Hurricane Tracker Offers Comprehensive Coverage on your iPad

According to the National Hurricane Center, hurricane season officially runs  from June 1 – November 30 for the Atlantic and from May 15 – November 30 for the Eastern Pacific. The time most of us care about a hurricane, however, is when one is headed our way.

Hurricane Tracker for iPad delivers up-to-the-minute information about the latest storm that is fixing to make land fall. At the time this post was written the eastern US was bracing for Hurricane Irene. While no one welcomes 100 mph winds, the storm’s arrival does offer a chance to put Hurricane Tracker to the test during a time when its services are needed most.

Hurricane Tracker featured an audio alert on its main page that described Hurricane Irene’s current conditions as well as its projected path. The alert was updated regularly, and the information contained was as current as what was available in a web search. Listeners were also told when to expect the next update, which would include audio and video. The audio alert clocked in at just over four minutes, but it continued to play even after the iPad went into lock mode.

There was a specific page for Irene within the app. Known as “Active Atlantic 9,” this page collected everything most users would need to know about an approaching storm including a 5-day storm tracking map, a map depicting possible sustained winds, infrared and animated satellite views, as well as several computer models of the storm’s projected path.

Much of the meteorologic data within Hurricane Tracker comes from the National Weather Service and Weather Underground. The app also links users to outside resources at the National Hurricane Center.

Live updates on current storms, such as Hurricane Irene, are also available via Twitter, which might help anyone who still has cell phone service, but no Wi-Fi. To access this feed within the app go to the Data button in the upper left and select “Real Time Updates” or simply follow @hurrtrackerapp on Twitter.

Hurricane Tracker for iPad is available for download from the App Store for $2.99.

What I liked: Hurricane Tracker is set up so anyone can learn to use it quickly. It is updated frequently. It provided clear information without sensationalizing the storm.

What I didn’t like: If I viewed National Hurricane Center, for example, from within the app there was no back button, so I needed to navigate back through the data menu to return to whatever I was viewing.

To buy or not to buy: Hurricane Tracker won’t work if users lose cell service or Wi-Fi access, so it’s not a substitute for a battery operated radio. However, Hurricane Tracker will be an indispensable aid for residents who want to plan ahead and keep on top of a storm before it hits, family members of residents affected by a storm, or frequent travelers who are likely to be indirectly affected by a storm.


About Emily: Emily is a freelance writer who loves discovering new apps whenever she can pry the iPad away from her children or husband. You can contact her via Twitter: @whatwentwrite