VATICAN CITY — Thanks to a new addition to the Vatican City State Web site, the 7 million to 10 million visitors to Rome each year will now have an empirically based idea of what to pack when they visit.
A new window dedicated to the weather at the Vatican has been added to the Vatican City homepage (which you can find by scrolling down and looking for a sun-peeking-behind-a-cloud icon on the bottom right on the homepage.)
The new page offers live and recorded meteorological data from the Vatican’s weather station. What’s cool (or hot) about the new page is the data are all represented by colorful dials, bars, graphs and gauges.
One glance and you can see the current temperature, the day’s maximum and minimum temperatures, wind direction, wind speeds, and how powerful those gusts are that turn your cheapo, bought-from-a-street-vendor umbrella inside out.
There are gauge arrows pointing to the level of humidity and barometric pressure and graphs plotting the rise and fall of temperatures and humidity over the last 24 hours. Three additional bar graphs indicate how much rainfall has dropped on Rome the past day, month and year.
Other features can be had by clicking on the small white oval buttons on the bottom left of the page. You can convert the readings from metric to Fahrenheit and inches by clicking on “Units.”
Meteorological and statistics buffs will want to hit the “Graph” button so they can comb through numerous pop-up charts documenting live and recorded windchill temps, wind speeds, rainfall, humidity and other measurements spanning the last 24 hours to the past year.
The “Webcam” button offers three live bird’s eye views of St. Peter’s Basilica and Square so you can see just how beautifully sunny or partly cloudy it is today.
The “Records” button will tell you record highs and lows in a number of categories. But since the Web-stats only go back to April of this year, the records aren’t that outstanding yet. For example, the hottest day in 2009 was recorded on May 26 at 3 p.m. when the mercury hit 91.8°F. That “all-time high” will definitely be beat once July and August come around.