Your Mobile Technolgy Guide to Severe Weather Season. See the Latest Must-Have Apps
As we begin to transition from the cold and snow to the green lawns and pastures, we know that there is the possibility of severe weather in the summer months. Are you ready?
Severe Weather Awareness Week is April 21 - 25th. Every advantage you can take to keep safe and stay informed is a win. Every smartphone and tablet user should have at least one of these apps. They will alert you to severe weather in the area when you aren't near a radio or television.
The Weather Channel - A straight-forward app that includes the forecast, current conditions, local pollen report, severe weather, videos, a radar map, and social connections including local photos. The app opens to the current conditions in your “favorite” location and shows you everything from temperature, feels like, sunrise & sunset times, dew point, UV index, and a few other weather nuances.
I'll give the local apps of our television stations a "thumbs up", too. They are user friendly, free, and all feature a warning system that you can customize.
KSFY Weather - Titan Live Doppler, the Hour by Hour Planner and 7 Day Forecast, and get instant severe weather alerts here at home or anywhere in the USA.
Keloland Stormtracker - Very detailed with statewide live local radars and hour-by-hour forecasts, visible and infrared satellite cloud imagery. Plus, customize notifications for storm alerts.
KDLT - Offers current temperatures in your area, your seven-day forecast, as well as the latest weather watches and warnings, and radar. It even offers 24-hour rain totals and features the KDLT Meteorologist weather blog. For Android and iPhone.
Here are a few more popular downloads for general weather and alerts:
Tornado by American Red Cross: (Free) – This application includes an audible siren for locations of your choice when tornado warnings are issued as well as an alert when the warning expires. Plus, where to find shelters.
MyRadar Weather Radar – Find out quickly where a storm is located relative to your location. This app includes animated radar, weather alerts and warnings with available push notification for your area. MyRadar Weather Radar is a free app available on Apple devices.
WeatherBug – Want to know if it’s safe to continue playing on the playground or swimming in the pool? The WeatherBug application includes real time lightning detection based on current GPS location. It also provides updated forecasts and conditions, interactive maps with radar, satellite and other observations as well as access to thousands of weather cameras across the country. (Free on Android and Apple devices)
Radar Now! – View animated National Weather Service radar images, receive severe weather notifications for your county and stay up to date with current conditions. Radar Now! is a free application for Android devices.
Yahoo Weather - Probably the best graphics app out there. Customize location and backgrounds backed by the accurate forecasts.
Swackett - Dan and Tam's personal favorite, Swackett tries to make checking the weather fun, and it usually can be counted on to put a smile on your face. Instead of dryly listing the weather, Swackett makes it an interactive experience by displaying different, scrollable, weather-appropriate clothing options for its “peeps” (think slightly denser stick figures), many of which involve costumes, dogs, or cats. Seeing what the peeps are wearing each day is always fun. Swackett is also a full-featured weather app.
Whichever app you choose, make sure you have the settings correctly customized for you and your location. Being prepared, early warnings, and a plan can save your life.
For more on Severe Weather Awareness week, see Todd Heitkamp lead the awareness training session in Sioux Falls, Monday, April 21st, 2014, at the Washington Pavilion. It’s free and you don’t have to pre-register. It's also a spotter training course.
With today’s technology there are many different ways to receive this information but it is up to you to remain weather aware and actively listen for watches and warnings.