Severe Weather Apps
I use GR3 and GR2 Analyst on my PC (see “Commercial Radar Software & Apps” on the WX page), but since I’m often caught without a PC, and since we’re heading straight into severe weather season, I thought I’d list a few good severe weather related apps that I have on my mobile devices. Enjoy, and be safe this storm season!
Please feel free to leave your suggestions for apps (iOS or Android) in one of the comment sections below.
There are many good radar apps out there, but RadarScope is the best weather radar app you can buy for mobile devices, period. Thats’ all there is to it. A lot of radar apps out there show you radar data which is processed and smoothed to look pretty. It might look nice (actually, most don’t) but that processing and smoothing can remove features you might want to see. RadarScope provides you with a directly rendered display from raw radar data. It even comes with Level 2 (high resolution) reflectivity and velocity feeds as standard. On top of this, the standard range of dual polarization radar products, the ability to add Allisonhouse feeds, spotter network integration, and hundreds of other features are available, If you are interested in severe weather and this is not part of your app library, you are missing out. It was originally released in 2008 at a cost of $9.99. It is still the same price, and it is by far the best $9.99 you can spend on a weather app.
RadarScope is available for iOS (iPhone, iPad, Mac) and Android devices at https://radarscope.io/
Speaking of the best money you’ll spend on apps, and if you’ve got $1.99 to spare on the Google Play store, you can go none better than Pro Weather Alert. This is a simple, straightforward, no nonsense weather alert app which runs in the background and detects weather alerts issued by the National Weather Service. You can choose what kind of alerts to be alerted to, and how you’re alerted (sound, lights, etc), you can use your own alert tones, have it override a silent phone (good for tornado warnings, etc), have it monitor multiple locations… It really is invaluable.
Pro Weather Alert is available on the Google Play store, here:
wX (yes, lower case w, upper case x) is one of those all-in-one weather apps, and I use it as a handy utility to quickly pull up SPC data, satellite imagery, browse weather model runs (I haven’t looked too much into this, but it looks like you get HRRR and SREF at least), get details on watches, warnings, mesoscale discussions, etc. The widgets are pretty nice, and allow you to have hazardous weather outlooks, or forecast discussions live on your phone.
wX is available for Android on the Google Play store, here:
The good old Oklahoma Mesonet app should not go without a mention here. This is my go-to for a quick “what’s the weather like”, and for quickly monitoring fronts, dry lines, and other surface weather observations. Its widget is always at the top of my home page on Android.
You can get the iOS app at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mesonet/id496016437?mt=8 and the Android app at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.mesonet.app&hl=en
If you want to access the Oklahoma Mesonet via the mobile site (it’s pretty good!), hit this link: http://m.mesonet.org/index.php/weather
The Spotter Network (SN) is a system that utilizes storm spotter and chaser reports of location and severe weather in a centralized framework for use by coordinators such as emergency managers, Skywarn and related spotter organizations, and the National Weather Service. It uses GPS to provide accurate and automated position data of storm spotters and chasers for coordination and reporting, which in turn provides ground truth to public servants engaged in the protection of life and property. The network is a combination of locally installed software for position and status reporting and web-based processing, mapping, and reporting. [Wikipedia]
Usually, when making a report via the Spotter Network, you’d do it via the Windows application (download from the SN website) or via their website interface. This application allows you to make a report automatically tagged with your GPS coordinates.
You can get Rapid Report on the Google Play store, here:
This is a handy app for pulling in images from the SPC Mesoanalysis page. That probably doesn’t sound like a big deal, but any data you can save when you’re out and about is a good thing, plus it’s quick.
Mesoanalysis viewer app can be found at the Google Play store, here: