This struck me as kind of intriguing; you’d assume that searches for the weather forecast would remain pretty consistent, rather like searches for “date” or “time.” (After all, most people check the weather every day — right?) But as Google’s data across multiple weather-related search terms shows, that’s actually not the case at all. History suggests that people tend to search the weather way more right before highly hyped weather events.
I say hyped, and not significant, because the events don’t always pan out that way. Remember the 2013 derecho? Me neither. Contrary to worrisome forecasts, it didn’t really happen.
That just makes Google’s search data more useful, though: When you put that it on a chart, you basically end up with a timeline of years of occasionally hilarious weather hype. Even better, you may come away with some tentative good news: Contrary the headlines and the Twitter hysteria, it would appear we’ve actually gotten more chill (heh, chill) about the weather as successive storms have passed. In fact, in the past five years, no storm has topped 2010’s “Snowmaggedon” from a purely panicked-Googling perspective — not even Superstorm Sandy or the great southern blizzard of 2011.