There are many weather forecasting apps for the iPhone and iPad, and although they may look different, they mostly have the same information. WunderStation for the iPad is different and fascinating.
For weather enthusiasts and hobbyists there are complete weather stations that you can set up outside your home or business for a couple of hundred dollars/pounds (Google 'weather station'). These compact devices that can be mounted on a pole, measure the barometric pressure, temperature, humidity, rainfall and wind. There is an associated console that displays the information and all measurements are recorded to provide historic data that shows trends and changes.
With the right hardware and an internet connection it is possible to share the weather data that is recorded by your weather station over the internet and there are websites like Weather Underground that help with this. Weather Underground has tens of thousands of members around the world, all sharing their live weather readings.
The WunderStation app for the Apple iPad is free and it enables you to view on a map the locations of weather stations that people are sharing. There are a surprising number and they are everywhere. Tap a weather station icon on the map and it displays very brief details, such as the temperature and wind speed.
Adding a weather station to the app displays the full information that is being broadcast, and it is a live feed and it is very detailed indeed. Multiple weather stations can be added for different places around the country, or even a different country, and you can swipe through the weather station feeds a screen at a time.
There are separate panels for the temperature, map location, daily forecast, rainfall, wind, air pressure, sky conditions and more. Some panels are optional and can be added if the weather station supports them. For example, a web cam live feed can be displayed so that you can see the weather for yourself.
These panels are just a summaries though and tapping them expands them to show the full information hidden behind them.
For example, there are two types of temperature chart and you can view the changes throughout the day, week, month or year. There are high and low temperatures and dew point. Pressure and rainfall information is available in the same way – two charts with day, week, month and year time scales.
The amount of detail available in the information is excellent and fascinating to study, but it is all historical information. It is live and the latest readings are often only a few minutes old, but what you really want to know is what the weather will be like tomorrow.
Very detailed forecasts are available and you can view the weather for the next 24 hours or 10 days. There are simple symbols that show sun, cloud or rain, with high and low temperatures, but also detailed charts showing temperature, pressure, humidity, cloud cover and more.
WunderStation is a different way of looking at weather and forecasting. It will not suit someone who just wants to know weather to take an umbrella or head for the beach, but if you want to view and analyse weather data the app is very interesting.
Title: WunderStation - Weather from your neighborhood
Developer: Weather Underground LLC.
Size: 12.8 MB
iOS: 7.0 or later
Verdict: More information about the weather than you thought possible.
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Published: 20 August 2015