[Review]Radarscope for Mac
RadarScope obtains the raw NEXRAD radar data from the 159 National Weather Service Doppler radars, some in super resolution, in the U.S., Guam and Puerto Rico and displays weather patterns, such as thunderstorms and other weather effects, on your iOS device. In addition, it displays predicted storm tracks plus severe weather and flash flood text warnings from the NWS. The visual presentation is just amazing.
Unlike some other apps, the images aren’t smoothed PNG or GIF images, and the data remains in its original radial format.
Radarscope, at once, extremely easy to use and informative but also very technically capable. To achieve that is no mean feat for any developer. To first order, if you want to see the raw data, color coded for intensity, as is customary, you can get an instant feel for thunderstorm activity in any part of the U.S. It’s agenda free; you don’t have to enter a ZIP code or identify your location. You can just swipe across the U.S. to see an area of interest.
But then, as you explore further, you discover that it surfaces to the user a lot of the raw radar data that you can learn about and then use to customize your view. For example, you can select from different reflectivity options: Base, Classic and Composite reflectivity. You can select from several different tilt angles used by the radar, from 0.5 to 4.0 degrees above the horizon.
All these options are expertly explained on the support pages. While few of us are meteorologists, trained in using the various modes of the radar, the explanations are clear enough that one can learn, explore, and begin to appreciate the app as time goes on. For example, if you’re in an exceptionally hilly area, you may want to adjust the tilt angle to avoid ground clutter. But you don’t have to be an expert to spot really strong thunderstorm cells and the direction of movement, and that’s what makes this app so useful.
You can download the app on the MacAppStore by clicking the icon below for 29.99