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Phone apps for the 2019 chase season

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Bill Hark, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. Bill Hark

    Bill Hark EF5

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    Now is a good time to reevaluate phone apps for the 2019 chase season. Below is a my list. Please feel free to add your list along with comments and suggestions on chase use including radar, photo and other apps.

    My list (Android)

    RadarScope (Pro Tier One)

    My main radar app. I like having the Pro Tier for dual screen and lightning. I've also used it with AllisonHouse though haven't decided whether to add it back for the new season.

    PYKL3 Radar

    It was a nice back up, but has been discontinued. Last I checked, it still functions on my phone but no more updates. I need a new back up radar app.

    Chaser Location

    Nice easy way to show my position to SpotterNet and to upload reports. Runs in the background. I prefer using it than running SpotterNet on my laptop which causes some instability.

    Google Maps

    Easy to use for navigation and showing areas of traffic and construction slowdowns. The satellite view is useful for showing areas of better visibility which is useful while chasing in the east.

    Yelp

    Useful for finding restaurants in unknown areas though not as helpful in more rural areas.

    Kindle

    I keep copies of the manuals for my cameras and ham radio. I also have a copy of the Storm Chaser Handbook by Tim Vasquez for travel, restaurant and forecast information. Hoping for the 3rd edition as the 2nd is getting out of date.

    Bill Hark
     
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  2. Lou Ruh

    Lou Ruh EF2

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    For another radar app, you could try Radar Alive Pro! It is a nice alternative.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Stormtrack mobile app
     
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  3. James Gustina

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    The Oklahoma Mesonet/West Texas Mesonet apps are very useful for me personally, but another one to add in is Compass Galaxy. It's shockingly accurate and I use it at times for surveying when I'm in the field. It can be very helpful in determining features against radar/providing accurate bearings for reports.
     
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  4. Ethan Schisler

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    I continue to use radarscope and then the mesoanalysis site on SPC. That in addition to some forums I'm part of is about all I use. I also use google and apple maps on my ipad for navigation, also have it set on my phone too. I try to keep the amount of technology at a minimum that way the amount of errors are at a minimum.

    Edit: I also like to keep a roadmap in the car and a portable weather radio. Never know when technology is going to fail and you need to take things back to your roots.
     
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  5. Jason Boggs

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    Some of my most used apps are:
    Radarscope
    Weather Radio
    Pykl3
    NWS NOW
    KVII Schoolnet
    West Texas Mesonet
    Gasbuddy
    AroundMe

    Just added Compass Galaxy! Thank you James Gustina!
     
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  6. B. Dean Berry

    B. Dean Berry Moderator

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    My list right now:

    Phone -

    - Radarscope Tier I w/Allison House data
    - WDT WeatherOps
    - Baron Critical Weather Intelligence

    Tablet 1 -

    - Radarscope Tier I w/Allison House data
    - Baron Critical Weather Intelligence
    - Torque PRO OBDII

    Tablet 2 -

    - WDT WeatherOps
    - NWSChat Live/no map

    Laptop -

    - Baron Mobile Threat Net
    - Baron Threat Net Map
    - GRLevel3
    - SpotterNetwork
    - NWSChat Live

    Note that I don't use the laptop in the winter season, and I rarely use two tablets at once.
     
  7. JamesCaruso

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    I pretty much just use RadarScope with Allison House. Everything else is just websites for surface, satellite, models, etc.

    I have Weather Radio on my phone mostly for watches and warnings at home, but do find it occasionally useful to get similar info while chasing - sometimes for example I’ll get an audible tornado watch notification while driving to the target, or maybe hear the audible tornado warning while viewing the storm, in both cases not looking at a screen.

    Then of course there are the apps used during a chase trip that are not “chasing-specific,” such as Google Maps, Waze, a couple different hotel apps for reservations, and TripAdvisor for finding hotel/restaurant recommendations, or to see if a hotel/restaurant of interest is any good.
     
  8. Bill Hark

    Bill Hark EF5

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    You have a couple of apps that I am not familiar with and I'm curious how you use them with chasing. Those include WDT WeatherOps and Baron Critical Weather Intelligence. BTW, I still use Baron Mobile ThreatNet on my laptop.

    Bill Hark
     
  9. Devin Pitts

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    Satsquatch GOES-16 with a paid subscription last season was great, I cant wait for wxbyte to get a proper mobile app developed for it.
     
  10. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    I didn't know Mping now takes severe wx reports. Are those monitored in real time for warning purposes? I'd say Mping would be a must-have app for all seasons if that is the case.
     
  11. Mark Blue

    Staff Member

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    I’m not sure if you use RS Dan, but it has MPing built into the app for reporting purposes.
     
  12. rdale

    rdale EF5

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    mPing is not specifically monitored like SN is. There are some overlays for GR software but it's not pushed to chatrooms like SpotterNetwork reports are.
     
  13. ELY M.

    ELY M. EF0

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    I use modified wX app. it is best SPC and weather app. It have almost everything as both rs and pykl3 have.
    I dont need allisonhouse.
    I use google maps for map.
    +
     
  14. Alex Elmore

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    They can be pulled up in AWIPS so forecasters can use them and overlay them on radar or whatever else they would want. In my relatively limited experience at an NWS office, I've only seen this done during winter storms when trying to get ground truth for p-types. For severe reports, phone calls and social media (particularly twitter) were the primary sources of real-time reports. You usually can get more info through those two sources than you can others.
     
  15. rdale

    rdale EF5

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    Social media is not an effective way for realtime since it would require someone monitor that. Not all offices have 24/7 monitoring. SpotterNetwork is the fastest since 1) it's automatically lat/longed 2) it displays on GR software and 3) it's pushed into NWSChat rooms instantly so media / EMs / NWS / etc. all see it in realtime without having to run Tweetdeck :)
     
  16. Marc R. O'Leary

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    What is the advantage to allisonhouse for radarscope?
     
  17. Alex Elmore

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    While yes, there may be offices that don't monitor social media 24/7 for various reasons, and there are unique benefits to using actual reporting platforms, there are many offices that do monitor it and take the use of social media to relay and receive weather information very seriously. In the office I was at, monitoring and using social media was part of daily shift duties, especially during severe weather. Spotters, chasers, or anyone else can post images of whatever they're seeing which is extremely helpful to forecasters for so many reasons. Even if offices aren't able to monitor it for whatever reason during severe weather, they can still go back post event and use the social media reports for verification purposes. Some events can be poorly judged or measured, e.g., 6-inch diameter tree limbs down that are really 2-inches and dead, golf-ball sized hail that's really quarter-sized, funnel that's just scud, etc. Seeing images via social media can really help clear up those issues and give forecasters more accurate info. This isn't meant as an argument, but just FYI for those who read this thread: if you are able to, facebook or tweet info and footage to whatever office(s) you think you're closest to (even if you're wrong, they can still forward the info to the right one), and/or use the the state-weather hashtag combo (e.g., for Oklahoma: #okwx) for twitter. Offices that utilize social media will be very grateful.
     
  18. rdale

    rdale EF5

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    You're right in suggesting that social media is a good way to document it. I just wouldn't suggest using it as realtime information - again, that's why SN injects directly into the chatroom :)
     
  19. Randy Jennings

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    I'm only aware of 1 NWS office that encourages the use of social media for real time reports - Austin/San Antonio: https://www.weather.gov/ewx/vost

    There may be more.
     

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