only available for iPhones at the moment, so Android users like myself are out of luck.

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Lyndsey Matthews is an online editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of T+L's Winter Travel Photo Contest.

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