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Apps help pilots track weather, storms

During the summer, pilots need to pay special attention to the season's unique weather changes that can affect flying. Just in time for the Air Safety Institute’s Storm Week, here’s a look at five weather apps. These are not endorsements of any app.

WunderMap (free in iTunes and Google Play)—This smartphone and tablet app, created by Weather Underground, offers access to conditions and forecasts from a network of 33,000 neighborhood weather stations. Users can track storms with animated radar and satellite images, get the most crucial information for hurricanes and fires, search for hyperlocal forecasts from personal weather stations, and track severe weather alerts.

FlightPath (free in the Windows Store)—Users of this smartphone app can get METARs, TAFs, airmets, sigmets, pilot reports, airport notams, and aviation weather maps. The app also allows users to pin airports to the home screen and get updated aviation weather on the smartphone’s live tile.

Turbulate (free in iTunes)— iPhone and iPad owners can report turbulence and also see where it’s being reported around the world. Users can zoom in on specific areas and touch and hold a map to submit a turbulence report.

WeatherGeek Pro 2 ($2.99 in iTunes)—The creators of this iPhone/iPad app say users can view the same numerical weather model data meteorologists use to develop their forecasts. Users have access to weather maps from the Global Forecast System, North American Mesoscale Forecast System, Weather Research and Forecasting Model, Short Range Ensemble Forecast, and Rapid Update Cycle. Features include numerical weather model maps for the continental United States, Canada, and Alaska; the ability to view multiple products such as precipitation forecasts and various thickness maps; simulated radar; and sharing maps on Facebook, Twitter, and email.

FlightBriefer Aviation Weather ($0.99 in Google Play)—This smartphone app gives users quick and easy access to aviation weather information including notams, TAFs, pilot reports, airmet and sigmet chart images, winds aloft forecast images, and color and black-and-white satellite images for all ICAO regions.

Please continue to send along any favorite pilot/aviation apps, especially those on Google Play and Windows, here. The complete list of apps I’ve highlighted since October 2012 is in AOPA’s online archive.

Topics: Gear, Apps, Weather

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