Local TV news, the weather channel, radio stations when i am listing ( least relible, but work), the internet. Then i got an older guy at the shop called Herb, my yard guy this year. He makes his prediction on a storm for amounts of ice and snow, i am not exactly sure how he does it. However his predictions are usually better than the guys on tv.
We are looking into try a weather service this winter. I have heard some go and bad things, but I think we are still going to try it. We also listen to the local radio and there is a local weather service on the net.
We use a local weather service which gives us the time it will start snowing,type of snow how much,and when we will see 2 inches,4 inches,and 6 inches on paved surfaces.We are using DTN for the first time this year and of course local news.I think between the three we should be able to get a good feel as to whats happening. We use the window Like John said the most reliable out of all for local weather service.
The National Weather Service has a good real time weather service that can be accessed free at iwin.nws.noaa.gov
There are several versions for those w/ high speed and snail access. There is also free software for EMWIN which offers real time weather, just as the NWS gets and dissemintates it. If anyone would like more links for short and mid term forecast models, surface maps, etc just let me know or drop me an email. By the way . . . the best radar on the web is at http://www.weathertap.com It costs about $40/year and is well worth the service. We use it as part of our forecast products for storm chasing.
A member of this forum, DaveO, gave me a great site for info. They have a realtime doppler radar loop. The weather channel has a doppler radar too. Between the two of them, I can keep on top of what's happening. The real secret is knowing what all the lines on the weather map mean, and being able to interpret the data yourself. Low pressure lines, high pressure, cold fronts, it all adds up to what will happen. Knowing your local conditions helps too. For instance, the NWS and others give forecasts for Newark, NJ. There's an airport there. The temps they give as "current" are always at least 10 degrees warmer than where we plow, 5 miles north west of there. Newark turns over to rain, and it keeps snowing where we plow.
On the local note, we always get intense storms from the west, but they always lose intensity crossing a mountain range before they get to us. Ocassionally they stay strong, so I have to keep up on the current radar.
Using the national radar doppler loop on intellicast, you can see the path and pattern of a storm. Watching the weather channel during a few snowless winters in the past, I learned quite a bit about weather. I think weather education plays a big part, as well as what the forecasters say. Everyone is always saying "the weather guy was wrong", so we all have to learn as much as we can ourselves.
I also mounted a thermometer in the bed of my truck, on the wooden sideboard, so I can see just what the temp is. This is a BIG help. The NYC radio stations are no help, because it's typically 10 degrees warmer there too.