Hurricane Irene Is Looking Scarier By the Minute

Hurricane tracking map

Seems like it's a pretty simple question: Is Hurricane Irene coming anywhere near me, when, and how bad will it be? And the answer is .... I have no idea! Because as simple as you'd think it would be to click and tap and get the answer, it's so complicated! Even with everybody telling you where to find good weather sites and mobile phone apps. Most of the free apps are useless. All those charts and maps and legends are headache inducing.

It seems you need a special tracking device to track down a good hurricane tracker. And if you agree with me, you are in luck because that tracker is me and I've found it. And I paid nothing for it!

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First, let's talk about apps. There are plenty of free ones out there, but honestly the ones I found were not "hurricane trackers" at all but simply weather reports and maps you have to manually check on your phone. No text messages or urgent updates that will help you get the hell out of there. They will tell you there's a hurricane raging above your head, all right, but only when that hurricane is raging above your head this. very. minute.

I was dying to try one of the paid apps. But not living anywhere near Hurricane Alley, like Florida or the Caribbean, I couldn't justify it. In case you are in the market for such an app for your own interest or survival, here are some good ones to consider:

iMap Weather Radio app -- $9.99

The Weather Channel Max iPhone App -- $3.99

MyFoxHurricane iPhone App -- $3.99

The Hurricane HD -- $3.99

Hurricane iPhone App -- (The most popular and best selling Hurricane Tracking Application for the iPhone and iPod Touch) $2.99

 

Twitter is a great place to find constant updates from news outlets and general tweeters who are in the midst of it ... just search for "Irene" and the live feed comes up. But even that is overwhelming after a while.

So, after a whole morning of cyberhunting, the hurricane tracker I found and fell in love with was a website called Stormpulse.

It is oh so simple to use and navigate, and it only gives you all that detailed geeky climate stuff if you want it. You go on the site and type in your address and find out what the weather looks like in your area. You can zoom in and out and move the map in any direction of the compass.

Then I clicked on "Atlantic Hurricanes" (it was easy to find right at the top) and it took me right to the map of Hurricane Irene. I could easily see where it was now, what its path looked like, and the times/days it will hit there. Off to the right is all the technical info I want including wind speeds.

From one quick look, I was able to tell that Irene will follow an offshore path up the East Coast until the end of this week when it's expected to hit landfall in the Carolinas as a Category 3 Storm before it dwindles as it heads out of Virginia. Hurricanes are hard to predict, and its effects can reach beyond the tidy red line on maps. The storm could still bring heavy rains, wind, and flooding to my town. But so far it looks like the New York area is out of the red zone, and that is really good news. Especially since I just experienced an earthquake.

How are you tracking the hurricane? What is your favorite website or app?


Image via Stormpulse

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