Tuesday, September 8, 2009

iPhone for Pilots - Pocket Weather

Yes I know that you can get the weather through NAIPS, but there are a few other things you can't get there - like the BOM weather radar. That's where Pocket Weather (AU) comes in. It's from Shifty Jelly and costs $2.49 or free for the lite version. Pay the money!

This is the main screen - a weekly forecast for the location of your choice. The "Locations" button at the top left takes you to a view that allows you to choose an existing location or to set up a new location from any of the sites that the BOM has data for. You can choose which sites you want the forecast, observations and radar from and then save the choice - it appears on the Locations page as a choice.
In the main page the little icon with a green "i" in it gives you a pop up with the detailed forecast for that day and if there are any warnings then a red icon with a "!" in it appears - clicking the icon again gives the details. The radar icon on the centre right gives access to the animated BOM weather radar that you chose in the Locations set up for this location.
Clicking the "Radars" button on this screen allows you to choose the range of the radar and if there is doppler wind radar at that site you can choose that as well.
Back on the Locations screen you also have buttons for National Radars that gives you access to a composite national radar, an animated synoptic chart and an animated satellite view. You also have a tides button that allows you to choose a location for which you want the tides - the view is a very nice tide graph that includes sunrise and sunset as well as tide height. Landing on the beach anyone?
I think Pocket Weather is the bees knees, there's lots more in there than I've discussed including a choice of four skins - shake the iPhone to change them. The thing for me is that it's a great situational awareness tool. Often when you are flying VFR you want to know things like "how fast is that crap moving in from the west?" or "what's behind this current belt of showers?". Pocket Weather is ideal for that sort of question. Have a look at it - you'll probably like it!

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