It’s that time of year again… hurricane season. There are of course great reasons to track hurricanes if you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes, or if you’re planning travel to ones of those areas. But after huge hurricanes have devastated areas like New Orleans and Florida, and made big headlines, these huge storms seem to capture everyone’s attention.
There are a number of apps for iOS that can help monitor hurricanes. They go further than the regular weather apps do. While many of them cost a dollar or two or more, there are also three apps that are free that do everything you need or want them to, eliminating the need to spend anything on them.
Hurricane HD gives the casual storm watcher more info than they would ever need, as well as exactly what they need. It features a main map that tracks all the different hurricanes. It shows the path the hurricanes have taken and also their projected path. It also includes warnings, advisories, discussions, and analysis, and a special tab just for alerts.
Where this app really excels, though, is with the Satellites tab and the many choices. There are twenty-seven different radar image sources, and truthfully, I don’t even know what many of them are. There are different locations for tracking, including New Orleans, Alabama, and three different locations in Florida, and every different way to possible to look at that data.
Hurricane Track for iOS
Hurricane Track is very similar to the previous app. It contains mostly the same information, but just doesn’t seem to give you more information than you need. It again includes a multitude of satellite views, with only eight views. If you just want to know where the hurricane is on the radar, it’s definitely enough. All of these satellite feeds are in motion.
In addition to the satellite views, this app also shows your local weather. If you happen to be close to a hurricane’s path, this can be of great value. How do you know you’re in a hurricane’s path? There is also an option that shows the projected path of the hurricane, both the very near future, and going out a few more days, from one to to five days. It warns that the size of the hurricane isn’t indicated, and that hazardous conditions can exist outside of the projected path.
Hurricane Tracking Center
This app is meant for the iPhone, and can be used on the iPad, although the size isn’t optimized for doing so. It, of course, also features a screen showing the current path of a hurricane, but because it’s optimized for the iPhone, it seems more concise. It shows both the current and projected path of the hurricane, and allows you to follows all the current hurricanes, by allowing you to zoom in on them individually.
Along with showing Satellites and Radar, this app also allows you to submit a story about a hurricane, and also provides a Guide and Analysis. The Guide mentions the names of the current hurricane system and also gives useful tips for hurricane preparedness, such as providing a list of survival kit items and a discussion of evacuation routes and shelters. Analysis gives up-to-date information of the current storms.
Whether you’re living in a hurricane-prone area or just have an interest in following storms, these apps will give you the information you need, whether that’s just the basics, or the multiple satellite views showing everything possible. All you have to do is make sure that when you save those few items that you can when you’re evacuating, one of those items is an iOS device.