How Weather Mobile Apps Work? 5 Apps Using Different Approaches
When mercury drops down every year in December-January, weather conditions are at the center of every discussion. Many smart phone users now have weather apps on their phone, but very few know the technology behind them.
We have identified five applications that are highly popular on the internet. Most of them are compatible with every operating system. Interestingly, each use different methods to gather weather information. Let’s take a closer look at these apps.
Traditional method of weather forecasting
The traditional method used by Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) of weather forecasting for common end users is based on two main tools. First is by observing weather conditions data of last few decades and its behavior pattern.
The second tool is to gather information from weather satellites. By combining both, IMD provides best possible weather forecasting across India. Barometer, temperature sensor and computing technologies are the aides used in this process.
Also, special weather forecasting is done for defense services and agricultural management.
How top weather apps gather this information?
Every weather app has different methods of gathering information. Some apps depend upon government satellite while some use their own technology and team of meteorologist. Most commonly used tools are weather satellite and Doppler radar.
AccuWeather Channel is one of the most downloaded weather apps. It is a product of an American Company AccuWeather, founded in 1962.
AccuWeather channel has its own patented technology called ‘AccuWeather Exclusive RealFeel Temperature.’ The formula is a trade secret and not open for all.
But temperature and other readings are calculated with the help of effect of temperature, humidity, wind, sunshine intensity, precipitation, cloudiness and elevation on human body. Sensors like Gyroscope and barometer, inbuilt in mobile devices, might be used for gathering information.
The Weather Channel
The Weather Channel also originates from the United States of America. It is known for providing highly accurate information about weather conditions.
The Weather Channel uses Ultra Local True Point Forecasting technology, a computer program for finding the best possible weather reports. It is incorporated with satellite and Doppler radar information to provide accurate weather information on your mobile screen. A team of over 200 meteorologist works to gather and process information.
Weather Bug operates in USA and is not that useful for an Indian user. But it makes to the list for its unique method to gather weather information. Along with the use of satellite images and Radar, Weather Bug has fixed 2,000 weather cameras across the USA to collect information.
It is gathered through various parameters like temperature, wind direction, wind speed, UV index, humidity and hurricane alerts. The cameras have all the essential sensors for collecting the vital information.
WeatherSignal/ Mobile Weather Station
WeatherSignal is a new app on the list and has a completely different working method. It maps the world by using smart phones. When you download the app, it starts collecting information from your smart phone’s passive sensors like barometer, accelerometer, gyroscope, battery temperature, magnetic flux etc.
It then measures quantities like temperature and pressure. It sorts all the information received from thousands of users and forecasts weather for a particular place. Mostly, the forecasting is found to be accurate wherein the density of users of the app is high.
Indian Satellite Weather
Indian Satellite Weather has a simple working process. It provides images of cloud formation to determine weather conditions. It uses IMD’s satellite to collect the images.
These images are also available offline and can be easily downloaded by users. It is an open source application and refreshes the server data after every five minutes to give best possible results.