Updated Flagship WU App for All iOS Platforms, including Apple Watch

By Bob Henson and Jeff Masters
Published: 2:47 PM GMT on April 24, 2015

The latest version of Weather Underground’s flagship app is now available for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, as well as Apple Watch, which debuts on Friday. The app is free to download from the App Store, including the dedicated App Store for Apple Watch.

Small is beautiful
WU developers have compressed many of the features familiar to WU fans into an elegantly compact format for Apple Watch, which measures about 1.6” by 1.4” wide. This format includes:

• “Force Touch” navigation for quick access to hourly outlooks, ten-day forecasts, and saved locations, plus options for graph view and list view
• Notifications on the latest NWS severe weather alerts
• Real-time radar and satellite imagery

Users across iOS platforms will find a range of enhancements in the latest version of the WU flagship app, including:
• A new layout for quick access to your favorite weather data
• An “interface-lift” that allows the most customizable app experience yet, including light or dark mode, map types, metric/English units, and rearrangeable tiles
• Worldwide storm tracking on the hurricane and tropical storm tile
• The ability to submit local sky and hazard reports
• New animations and visualizations for health information (UV index, pollen counts, flu prevalence)

“Timing is everything with weather, and we want to ensure that users receive the most accurate, hyper-local weather information possible, which is why we’ve made it easily accessible across all iOS devices,” says Jim Menard, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Weather Underground.

WU is working on some exciting options for Android fans as well. Stay tuned for more details.

Strong tornadoes possible Friday in southern Plains, Saturday in Tennessee Valley
Another round of severe weather is expected to fire up from Kansas to Texas on Friday afternoon, spreading into the Mississippi Valley overnight. This time the tornado threat will be heightened by a strong upper-level wave flowing atop unstable air pooled along a dry line and warm front. Last night’s models slowed down the approach of the upper wave, which should allow for deeper moisture and stronger vertical wind shear to support potentially tornadic supercells along a corridor that includes Dallas/Fort Worth, Oklahoma City, and Wichita. Extensive thunderstorms that covered much of Texas on Friday morning should move off to the east later in the day, permitting at least some heating and destabilization of the air mass. NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center has placed parts of Kansas (near the intersection of the dry line and warm front) and northeast Texas into northwest Louisiana (where moisture should be especially rich) under an enhanced risk of severe weather, with very large hail possible in both areas and significant tornadoes possible in the southern area. We’ll be covering Friday’s severe weather in a live blog accessible from the WU home page.

A significant tornado threat may emerge on Saturday in and near Tennessee and southwest Kentucky as the system moves east; SPC has placed this area under an enhanced risk in its Day 2 outlook. Yet another round of substantial severe weather may unfold on Monday across Texas, with models suggesting that an especially potent upper low will encounter deep moisture and extremely high instability.

Unique climate odyssey to set sail in June
This June, a unique year-long sailing expedition and art and science collaboration called Climate Odyssey will depart from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, go through the Great Lakes, head down the Erie Canal, then make its way southwards along the U.S. East Coast to the Caribbean. Along the way, hydrologist Zion Klos and artist Lucy Holtsnider will be photographing climate change impacts and adaptation strategies, interviewing stakeholders, politicians, scientists and artists, and visiting classrooms and community groups. They will share their photographs and encounters in an interactive digital map and blog on their website. Each image added to the digital map will be linked to relevant blog entries and other adaptation resources, making the map both a piece of art and an engaging tool for sharing the science of climate change. At the end of the journey, they will print out the digital map and make it into an artists' book, like this prototype at right, to be shared in libraries, galleries, and classrooms in those same communities they visited. Jeff had the opportunity to meet this creative duo last summer at a workshop on climate change communication hosted by the American Geophysical Union, and enjoyed experiencing their energy and dedication. Communicating the magnitude of the climate change challenge is one that can use more innovative efforts like theirs, and we encourage you to join us in supporting the Climate Odyssey by contributing to their Indiegogo fundraising campaign, needed to cover the costs of restoring the old sailboat they are using.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Bob Henson and Jeff Masters

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About The Author
Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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