Here is a patch I've applied to see why the Weather download is so slow. It would be great if the patch can be applied to SVN. It will help people to understand that the weather download is actually quick, but downloading the radar map takes a lot of time.
download http://www.msnbc.com/m/chnk/d/weather_d_src.asp?acid=SFXX0044 - 1.0 sec
download http://w3.weather.com/weather/map/SFXX0044?from=LAPmaps - 5.9 sec
download http://w3.weather.com//maps/local/local/sf/1a/index_large.html - 2.9 sec
download http://image.weather.com/images/sat/africasat_720x486.jpg - 3.1 sec
So, it takes 1 seconds for the weather download, and 5.9 + 2.9 + 3.1 = 11.9 seconds for the radar map.
Possible suggestions to speed-up the radar map download:
1) Hard code a maplink URL
2) Use threads to download in parallel