Friday, April 22, 2011

Weather4D

Application: iPhone 3GS, iPhone4, iPad , iPod Touch 3&4 Gen
Function: Weather
Cost: $5.99
Rating: ****

Weather4D is definitely an app for the weather enthusiast.  Having this app is like having your very own weatherman on your iPhone.  There are numerous weather apps out there but this one stands apart from the others in that it provides a unique way of looking at weather around the world.  Most apps just show you static displays of temperatures, wind, precipitation and cloud cover.  Weather 4D is weather on steroids!  It displays weather model data in time lapse movies for up to 8 days. 

The author of the app is Olivier Bouyssou. He is the mastermind behind the development of Weather4D. His website has a great Users Guide to help you get started with the app.

Features:
  • Access to world weather data displayed by zone
  • Zones include, North America, Europe, Atlantic, Mediterranean, Australia and Africa
  • Customizable zones
  • Time laps movies of weather data
  • Weather data included, cloud cover, precipitation, wind and temperature
  • Data model from NOAA models
  • Forecast selectable for up to 8 days
  • Data viewing periods of 3, 12 and 24 hours
  • Adjustable resolution
  • Portrait or landscape viewing
  • Data updates every six hours
  • Unique global view of weather patterns
To use the app you must first select or create the zone for where you want to view weather.   There are six zones already defined. You can select one of these or create your own zone by supplying coordinates in the app or by using the graphical interface to expand or reduce the size of the zone. Weather zone options include being able to set duration of weather forecast from 1 to 8 days. Forecast steps of 3, 6, 12 and 24 hours.  Resolution can be set in 5 degree increments.

The next process in setup is to download the weather model data. This can be done from the zones display. Simply tapping the icon on the left of the zone will start the download process.  Weather model data is updated four times a day.

Once data is downloaded you can select the zone to visualize.  Weather data can be displayed using the Time Mode or Orbiting Mode.   These modes allow the user to interact with the weather icons to display the desired weather features and to control the time lapse display of the data.

Weather4D is a new and unique way to look at weather data for your specific town or region or the whole world if desired.  The time lapse forecasts give the user a new way of looking at developing weather rather than looking a static grib files.  This app would be very usable in planning a passage anywhere in the world.  Being able to visualize wind and weather fronts during a passage can help you navigate around the bad weather.

On the downside it does take a bit of setup but once that is done the user will enjoy the new experience of viewing weather.  The app can be found in the iTunes App store for $5.99.  The price seems a little high for a weather app. There are many free weather apps out there but none will give you the weather viewing experience that you will get with Weather4D.





Video of Weather4D in action.


Atlantic, 8-day weather forecast from Weather4D on Vimeo.

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