In my opinion, the home page (landing page) should be quick to load and not contain content types which take visitors a long time to view (Java, Large flash etc..).
I disagree with the previous comment about width for a number of reasons.
1) When you set the size of the site, you know where your boundaries are. Make creating content much much easier when you know where things are located. Make use of tools like Lytebox, which lets you have thumbnails of images or activities that you can click on and take up the screen makes better use of the real estate.
Why let so much monitor space on the sides go to waste?
2) Just because someone has a large monitor, don't assume they make everything full screen. In fact, many use the extra real estate on the screen for other things. So while analytics tells you that people are looking at your pages with 1900px wide screens, don't think they are using that all full screen. Most aren't
3) Horizontal scroll bars SUCK!. They are the biggest turn off of most visitors and many simply will leave the site. If you make your site overly wide, you get them. People really hate them. In most web surveys it was the #1 turn off after popups (and we really don't see popups much now days).
4) The world is changing... Mobile is getting bigger and more popular. Lots of content on a page, large widths, huge images (not properly resized) make mobile access slower and not a pleasant. Remember the horizontal scroll bars... we you don't see the bars but you still have to scroll... Tables have more screen but they are still small.
The FIRST page is the first impression. If your page is slow to load, people leave.
Menu bars with 30+ sections is most likely not very well organized. Create major sections and then place content in them. Use a decent search to help people find your stuff. Use titles on your pages, amazing how many sites have the same title on every page..
Consider using tools like http://www.webpagetest.org/
to see what you are actually shoving across the net on your home page... If you see a lot of C's, D's and F's
... your site is not very well designed and perhaps you should think about reorganizing it a bit to make the important stuff load fast, and the not so important stuff be on another page.
Your visitors are smarter than you are. I don't have any lightning stuff on my front page. Yet when the Monsoon season starts, my lightning and radar pages light up... they know where it is.
From my perspective, when I go to a weather site, I want to find out what the current temp/hum/dewpt is... then rain info, and pretty much last unless it is really windy, wind info. Maps, charts, graphs... I will look occasionally, but really I want the main stuff fast, quick and easy to read. WDL is great.. but doesn't belong on front page. Takes too long to load for the info it gives.
Normally, some one asked, Whats the temp in .....
Otherwise, I will just go to weather.com where they pretty much give you just that.