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March 8, 2014
By Benét J. Wilson
As the country continues to be battered by bad weather, a good app to help track it is a handy tool to have. The five apps below provide information including forecasts, radar, METARs, charts, and alerts. These are not endorsements of any app.
SkewTLogPro ($9.99 in iTunes): This iPhone/iPad app gives users access to Skew-T Log-P charts using current GPS location, airport identifier, or latitude/longitude. Each chart provides visual indication of temperature, dew point, winds aloft, and wind speed at various altitudes. Users can also get access to past and forecast charts and previously viewed locations.
Takeoff - Aviation Weather ($5.99 in iTunes and Google Play): This smartphone app provides weather from multiple data sources. Users can create personalized, color-coded aviation weather reports and warnings based on personal minimums, and also allows for viewing a day at a glance. Other information offered includes a representation of the crosswind components for each runway heading; the latest METAR, both coded and translated; airport/facility directory information; NOAA weather; animated radar; notams; and airmets and sigmets.
Metam (free on Google Play): This smartphone app gives users features including METARs and TAFs, a favorite airports list, and weather charts. Metam offers the user two input input types: airport listing or flight path listing. With airport listing, the pilot enters one or more ICAO airport codes. With flight path listing, the pilot specifies the departure and arrival airports only using a minus sign between the two. Metam will list all METAR reporting airports along and within 10 nautical miles of the great circle flight path. Multiple airport waypoint entries are also supported. If you don’t know the code, the app features a built-in airport database, searchable by airport name or city name.
Weather Pod (99 cents in iTunes): This app, enhanced for the iPhone 5, allows users to navigate between live, hourly, daily, and weekly weather summaries. It gives a seven-day forecast and allows you to read a forecast for each day. It will give reported weather alerts in the area and recognizes live weather conditions.
WSI Pilotbrief Optima for General Aviation (free in iTunes, but subscription required): Those using this iPhone/iPad app can visualize thunderstorms with HD radar, plan an optimal route that avoids hazards, access weather on the ground or in the cockpit, and more.
Thanks to everyone who has sent in Google Play apps. Please send more to me here. I’m still looking for apps covering charts, FBOs and services, fuel, logbooks, instrument simulators, and radar. You can see a complete list of the apps I’ve highlighted here.
AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.
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