He’s the new Weatherman: Quirky Slope storm chaser breaks silence about hobby

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As I write this on a rainy Wednesday, the current temperature is 47.8 degrees, the wind is out of the east at 3.3 miles per hour, and we’ve already gotten .55 inches of precipitation.

The barometer is falling and sunset will be in exactly seven hours and 24 minutes.

I know all this because Bradley Feldman has posted it on a quirky Web site that has become the Internet’s biggest breakout hit since Obama girl.

Since November, when he launched the “Park Slope weather” page on his family Web site,, Feldman has become a mini-celebrity on the (virtual) streets of the neighborhood (elevation 95 feet, by the way).

His site — remember, this is just the current readings in Park Slope — gets more than 1,400 hits a day.

“There seem to be people out there who don’t like the National Weather Service for whatever reason and would rather get something local and unofficial,” Feldman explained.

“But honestly, I can’t explain the phenomenon.”

I can. In an age of RSS feeds that push news stories right into your cellphone, satellite-guided navigation systems that never let you get lost, and pre-packaged candidates who say all the things that the focus groups taught them to say, people are crying out for something fresh, something that looks handmade.

Culling together bits of hobbyist software and knowledge gleaned from years as an amateur radio enthusiast, Feldman’s site has the samizdat feel of secretly obtained National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration database, circa 1988, or a weather report that a pilot might rip off the wire machine seconds before closing the cockpit door.

Feldman even solders his own circuit boards — and that attention to detail is part of the charm, said no less an authority than Louise Crawford of “Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn.”

“I was just thrilled to find a site that would give me the weather without me having to put in my ZIP code,” said Crawford, who links to Feldman’s “weather station” on her blog every day. “It’s so hyperlocal, you have to love it. It makes Park Slope feel even more like this self-contained little universe.”

Gersh Kuntzman is the Editor of The Brooklyn Paper. E-mail Gersh at

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Reader Feedback

Robert from South Brooklyn says:
Can I puke now?
God, it's getting worse than Gawker.
Do you all write about yourselves and your self-contained little universes now?
Used to be called logrolling, probably the cleanest term I can use. Blogrolling?
March 21, 2008, 3:07 am
Weatherfan from upstate says:
Good information there, but what's quirky about it?
June 20, 2008, 10:54 am

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