You and your family have gotten away on that long awaited camping trip. Camp is set up and the pleasant scent of the campfire is filling your nostrils. Then, you notice it. Thick, ugly, dark clouds are rolling in from the West. The wind is picking up, just a little. Will the storm pass over? Maybe it’s just a few sprinkles. Perhaps this will be a gully washer with lightning and high winds.
Understanding what kind of weather is on the way, is not just a matter of outdoor enjoyment. Weather is an important safety factor. With today’s technology, you can know what kind of weather is headed your way. By finding the best mobile weather app, you can now have a much better idea of the approaching weather.
In this short article, I am going to present a few of the weather apps that are available.
Know Your Rig.
Adverse weather will have a different impact on different types of campers and camping situations. Knowing the approaching weather in only one factor in deciding if you may be in danger. Most motorhomes, trailers, fifth wheels, and truck campers will be safe in the typical rain, wind, and thunderstorms. My wife and I even enjoy hearing the sound of rain on the roof of our camper.
That said, there are still things that need to be done when a storm is approaching. Depending on the velocity of the winds, you may need to roll in your awning. You should secure all loose objects, chairs, cups, plates, personal items, anything that can be carried by the wind needs to be secure. Chances are your rig will be OK in moderately high winds, after all, it is designed to roll down the road at speeds of up to 70 mph.
However, the paraphernalia you bring with you can be carried by the wind, The real danger in high winds is the objects the wind propels through the air. You don’t want to get hit by a chair going 70 mph. Nor do you want to cause injury to another camper because you left something unsecured, When the winds pick up, stuff you think would never fly can take off like a kite. Trust me, I’ve seen it.
While we are on the subject of winds, although your camper may be OK in moderately high wind (read and know your manufacturer’s specs), your camper may not do so well with falling or flying tree limbs. If you think tree limbs may become a problem, get to a more sturdy shelter if there is one nearby.
Know Your Area.
If you are out of your home region it is a good idea to know what type of adverse weather they may have in the region where you are staying. For instance, if the area you are camping is prone to tornadoes, that is good information to have. Find out the location of the nearest shelter so you know where to go should the tornado alarm sound.
It is also a good to know if the place where you are camping might experience a flash flood. Knowing this helps you to make commonsense decisions when the storm is still approaching. Decisions like, should I stay, or should I lock everything down and head for shelter. There may also be times when, if you have enough advance notice, the best decision may be to pack up, hitch up, and get out of Dodge.
You Can Have a Pretty Good Idea of What’s Coming.
Thanks to smartphones, the internet, and satellite communications, you can now carry a virtual weather station in your pocket. You can know, with reasonable certainty, the approaching weather. Often, you will be consulting forecasts to help decide if tomorrow is better for a hike or to tour that nearby museum.
As you consult your apps and get a handle of what lies ahead weather-wise, keep in mind this technology is not foolproof. The forecasts given by weather apps will sometimes be wrong. Always use your own judgment when making weather decisions.
Here are some apps designed to help you have a better understanding of the approaching weather.
Dark Sky – Accurate, Hyperlocal Forecasts
Dark Sky claims to have the most accurate, down to the minute, hyperlocal forecasts. The app delivers forecasts not just for your region, but for right where you are standing. It does this by using your cell phone position. They advertise they can tell you it going to start raining in 13 minutes and other similar, very specific forecasts.
There are a great number of user settings in the app. You can get your weather forecasts the way you want them. The weather forecasts are shown against beautiful color maps. You can also set alerts. The app will alert you about changes in the weather, you can also be alerted when adverse weather is heading toward you.
Dark Sky is available for IOS and Android devices. The IOS version sells for US $3.99. The Android version is free to download with in app purchases.
The Weather Channel delivers weather forecasts through an app of its own. With this app you can see forecasts for where you are and also for the places you are planning to travel. This app can help you determine what the weather conditions might be on the roads you will be traveling. Knowing, for instance, that it may be windy on that narrow mountain pass, or slick on those winding roads can help you plan, safer alternate routes.
With the Weather Channel app, you can get hourly forecasts so you can see how the weather may change during the day. You can also get advanced forecasts up to fifteen days out. This can help with long-range planning. This app is available for IOS and Android devices and is free to download and use.
I use the Weather Channel app and I find it very accurate and useful.
The Weather Bug offers timely, accurate, forecasts for your location or wherever you may be traveling. This app comes in two flavors. The standard app is free with in-app purchases. This means you get some features free, which you may use as long as you like without paying, but if you want additional features, there is a slight charge. There is also a full-featured version for US $9.99.
Weather Bug is available for IOS and Android devices. It has weather maps and alerts similar to the other apps listed, but it also features a lightning detector to show you when lightning activity is in your area. When you are outdoors, this is good information to have.
Get the Most Out of Your Trip – Rain or Shine
Weather apps can be a great tool for helping us plan our camping trips. We can cooperate with Mother Nature and anticipate whether the day’s activity would be best indoors or outside. More importantly, you can add a degree of safety by being aware of any dangerous weather that may be heading your way or out on the road ahead.
Has this post helped you? I’d really like to know. Please leave a comment in the space below.