Monday, May 15, 2017

Websites, Apps to Help Track Storms

When a storm appears on the horizon, people try to get as much information as possible. Here are websites and apps to help you track storms and learn more about preparations.


National Hurricane – This is your first stop if you want information straight from the horse's mouth. The hurricane center develops advisories and displays them with an array of maps, graphics and text information. At the top of the center's home page is the main blue map, showing any storms or disturbances being tracked. Below that, each active storm is listed. For an overview of each system, check the “public advisory” and the five-day forecast track.

Weather Underground, – Provides the official forecast and graphics, but in its own format. Put your mouse on “severe weather” at the top of the page and “tropical weather & hurricanes” for an overview of all tropical activity. It also provides computer model information and Jeff Masters’ blog, which provides insight into how atmospheric conditions might influence storms.

Two more sites that prominently will display any tropical trouble on their homepages: The Weather Channel,, and


FEMA, – This site provides a comprehensive look at what to do before, during and after any disaster, not just hurricanes. It also provides guidelines to develop a disaster plan, build a survival kit and help children prepare.

Florida Division of Emergency Management, – Like the FEMA site, this one provides comprehensive information on how to prepare. However, the information is tailored for Floridians.

Water issues

South Florida Water Management District, – The homepage is bursting with information about water levels, conservation and flooding problems. It also provides Lake Okeechobee's level.

Power outages

FPL, – The Power Tracker has a map showing power outages, how many people are affected, the cause of the outage and estimated time of repair. You can also use the site to report outages, downed lines or damaged power poles.


Hurricane Pro: Tracks storms, provides interactive maps that shows where highest winds are expected, includes a built-in Twitter and Facebook tools. On iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

Hurricane Tracker: Provides custom graphics, audio reports, impact maps. On iPhone, iPad, PC and Android.

NOAA Radar U.S.: Great mix of interactive infrared satellite and radar images that zoom into neighborhood streets to check hyper-local weather patterns. iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

The American Red Cross has two free phone apps for hurricanes and first aid that work on iPhones and Androids. The hurricane app can send you NOAA alerts about storms approaching your area, notify friends  you're okay even during a power outage, and has other features like a flashlight, strobe and alarm.

For first aid tips, the Red Cross app gives instructions for situations ranging from shock to heart attacks. To download the apps, visit:

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