<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/androidradarappthumb.png”>As the recent tragic tornados in the American southeast once again proved – as well as the massive flooding across the midwest – weather is a force to be reckoned with. Even today, with all of our technology, we can do nothing more than get out of the way of nature’s wrath.
Before you do that however, you have to know there is reason to worry. Although the national weather services almost always catch dangerous situations as or before they develop, it’s not practical to carry a weather radio everywhere. You can however carry your Android – and load it up with useful radar storm tracker apps.
My-Cast Weather Lite [No Longer Available]
There are more weather gadgets, radar apps and forecast apps available on Android that you can shake a stick at. After going through all of them I could find, there was one that I kept coming back to – My-Cast Weather Lite.
This radar storm tracker app really does it all. It includes current conditions, forecasts, maps and alerts. There are plenty of apps on Android that provide local radar coverage, but only a handful of them provide radar coverage and local weather alerts and a clear, easy to read forecast.
As if that weren’t enough, My-Cast Weather Lite also provides an RSS weather news feed that can be found in the social section. This news feed isn’t meant to provide you with current weather news (that’s what alerts are for) but it does provide interesting information about recent weather events.
When it comes to weather, local information is always the most relevant. There’s always weather somewhere, but it’s only important to you if it’s where you are.
Often, local weather apps made by news organizations are a great choice for information. This caught me by surprise, at first – local news and high-tech don’t associate in my mind – but after trying out some local apps produced by various channels, I found that their quality is usually on par or better than your average Android weather app.
Better yet, these apps often provide the best local information, such as forecasts and weather alerts. The radar storm trackers in these apps usually do a better job of highlighting potential dangers than the radar you’ll find in an app that’s built to cover an entire country, continent or the world.
I like My-Cast Weather Lite, but it is a full-fledged app, not just a radar storm tracker. Those who are looking for the radar and nothing more should consider Rainy Days.
There’s not much to this radar storm tracker app, really. It takes radar information and places it on Google Maps. There is a time-lapse available which covers an hour of time at once. The radar information available is detailed, and it’s possible to zoom in close and check out the weather above your home.
My biggest beef with this app is the lack of alerts. This decreases the usefulness of the app in dangerous situations, but if you just want a radar storm tracker to watch a line of storms you know is coming, Rainy Days will do well.
Talking about the weather is one of the most mundane topics in the world, but knowing about the weather can literally save your life. Storms don’t mess around, and they go where they want. Knowing that severe weather is headed your way means you can find shelter or move out of the way before you’re in danger.