Monthly Archives: December 2014

Preparing for Winter Weather

Planning for Winter Weather
“The New York Times recently wrote:”
Planning for wintry weather is important, but so is enjoying the cold and snow. Your smartphone can help with both.
We used to rely on TV and radio reports for winter weather forecasts and alerts, but apps can provide more up-to-the-minute alerts. NOAA Radar Pro, $2 on iOS, gets data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
NOAA Radar Pro also includes storm warnings and other severe weather alerts, and can automatically notify you about predictions for a specific location, giving you time to prepare.
There’s a free version for iOS, but it doesn’t include the alerts.
As an alternative, Yahoo Weather, free on iOS and Android, is fast becoming one of my favorites because of its design. It lacks an alert system, though, so you will have to watch it more closely to check for bad weather.
For an entirely different feel, check out Weathermob. This free iOS app is like a crowdsourced weather forecasting service.
Users upload information and photographs of the weather conditions in their location, so you can see just how deep the snow is or how icy the roads are.
The reports are not as scientific as those of other weather apps, but the personal touch of real people sharing weather data for a particular place may be appealing.
Getting stuck in your car in wintry weather can pose real dangers. Winter Survival Kit, free on both iOS and Android, is full of great advice and useful features for this situation.
A section about how to prepare for winter travel includes tips like packing kitty litter in your car to help tires get a grip on ice. Pressing a large “I’m stranded!” button takes you to a section that tells you what to do if you get stuck in your car. This includes dialing 911 (which people do forget to do) and staying inside your vehicle.
Winter Survival Kit can also alert you to check your car exhaust pipe for snow buildup and automatically message an emergency contact.
It has a section for storing emergency phone numbers and data like your AAA membership details.
It could prove helpful if you get stranded in a snowstorm.
Love winter and skiing? One great snow resort app packed with data is OnTheSnow Ski & Snow Report, free on iOS and Android. Use it to search for resorts nearby or for detailed information about snow and weather conditions and how many ski lifts are open at your favorite resorts.
You can upload your own resort photos and condition reports, and you can view real-time webcams to see snow conditions and some special deals on ski passes, map data to help direct you to resorts and trail maps for use while skiing.
If you are a Windows Phone user, the free app Winter Ski & Ride is an alternative to OnTheSnow. It packs a few extras like activity tracking and skiing and snowboarding lessons.
Quick Call Weather or Not is another effort to reinvent forecasting apps. Its extremely good-looking interface tries to deliver data to you quickly so you can decide at a glance whether, for example, to take a raincoat with you to your business meeting. Clever, and just $3 on iOS.