Please note that I wrote this May 1, 2019. The damage has been done in Texas and Oklahoma, though you wouldn’t know it if you looked at The Weather Channel or Wunderground— all they care about right now is India.
I’ll see for myself
1b. WEATHER SITES AND APPS for your devises
For all around weather information gathering, nothing beats Windy, but Radar Scope provides raw (unsmoothed) radar data directly from the locations collecting those data. (The radar image above comes from KFDR, located in Frederick, OK.) Those unsmoothed radar images are much more locally and temporally relevant than radar images in Windy when bad weather is fast approaching. More on integrating the two below.
Radar Scope is (one time) $9.99 for iOS and android, $29.99 for Mac and PC. There are two levels of upgrade available on a yearly subscription basis.
I have not (yet) shelled out 30 bucks for the desktop version, nor have I given google– which I now loathe even more than I used to– a credit card number to put it on my phone. It’s only on my iPad. So go ahead and lecture me on the importance of redundancy. I deserve it.
Referring to the buttons on the right menu
- top goes to your location (location services on)
- tapping the bull’s eye looking thing pulls up, either near your location or where you are looking on the map, a list of radar stations; tap again to see location information and city & town names on the map
- play button below plays a loop of radar images
- split screen button (requires pro subscription)
- settings (layers, settings, help, upgrade)
Top left button
- inspector (pro)
Let’s go back to Mississippi.
Three quick things to note. At top (KGWX at Columbus AFB) is the location of the radar– the one you clicked on, or the one nearest you if location services are on. Underneath is the mode that radar is in: Clear Air or Precipitation. The red circle is the number of warnings in effect nationwide. (Those boxes on the previous map show ten warnings.) Last update time is in the bottom right corner.
KGWX is my local radar. That little line of storms I saw on Windy this morning has tracked to the north. Earlier today, I check the radar coming out of Memphis, Jackson, and Shreveport. I put them in motion, and the above image is about what I expected to be the case by this afternoon. And wouldn’t you know it! That’s what it looks like outside, too. Some low clouds to the west slowly drifting northeast.
I mentioned integration. In the long- and mid-range Windy and Radar Scope are complementary. In Windy, put Clouds or Rain, Thunder in motion for the forecast and go look to see what the radar looks like in that region. In fact, I may go days without looking at Radar Scope because there’s no need.
In the short term– if bad weather in on the way– you’ll want Radar Scope.
Let’s go back to Texas.
Weather Warnings in Radar Scope will always put those for your location, or for the radar you are looking at, on top of the list, followed by a list of warnings nationwide.
Using the distance function, you can measure how far away the center of the storm is from, say, your house. Playing the loop, you can get an idea of how fast that particular cell is moving. If a warning has not yet been issued for your very specific location, you could get a good idea if it’s going to be soon– but even better, by doing these two things and looking with your own two eyes, you may have just given yourself the extra minute or two you need.
Remember. Radar images are pictures from the past. By the time they make their way to your devise, they are old news. But by watching them over time– before the storm is anywhere near you, *relatively speaking,* you’ll be much better off than if you rely solely on Tell Me notifications.
[In the less than an hour that I’ve been writing this and doing laundry, the number of warnings in Texas & Oklahoma has gone from 8 to 18.]
The image above is exactly the sort of image our weather guy, Joel, puts on the television screen. You do not need to know how RAdio Detecting And Ranging (radar) works to be able to understand what Radar Scope’s maps show. (Though radar isn’t that complicated.) If the power goes out, and your phone is charged, you could still have this vital information in the palm of your hand.