Earlier this morning I was going through my RSS feeds on iGoogle and saw a headline on Mashable, 5 Incredibly Simple, Yet Useful Websites.  Always down to see a few websites that are must see and will change my life – insert sarcasm – I clicked.  First on the list, and the only one I find usable out of the 5 is UmbrellaToday.com.

The site does one thing and one thing only, tells you if you’ll need an umbrella if you go outside that day.  Intrigued, I looked around the very sparse website and found that all you do is enter your cell phone number, zip code and time you want to receive a text message and the site sends you one every day.  Sign-up takes about 30 seconds, they don’t even ask for an email address, when you are done, they send you a text message with a random word in it that you then must enter into the site to confirm your cell number and you’re done.  I’m signed up and selected the text message be sent to me at 8.00am every day.

Photo by: Shahram Sharif

Not two minutes after signing up, it dawned on me that I could just look outside to see if I need an umbrella, but then again, what if they aren’t calling for rain until later that day?  Clearly they must be pulling the data from some source, somewhere, right?  My other concern is that it didn’t ask for a time-zone, so I’m hoping it’s not a PST default, thus giving my text messages at 11am, when I’m already up and out of the house for several hours because that wouldn’t be useful.

Who is UmbrellaToday.com for?  Well, anyone who doesn’t want to turn on their computer or TV first thing in the morning and hates broadcast radio as much as I do, but needs weather information prior to leaving the house.  Since I commute to work via bicycle when it’s warm out, I always watch the weather at night (online or TV) but almost never check in the morning prior to leaving.  You’ll also need to have a text message plan on your cell phone that can deal with the up to 31 texts per month.  I’ll follow up in a few weeks to see how accurate it is, when the text messages are actually delivered and if there any days when they don’t come through.