With Hurricane Matthew hitting the East Coast, I thought it was fortuitous to run across the MyRadar NOAA Weather Radar – Forecasts, Storms, and Earthquakes app by Aviation Data Systems (iOS, Free). I went ahead and downloaded it because I thought it would be a cool addition to a storytime or program on weather or earthquakes. After looking at it, it would even be cool to have in the library of apps on the iPads we have available for public use. It’s funny to me how a kid can be playing with a drawing app or something, and sitting right next to them is a parent playing with Google Maps. You wouldn’t think it would be as fascinating as it is, but it’s always in use! I think this app could get the same amount of play. Fair warning, the app does have in-app purchases that open different types of maps. You don’t need those maps to make it interesting, though.
The HD radar is really interesting, and plays the last hour of radar on a loop. Map types are Gray (dark background which highlights the radar images), Roads (which shows you the roads under the radar on the map) and Aerial (which presents a topographical view under the radar).
The app also has layers that you can add. There’s a classic radar, HD, a temperature map, and an upgrade offered for a “per-station” map. You can chose for it to show lots of different things like wind, clouds, temperatures, and aviation layers to name a few. The app also has an earthquake map. Each layer has choices that you can enable. For instance, in the earthquake map, you can choose what severity and what time period you want to see. Then, the epicenters of the earthquakes display on the map, and you can tap them to get the specifics of the earthquake in more detail than I understand!
The app lets you save and share images, upload pictures, and naturally gives you the forecast. And, if you don’t want to enable your location, it still gives you all that information.
One caveat—unless you upgrade, there is a banner advertisement along the bottom of the screen. Still, the app is worth the free download, especially if you’re trying to keep track of a hurricane.