Monitoring the Weather using your iPhone

Bushfire Alerts
Many Parks close and evacuate walkers when there is an imminent threat of bushfire or on days of high bushfire danger. While  most of us try to avoid walking in the middle of summer, those of us who walk in Tasmania by choice, have to expect the occasional park closure. A little commonsense helps too… check for Park closures before going, don’t walk towards smoke and always have an alternative escape route in case you are cut off by a bushfire.
The Victorian Outdoor Recreation Centre’s Newsletter has some excellent advice. A great resource is their Guidance Note Management of Outdoor Activities for Severe Weather Conditions (November 2009) which is available for download.
Try the iPhone app FiresAU . For those of you who live in NSW, Tasmania, SA.

This app lists bushfire alerts ranking them according to proximity to your location, using the built-in GPS. Bushfires are also shown on a map by red pins and your current location by a blue pin. In the case of an emergency, a “canned message” can be emailed to a contact giving your location.

Fires Near Me NSW

This is the official iPhone application of the NSW Rural Fire Service. This application provides information on current incidents across NSW attended by the RFS and other agencies. It also provides information on total fire bans.

Lightning Warnings

Thunderstorms can be dangerous if your caught on an exposed ridge or under a tree while its raining. One way to avoid being caught is to try to work out how far the storm is away, using the lightning flash and the time taken for the thunder to be heard.

One iPhone app that does just this is Thunderstorm-Calculator 

Other iPhone apps

iBarometer:

Lets you easily know what is the pressure near you, using the internet. Great for calibrating your altimeter. Contrary to standard applications (with predefined cities), this version of the barometer will give you precisely the pressure of where you are. It integrates its own conversion system.Could be very useful before set out on a walk.

Pocket-weather-au 

Pocket Weather AU

Highly recommended, Australian developers; the one I use!

    Forecast and observation data for hundreds of areas around Australia. Select it via GPS, Map or list.
    – Push current temp, text forecasts and state,regional and local warnings to your iPhone
    – Custom interface for browsing BOM warnings, all nicely formatted for your iPhone
    – Tide graphs for hundreds of locations around Australia
    – National Rain, Satellite and Synoptic Chart
    – Animated weather icons
    – Sunrise/sunset times
    – All of the BOM rain and wind doppler radars with Find/Track me function as well as the ability to have it auto update (see ‘Live Radar’ in settings)
    – National rain and cloud radars and Synoptic chart
    – Extended forecasts for regional areas
    – Give your locations custom names
    – Shake to refresh, simply shake your phone to refresh the data
    – Realtime UV support for some locations
    – Last update is always cached, so you don’t need a network connection to check the weather for the week, once you’ve got it once.
    – Updates are tiny (less than 10kb) so you don’t have to worry about your iPhone data cap.
    – Supports landscape and portrait view, and in landscape you get all the information on a single page. 
    – 7 day forecasts for more than 250 official forecast locations
    – Detailed local observations, typically updated every 10 mins
    – Each forecast location includes up to 6 nearest official observation locations, accessible by side-scrolling action.
    – 50 rain radar locations around Australia
    – The radar view also has a “Locate Me” feature which queries the iPhone’s GPS and then centres the radar map on your current location along with an animated cross hair cursor.
    – Radar data delivery has been carefully optimised to arrive quickly on your iPhone  (Free version available)

 It uses GPS to show your location on the radar inf ull screen landscape view. National cloud and synoptic charts.

Time and Australian Weather, a match made in heaven. Weather sourced directly from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) displayed elegantly alongside the current time. 
Calculate wind chill temperature by simply selecting the air temperature and wind speed. The calculated wind chill temperature is displayed “on the fly”. For those who travel by bike, motorcycle, boat, or other means where you find yourself exposed to the elements while in motion, Wooly Wind Chill now has the option to calculate the approximate effective wind chill based your current moving speed (not factoring for actual wind speeds).
   This app brings back the ancient knowledge of former generations:

Identify conclusively a thundercloud and what kind of weather can be expected in what time frame when you see fleecy clouds.  Find out if  it is going to rain when the spider stops spinning its web and much, much more.  Detailed descriptions of all cloud types and the weather they bring. Complete cloud atlas with all cloud families, species and types according to the  International Cloud Atlas of the WMO (World Meteorological Organization). Large photo gallery with over 70 examples of all cloud types

    Read more about iPhone  Apps for the Outdoors

    View other related iPhone posts

    Creative Commons License
    This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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