Tools to track weather conditions
SAN JUAN – During the hurricane season, in addition to traditional media such as radio and TV, people want to be informed about the weather and use several platforms, such as social networks, websites and mobile applications.
According to tech expert Obed Borrero, there are several tools one can use for the most up-to-date information. Among them is weatherbug.com, which has an application available for both Android, Windows and iPhone and is very easy to use and very graphical.
It has multi-layer map visualization as well as weather alerts. In addition, it integrates the functionality of access to different cameras located around the island as well as in the mainland U.S. It also provides information on air quality and important information for people with respiratory conditions.
Other applications are accuweather.com. Although similar to weatherbug.com, this platform is available for both Android, Windows and iPhone and has a platinum version for Android, which costs $2.99 for an ad-free experience.
There is also the official application of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which provides information on disaster preparedness, response and recovery. This platform, available for Apple and Android mobile devices, can integrate the preparation of a family plan, enables weather alerts on the bulletins issued by the National Hurricane Center with respect to any significant atmospheric event and, if a presidential disaster statement is issued, one can request assistance through the application, which can help the process, the regional director of FEMA in Puerto Rico, Alejandro de la Campa said in a press conference.
He also cited the example of Hurricane Harvey in the U.S. last week, which in just one week generated more than 550,000 applications for assistance through FEMA’s app. He said the agency disbursed $140 million after sending inspectors to conduct damage assessments.
Meanwhile, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló reminded that 456 shelters are open islandwide, which can be located in www.temporadadehuracanes.pr.gov via GPS.
In order to avoid disinformation in social networks, Borrero urged users to consult first-hand sources, such as the National Weather Service in San Juan, which provides its followers on Facebook (facebook.com/nwssanjuan) and Twitter (@nwssanjuan) constant updates on weather conditions. Users can turn on Twitter’s notification feature and get a text message when they post tweets.
As for traditional websites, the tech consultant recommended several options, including weatherunderground.com, as it has one of the largest networks private weather stations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Borrero explained that some people acquire a station or a system and connect to the network by sending information about wind speed, precipitation, barometric pressure, among other data in their area and, having all these data connected, the website acquires more precise information.
Also visit marquitosweather.com, a simple webpage that contains links to the radars in Guavate and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Borrero said it is well-organized and easy to use. He added that boaters use this page as a reference.
The official website of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) provides users with official newsletters on atmospheric events occurring around the world with maps, historical archives, educational resources and full forecasts by meteorologists affiliated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).