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Logo of Taiganet, an illustration of trees.
Taiganet's front page as it appeared on November 7, 2021.
Taiganet's front page as it appeared on November 7, 2021.
Type of site
  • Internet forum
  • Software hosting site
Available inEnglish
Country of originUnited States
RegistrationRequired to post on forums
LaunchedSeptember 2002; 21 years ago (2002-09)b
Current statusActive
  • a Number of users as of November 7, 2021
  • b September according to user posts, May or earlier
    according to an official simulator version log[1]

Taiganet is an Internet forum most known for being the official home of the WeatherStar 4000 simulator project.


Taiganet began sometime in 2002 (possibly September, although a bug fix log for the simulator suggests May or earlier[1]) as Taiga Networks, the home page for a "small hosting organization located in the little town of Sebago, Maine." In the first few years, the forum had a much broader focus, including support websites that Taiga Networks hosted, an IRC server, a server for the game Unreal Tournament 2004, and general server and broadband-related topics in addition to the WeatherStar 4000 simulator.[2] By mid-2004, the main page of the site had taken on a blog format generally discussing broadband topics, with the forums being accessible through a side link. By June of the same year, the site had changed its theme to a slightly more modern one, and had put more emphasis on the simulator in its forum categories. By the beginning of December 2004, the Unreal Tournament category had disappeared due to it being moved to a new website, and the WeatherStar 4000 simulator project's category became the focus of the forum.

The beginning of 2005 saw the introduction of a theme that used lighter blue colors than the previous one. By September, another dark theme was added to the site.

The website for Taiganet and data service went down for multiple days during the latter half of July 2022, returning on the 23rd. The downtime sparked rumors of the end of the simulator. Similar incidents occurred in December 2023 and February 2024. After that incident, a data storage issue with the server hosting the site was given as the official explanation some of the outages, such as in March 2024.[3] The December 2023 incident was related to a power outage.[4]

WeatherStar 4000 Simulator

WS4000 Simulator
Logo the WS4000 Simulator, showing a Weather Star 4000 thunderstorm icon on the left side
Appearance of the WS4000 Simulator v4 Current Conditions screen
Appearance of the WS4000 Simulator Current Conditions screen as of version 4.0
Other namesWeatherStar 4000 Simulator (former)
Developer(s)Bill Goodwill
Initial releaseMay 2002; 22 years ago (2002-05) or earlier
Stable release
4.0.00203 / February 26, 2019; 5 years ago (2019-02-26)
Written inC++ (2019-present)
C# XNA (2011-2019)
Visual Basic .NET (2005-2011)
mIRCscript (2002-2005)
Operating systemWindows, Mac, Linux
Available inEnglish
TypeWeather Star simulator

Taiganet is the home of the WeatherStar 4000 Simulator (stylized as WS4000 Simulator), the most well-known simulator project in The Weather Channel's community. The project, which simulates the appearance of the Weather Star 4000 local forecast display system used by The Weather Channel from 1990 to 2014, began in 2002 and has gone through four major updates throughout its history. The fourth and most recent major update, publicly released in December 2018, expanded the simulator's reach to Linux and macOS.


The modern simulator is a recreation of the graphical appearance of the original Weather Star 4000 system with an emphasis on localization and customization. The simulator's configuration allows users to designate locations for current conditions, adjacent and regional cities' observations and forecasts, travel destination cities' forecasts, and radar. It also allows for the customization of flavors (condition/forecast product sequences), music playlists, logos, and advertisement crawls in the lower third.

Available products from the original 4000 on the simulator are current conditions, 8-city local observations, regional conditions/forecast, 36-hour forecast, extended forecast, travel cities forecast, almanac, long-range outlook, and current/local radar. Notably, the original 4000's special marine forecast, tides, and air quality products have never been added to the simulator. At present, while both the current/local radar and local update products are given as available product options on the current release, they both are non-functional due to changes in the National Weather Service's products.


Version one (2002-2005)

Version one of the simulator, a rudimentary version based on mIRCscript, was released sometime during or prior to May 2002, when bug fixes were first released. According to a forum post, bug fixes for the version continued from then through March 2003.[1] When this version would be launched by the user, it would start with an intro screen which played audio from a 1990s-era Local Forecast intro which said, "Now, your local forecast, accurate and dependable from The Weather Channel."[5] Files such as the intro audio clip were stored locally and could be changed if desired.[6] This version used radar and forecast maps taken from weather.com.[5]

Version two (2005-2011)

Version two was released as a public beta on April 30, 2005.[7] This version of the simulator included a graphics overhaul designed by Charles Abel-Lear, animated radar (from the National Weather Service and including a white background), the Travel Cities Forecast and Local Update products, and improvements to the program's handling of weather data for current weather and forecast products. The new version also included a new installer and executable including necessary graphics files so users did not have to manually drag and drop files for the simulator. Improvements were also made to importing music and profile creation for songs.[8] The program, now a standalone program in contrast to the original version, was written in Visual Basic .NET.

Intentions to release an upgraded version of version two, version 2.5, were disclosed publicly in 2006, although it was never released. Many of the goals for this version were pushed into what would become version three, including a change of programming language to C#, more authentic regional maps, authentic 4000 radar without a white background, a new GUI, and improved scrolling text that would allow for better warning message display.[9]

The closed beta of version two began on February 21, 2005.[10] The last release of version two, a bug fix for version 2.1, was released on August 16, 2009. All development was shifted to version three at that time. This version was still considered a public beta release; there is no evidence to suggest that version two ever officially made it out of beta testing.[11]

Version three (2011-2018)

Version three of the simulator was released on October 12, 2011[12]. The updated application, which utilized C# XNA as its programming language, was divided into two main executable files, one for program configuration and another for the simulator proper. This version was notable for including newly re-recorded narration by Dan Chandler, the former official voice talent of The Weather Channel, who lent his services to the simulator team in response to a request they made for his contribution.[13]

As far back as August 2014, plans were made to implement graphics options into the simulator that mimicked early graphics versions of the Weather Star 4000, with screenshots of progress on that updated posted around the time. However, this update was delayed for years, and when version four was released in 2018, the update was postponed further and ultimately never actualized.[14] All work on version three of the simulator officially ended on November 18, 2016, with all effort being directed to version four development at that time.[15]

On September 27, 2016, Triple C TWC alerted Taiganet staff to an eBay listing in which a seller was selling portable computer kiosks with the simulator installed.[16] The seller advertised the simulator as the primary selling point of the listing with no credit to Taiganet.[17] Feedback on the seller's eBay profile noted that the seller was also selling the same kiosks with a Nintendo Entertainment System emulator loaded onto the system.[18]

Version four (2018-present)

Development of version four of the simulator began in fall 2015[15] and was fully released in 2018. Besides the application being brought over to C++ as its programming language, one of the major changes to the simulator in this version was the configuration and simulator display applications being made one standalone application. The configuration process was revised so that ASOS ID numbers and other codes for weather data could be more easily found by uninitiated users by a simple search within the application. The lack of a streamlined search process for these codes was a longtime weakness of the simulator as these codes were often spread out across multiple websites and required in-depth guides to be written by development team members.

In December 2020, the National Weather Service made changes to its publicly available radar product, breaking the simulator's radar products in the process.[19] Since that time, the simulator has not received updates. The simulator's radar has remained broken since as a result.

On April 16, 2024, following a wave of several website and data outages claimed to be the result of malicious acts, developer Bill Goodwill took down the public download for the simulator. The data outages affected nearly all products besides the 36-hour text forecast product on top of the existing long-term radar outage.

Graphical history

See also

Other community forums


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Bug fix history of the old mIRC version". Taiganet. March 6, 2003. Archived from the original on December 13, 2007. Retrieved April 7, 2024.
  2. "Taiga Networks". Taiga Networks. April 10, 2004. Archived from the original on April 10, 2004. Retrieved November 7, 2021.
  3. "What causes this site to go out?". Taiganet. March 12, 2024. Retrieved April 4, 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. "Forecast Obs and Bulletins data server status". Taiganet. December 18, 2023. Retrieved April 4, 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. 5.0 5.1 "The old obsolete mIRC version". Taiganet. February 27, 2007. Retrieved April 7, 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. "Alternate intro". Taiganet. July 1, 2004. Retrieved April 7, 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. "How the public beta will work". Taiganet. April 30, 2005. Retrieved April 7, 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. "A list of features of the new 2.0.x version". Taiganet. January 12, 2005. Retrieved April 7, 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. "A list of goals for the new overhauled version of the emulator". Taiganet. July 25, 2006. Retrieved April 8, 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. "The closed beta has begun as of Feb 21". Taiganet. February 21, 2005. Retrieved April 7, 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. "Get The Public Beta Here". Taiganet. August 16, 2009. Archived from the original on March 26, 2010. Retrieved April 7, 2024.
  12. "v3 Progress pt 2". Taiganet. October 12, 2011. Retrieved April 4, 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. polarbear (September 21, 2012). "A behind the scenes look at how the narration was created and integrated into the simulator". Taiganet. Retrieved February 15, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. "Discussion & screenshots of upcoming early 90s styles". Taiganet. August 28, 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Version 3.x end of life". Taiganet. November 18, 2016. Retrieved April 4, 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. Triple C TWC (September 27, 2016). "Selling the simulator?". Taiganet. Retrieved April 4, 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. "Weather Station custom location weather channel wireless internet". eBay. Archived from the original on September 29, 2016. Retrieved April 4, 2024.
  18. "eBay Feedback Profile for deeltree". eBay. Archived from the original on September 29, 2016. Retrieved April 4, 2024.
  19. "Radar data not loading "Temporarily Unavailable"". Taiganet. December 28, 2020. Retrieved January 23, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links