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Steve MNSteve MN
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I suspect there were some embedded pieces that were worse that areas very near by. Watching on the radar application I use that has some high-end analysis tools, I was seeing the intense rotation that the Weather Service was using to generate the Tornado warnings. I also saw multiple reports from inside the metro area for 50+ MPH winds and damage.

What weather apps do you use? What weather apps do you recommend for the amateurs?

For basic weather checking, WeatherUnderground.com on my computer, and the WeatherNation app on my phone.

For the “real” weather watching I do as a spotter/chaser (been a long time since I actively chased anything) I use RadarScope on my phone.  This is either $10 or $20.  For most purposes, this is has most of the tools I’d want, with the ability to add the different layers, look at different radar products (reflectivity which is what you see normally, base velocity for the wind speeds, and a few others).

For the more serious work on my computers, I use GRLevel2Analyst.  This is about as close as you can get to being in a Weather Service office looking at their screens directly.  This is a $250 application, and is massive overkill for the vast majority of people.  http://www.grlevelx.com/gr2analyst_3/

For the “hobbyist” weather watcher that’s looking for more than the true basics, GRLevel3 comes in at $80, and has some really nice tools as well, allowing a lot more flexibility than websites that are out there.  I haven’t actually tried the newer versions of this out, so it’s been many years since I worked with it, but he has been improving this as well.  http://www.grlevelx.com/grlevel3_2/

The “Level2” and “Level3” in those names are what the radar data is called.  The raw feed from the antenna is Level 1 (nobody other than technicians working on maintaining the radar sets uses this).  Level 2 is the individual products that the radar provides, reflectivity, velocity, and a few other things, and is at a higher resolution than Level 3 data.  Level 3 is what you see on the TV, almost any website/weather app/etc.  This is highly processed already to make it accessible for most people.  The Level 2 data is good for people like myself that are very into looking at the details, and allows applications like GRLevel2 to run further analysis on subsets of the data to show details that the composite views from Level 3 don’t allow.

The other thing I use regularly is the Storm Prediction Center website:  https://www.spc.noaa.gov/products   This has severe weather forecasts going out several days.  It takes some getting accustomed to in order to understand how the forecasts are written, as they’re meant for weather professionals, not the general public, for the most part.

  • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Steve MNSteve MN.