Apptitude: tracking weather via phone

Posted Aug. 24, 2012, at 7:39 p.m.

As Tropical Storm Isaac threatens to become a Caribbean hurricane, here are some smartphone applications to put detailed weather data at your fingertips.

The site HurricaneSoftware.com makes free hurricane tracking apps for Android, Apple and Windows Phone 7. Each platform’s app has a different name: Hurricane Software for Android; iHurricane HD for Apple; Tracking the Eye for Windows. Ad-free versions cost $2.99.

The app follows tropical storms in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans. This week, the app’s focus is Isaac, whose path and increasing intensity have it headed for Puerto Rico, Cuba and other island nations, which were battening down Wednesday.

Enter your email address to get storm alerts. Charts and images from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are numerous and help the non-meteorologist understand the difference between a Category 1 hurricane and a Category 5.

The app carries a caveat in its “about” information — “This product is not to be used to make life-or-death decisions” — and says to refer to local sources if you are in the path of a storm.

AccuWeather Inc. has free apps for most devices, including BlackBerry. With location service on AccuWeather for iPhone, the app opens with a local-conditions screen showing the temperature, the “RealFeel” temperature, a user-friendly graphic showing wind speed and direction, and other data points.

If you need to tell everyone what you find, there’s a share button for posting via email, Facebook or Twitter.

Forecasts go out for a full two weeks, which could stretch your credulity. Animated and overlay maps use radar and satellite images.

Tap the “Video” button to watch daily local and national forecasts, disaster and travel-weather news, and features by AccuWeather.com meteorologists.

A “Lifestyle” tab tells about current conditions for bicycling, fishing, golf and other activities and risks for catching a cold or the flu, as well as the weather risks to asthma, migraine and arthritis sufferers.

NOAA Radio Free, from JJACR Apps for Apple, is one of many applications that serve up the weather broadcasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

They are the same old scratchy, government-issue broadcasts, but with an app, you get to check out the forecasts for almost anywhere around the country.

___

(c)2012 The Philadelphia Inquirer

SEE COMMENTS →

ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business
ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business

Similar Articles

More in Outdoors