Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter Issue 33 for February 1st 2020
Hello and welcome to the first issue of the newsletter for 2020. Did you have a great Christmas and holiday season? Are you enjoying the winter, where ever you are? Frankly, I’m sick of it, as the typical winter type of weather had started some time in November and I really hope we get an early spring, as it is a year ending in 0. During the last 3 of them, we had an early warming to make it feel like May… in March. In the case of 2010, it would get warmer each day, until it was spring jacket type weather and it was a rather long season too.
As for Weatheradio Canada and NOAA Weather Radio, things seem to be much the same, with Weatheradio Canada moving ahead with the installation of iNotify, or how ever it is spelled. I’ve spelled it as I did in the last sentence but, other people have spelled it differently so, I’m not sure what the correct letters would be, making up the name of the new software. Toronto had been upgraded and I was lucky enough to meet with Marc-Antoine Chabot from Weatheradio Canada, who has contributed to some recent issues and I won’t talk about what we went on about but, I will tell you that he knows that I have as much access to the new voices, as he does at work and maybe more. After all, I could make either Tom or Ava say what ever I wish and yes, I’ve heard both voices sware. This is because I would have them read articles off the internet, whether Wikipedia or some such, about some of my favourite famous people, whether they be musicians, actors, comedians or whatever. This means that depending on what I am reading, the occasional four letter words maybe in the text and so, I get to hear that. Anyway, he did the upgrade for the Toronto WXR during the next couple of days and I will talk about it below, as it is now prepared for the eventual launch of iNotify, or I-Notify, as it had been told to me, in emails.
To end off the opening comments, I hope you enjoy this issue and have a safe rest of the winter and stay warm. It will be interesting to see how spring will arrive in Canada this year, as it is a 0 year and it had come early during years ending in 0, with varying degrees of results for the rest of the season… and for the year. I am looking forward to what is to come for us this year and you know what? it will be summer before we know it.
THE CANWARN/SKYWARN REPORT
CANWARN (CANadian Weather Amateur Radio Network) is a volunteer organization of amateur radio operators who report severe weather and damage reports to Environment Canada when they see it. Weather reports from amateur radio operators help confirm on the ground what satellites and radars see in the atmosphere. The information gathered from CANWARN is also used to update and fine tune weather warnings, fill in gaps in current observing networks and is also valuable in forensic storm analysis. When Environment Canada issues severe weather watches or warnings, they may alert the CANWARN volunteer Net Controllers in the affected areas. The volunteer Net Controllers contact other CANWARN members on the amateur radio, tell them a watch or warning has been issued and ask them to report signs of approaching severe weather. In the US SKYWARN is the American counterpart to CANWARN in Canada and the purpose for it is exactly the same.
For this section of the newsletter, we will explore how different CANWARN and SKYWARN groups operate in their local region, from time to time. There may be some SKYWARN information from meteorologists in this issue and there will be some tips on how to report severe weather for both CANWARN and SKYWARN.
We may not agree with everything that is written here, but it is important to hear from others to see how different groups operate throughout North America.
I am still looking for any information, on CANWARN and or, SKYWARN training schedules, outside of Ontario. Unfortunately, I have not received any emails from meteorologists or my fellow spotters, as to when sessions will be conducted. Of course, I will post them as a standalone blog post outside the newsletter timeline and when ever a new schedule update is released. I have given my email address many times throughout the newsletter and any help on that is certainly welcome. Many thanks in advance.
In the past, I have included a message from Geoff Coulson, who was a warning preparedness meteorologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada, based out of Toronto and who also managed the CANWARN storm spotter program in the province of Ontario. He has since retired but, had returned on a part-time basis to help out Gerald Cheng at sessions (here and there) during last years training session season. Also, to put together the online training and most likely, this years sessions will have some material, talking about what is to come, on that front. Since Geoff has retired and is concentrating more on the online CANWARN training, I figured I would do the reminder in the February issues of the newsletter, from now on. Admittedly, I will be borrowing heavily from Geoff’s last annual message (which did not appear in the February 2018 newsletter) and I will add my own comments, when necessary. Geoff had been doing these messages since 2012 and Gerald Cheng has taken his place, in his job title. However, I have decided not to give him the job of composing a message for the newsletter. I guess my main reason for this is because I want to include all of Canada in the reminder and hopefully, I can do a good job with this, as I have limited knowledge of CANWARN groups across Canada, despite help from meteorologists outside of Ontario in past years. I haven’t heard from any of them and I am out of touch with whom all of the current Warning Preparedness Meteorologists are, across Canada. Anyway, here is what I have managed to put together so, here goes.
As we all know, CANWARN members are volunteers from all walks of life and Amateur radio operators comprise the core of the CANWARN program with other volunteers coming from all levels of government, emergency managers/responders and those with a passion for the weather. This of course, includes everyone who administrates various groups on Facebook which relate in one way or another, to weather.
CANWARN volunteers watch the skies year-round for telltale signs of severe storms and relay significant information, in real-time, to the Storm Prediction Centres located across Canada. In the winter-time this can include reports of significant snowfall amounts, poor visibilities in fog or blowing snow and occurrences of freezing rain. In the spring and summer months, reports can be sent in on the appearance of funnel clouds or tornadoes or the occurrence of large hail, damaging winds or flooding rains. There are now thousands of CANWARN volunteers across Canada and many of these volunteers have attended a training session in the last few years.
Until now, CANWARN training sessions in Ontario have been held across the province in the April to June timeframe. Training sessions are normally held during evenings and on weekends with the sessions lasting between 2 and 2.5 hours. There is no cost to attend a training session. The spring training schedule is normally released in either late March or, early April. Last year, there was a drastic drop in sessions being done, dew to resource pressures and there may be less of them this year. Obviously… I hope not!
As for the rest of Canada, sessions may also be held around the same time, altho some sessions have been known to be held in March. For example: sessions in parts of Manitoba have happened in early March, according to what I’ve been told from reliable sources. Some sessions have also been held as late as early July and I found this out, just before the newsletter was even a thought. However, I can’t exactly speak to how the rest of Canada may, or may not handle CANWARN as I live in Ontario and have had only so much contact with other meteorologists from other provinces, with updates on the latest sessions. However, I am trying.
The explosion of the use of social media, like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to report severe weather in recent years, have made some question the continuing importance of CANWARN. While the Weather Centre monitors social media closely, they are often required to do some checking before using social media reports. However, reports from identified CANWARN members are given more weight immediately. The forecasters realize that these reports are coming from people who understand the types of weather they want to hear about and they know we have received training in what to spot and report.
Many of you reading this newsletter that live in Canada may already be a CANWARN member and, if so, thank you for your participation, along with myself and others. For those of you who aren’t a member but are interested in learning more about the program or who would like to be placed on the training notification distribution list, feel free to contact those of us who administrate the weather related FB groups, (if you are on Facebook). We would be happy to direct you to information about CANWARN and of course, the training schedules will appear here as standalone posts, outside the newsletter timeline.
As for information about training schedules this year, we’ll just have to wait and see how much things may be cut back and thus, less sessions this year. Roomers have it, that there may not even be one at Environment Canada HQ in Toronto and if so, that would be bad. Altho, we will eventually be directed to the online training and hopefully, this will be ready some time this year, as Geoff Coulson had said in the August 2019 issue.
As for SKYWARN training schedules, you can go to either of the following sites:
There are many links for you to look at on these sites.
SPOTTER REPORTING TIPS
How to Report
Amateur radio network (if applicable) – Amateur Radio Condition
Condition Codes: Code Green – Severe Thunderstorm Watch
Code Yellow – Severe Thunderstorm Warning or Tornado Watch
Code Red – Tornado Warning
in Ontario by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter with hashtag #onstorm
If you are CANWARN trained you should give the following information to the weather office in order to help them ground truth: Your name, CANWARN ID, contact number, – Where – you are located and the approximate location of what you are reporting, – Describe what you are witnessing/what you witnessed, the time of occurrence of the event and duration, its movement (where the phenomenon came from and where it is going).
In the spring/summer severe weather season, please report the following:
Hail (use coins to describe its size…dime, nickel, quarter, loonie for larger hail…golf ball etc.), Heavy rain that has resulted in local flooding, Damaging winds (damage from tree branches down to more significant tree or structural damage), Large scale rotation in a thunderstorm such as: Wall Cloud – Funnel Cloud, Waterspout and Tornado, Dense fog – visibility less than 1 km
Note: if you are unsure of the rotation or presence of a wall cloud or funnel cloud…watch the area for a few minutes if it is safe to do so to verify the situation.
For the fall/winter, please report the following: Dense fog (visibility less than 1 km), Any occurrence of freezing rain or freezing drizzle, Heavily accumulating snow (2 or more cm/hr), Whiteout conditions in snow/blowing snow (visibility near zero), Rapid freezing of water on road surfaces.
For SKYWARN spotters, you should report: Tornadoes or funnel clouds (be very wary of look-alikes; watch for rotation)
waterspouts, Wall clouds, especially if they are rotating
Hail (Be specific with regard to size; however, YOU SHOULD NOT report MARBLE size)
Winds (40 mph or greater; specify whether they are estimated or recorded), large branches downed (specify the diameter of the branch), Trees/power lines downed, Structural damage to buildings such as roof, windows, etc.
Rainfall (1 inch or greater in an hour) (NOT a 1″/hr. rate for 10 minutes), 2 inches or greater storm total, Flooding — Streams/Rivers — also, when nearing bankful — Coastal — Street (Road Closures/Washouts, Cars Stuck due to flood waters. Minimum of 6″ of water covering an entire roadway or lane of a major route/highway).
For Winter Weather you should report: Precipitation type change (rain to sleet/freezing rain/snow, when the change has “taken hold”), Thunder when it is accompanied by snow, 1/4″ radial ice accretion (from twig outward; not circumference), New Snowfall from the First 2 inches; every 2-3 inches thereafter, 1 inch per hour or greater.
If it is less than 2 inches total, give the final total only Give final total: no partial reports please) Report any snow/sleet/freezing rain if not in NWS forecast.
Please consult your local Amateur Radio club or CANWARN or SKYWARN group for their: email address, Twitter account or Facebook pages.
November 19th and 20th 2019
These are the days in which Toronto XMJ 225 was upgraded and tested, to have access to both the current Avipad’s and the new software. I will give you an outline of how things went (as I had experienced it) and if your WXR hasn’t been visited for the installation yet, you will have some sort of idea of what will happen and what you may hear. Before I do that, I will give you a modified version of what I had written on Facebook, on November 18th.
Hi folks. As those of us who live in Toronto and listen to Weatheradio know, the WXR is still broadcasting but we haven’t had SAME alerts get through to it, since late July. Tomorrow, that is about to change, as people from Weatheradio Canada are here in town, to do some work on the transmitter, tomorrow and Wednesday. Here is how things are going to most likely happen.
First of all, Toronto will be offline for a few hours and then, it will come back online again. Shortly after that, there will be a series of tests, with both voices and SAME and 1050 Hz tone alerts at different volumes. Something like this had happened back in 2006, when SAME was first introduced to Weatheradio Canada and was ready for use. Any downtime required for The installation in Ontario had occurred sometime in November 2004, during the weekend. The only time it would be interrupted was when a watch or warning was issued, for any severe weather that was forecasted to be in the area. As for Toronto, I think we lucked out and there was no need for an interruption of the installation. Also, the WXR’s in Ontario had remained alive throughout the weekend, in case of any severe weather bulletins being issued.
As for the installation and test, it may continue into Wednesday and this may affect the RWT but, any SAME tests will be aalert tests so, anyone with a WX radio which flashes after 10 days of nothing being sent out can sleep in the knowledge that your radio won’t be flashing (or beeping) after these alerts go out. What this will mean is that Toronto will be ready for the launch of the new software, when everything is ready on both the RF end and through the telephone. There are still things to do after all of the transmitters are updated but I can certainly tell you that what will take place is another step towards an improved Weatheradio Canada. So, here is how things went on November 19th and 20th 2019. I made sure I had nothing on my plate, so I could monitor this for all of us. Ready?
Tuesday November 19th 2019:
At around 9:07 AM, Toronto had been shut off and was not turned on again, until around 12:15 PM EST and had remained silent with dead air, until 1:07 PM. At that exact time, two of the new voices had generated a message, stating that this is a test of the new technology and they had just happened to be Tom for English and Nicolas for French. I wanted all 4 voices to be represented but, it didn’t work out for me. “Boohoo!” Anyway, the time announced was correct, as I had checked it with my iPhone’s clock.
At some point during the afternoon, there were some accidental SAME and 1050 Hz tone tests which had gone out. If you have bought the Sangean PR-D9W AM/FM weather alert radio from Radioworld, you may have noticed that the 1050 Hz tone alert didn’t get through, as the voice was quieter, before the installation. After the installation, it now works, as it is strong enough to break through the squelch. I say that because even though there wasn’t any static on the broadcast at home, it didn’t get through, unlike Buffalo and obviously, this has been rectified. I could tell you why, but I’m going to keep that to myself for now. However, if you know how repeaters work in ham radio and other networks, you can probably guess how and why things had changed for the better.
During the time the new voices were being tested and before the broadcast had resumed to normal operations, the following pangram was sometimes repeated over the air, by Tom on both days of the installation. “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”. Sadly, I never learned what a pangram was in school and now I know what they are, after doing a Google search. However, if you want me to construct a pangram, I am not quite that skilled at that. Anyway, I digress.
When the broadcast was restored with FTP back on the transmitter, a key part of the configuration (i-e) the Lake Simcoe forecast was missing and thanks to an email from myself, it had been brought back. Some time during the night, the WXR had died and needed to be brought back to life and, it was during the morning of November 20th 2019.
Wednesday November 20th 2019:
It was similar, but less eventful. There were interruptions and the Lake Simcoe forecast had once again vanished from the configuration. Obviously, I had to send out another email and it was soon brought back. Everything was done before 12:00 PM and thus, there was no conflict with the RWT, which had gone out for the first time in months. I had documented that in previous posts (outside the newsletter timeline) containing the reports for both Toronto and St Catharines and occasionally, another WXR and people were obviously happy to hear the test again, including myself.
As for the SAME an 1050 Hz tone and voice tests, they weren’t done at different volumes and in a way, it doesn’t bother me all that much. Why would they adjust the volume of the broadcast? Just for kicks? I don’t think so!
As for the reception of the Toronto WXR after the installation, people were generally pleased and one person had remarked that they could actually hear it better and wondered, if the power was increased. I don’t know and I had never thought to ask but, I may do so some time, out of curiosity. I was very happy, with how things had gone and despite the slight sound quality degradation, I don’t mind it, as it is still understandable from a distance. It will surely help the new voices sound more the same and at a set level on the network. As some people had noted, when earlier tests had occurred, back in April 2017, the voices were quieter and with the installation, that concern can be put to rest. This makes me more optimistic about how everything will sound, no matter what voices are being used for various boxes in the configuration, when the new software will be launched all across Canada.
Ever since then, things had gone relatively well, with only a couple of outages and thanks to some quick emails, some close calls were avoided. There had been instances where data hadn’t loaded for updates before and a couple days after Christmas. Hopefully, we will see the launch of the new software come to fruition, sooner rather than later. I am excited to learn what voices will be saying what, in specific boxes and I hope, that all 4 voices will get the chance to be heard.
I have said it before and I’ll say it again, I have a lot of access to them and I have done what I can, to listen to each one read out weather information, which is pertinent to the broadcast. If I had the scripts for every single transmitter’s configuration annd all of the information we hear, I would have an even better idea, of which voices sound best in certain situations. For example: severe weather alerts in either language. You don’t want a voice which sounds happy, when a potential storm is coming. Right? However, I only have a limited amount of access to what we hear and how it is presented to us, over the air. But, I will be waiting with baited breath, to hear when things switch over and hearing reactions from those, who may not use the voices every day. After all, the English speaking voices are American and some words are pronounced a bit differently. For example: Tom pronounces the word “flurries” different than Ava does and she pronounces it normally to us. With cities, towns and regions it may be another source for haters to rag on them. However, I have been told that Weatheradio Canada is working on that too.
As for myself, I’ve said it before and here it is again. Either Tom or Ava are essential to my use of knowing my way around an iPhone and others who have iPhones, probably don’t know about the availability of the voices. Their only contact with computerized voices is either through Siri or Alexa. They may not know that they can download and use all 4 voices slated to be on Weatheradio Canada, amongst others. However, they may have heard one or two of them, through GPS and even some transit systems. For example: Go Transit uses Ava to announce the stops on the trains and she is the English speaking voice you hear, when calling their IVR telephone system. As for the other French speaking voice on that line, I don’t think it is Chantal, as I can spot that voice almost anywhere.
One more thing I should mention here is that there was concern over Ava and how she sounds on the Continuous Marine Broadcasts and I can tell you, that what you here is all copy and paste. If you listen to the entire broadcast and you notice that some words and fraises are louder or quieter than others. Apparently, you can do that by manipulating the text to either different colors or under lines, or anything at all which may change the voice. I’m not entirely sure but, I’m guessing that’s what you can do. Anyway, I’m just going to sit back and wait to hear how things sound, when the new software is sprung upon us.
THE WATCHDOG REPORT
If you hear anything that doesn’t sound right on your local Weather Radio transmitter, there are various ways to report a problem that depend on where you live. If you live in The United States, you can call 1-888-697-7263. You can email NOAA at email@example.com, or on the web at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr. If you live in Canada, you can call 1-877-789-7733. You can email the National Weatheradio Canada Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you can report it on the NOAA Weather Radio Weatheradio Canada Facebook Group. You will find the link to it later in this issue and all issues of the newsletter. You can also email the author directly at email@example.com and it will be passed on for you.
Note from the author:
I will mainly include items with a definitive time on their start to finish and ones with unknown starts or endings, I will of course include as well, but with a mention of them being unknown.
On Monday November 25th at around 12:15 AM AST, the entire Atlantic region had gone down, either in watchdog mode or had stopped broadcasting voice data altogether. However, it was all restored after noon AST on Monday November 25th.
On Sunday December 1st at around 10.15 AM, all of Ontario went into watchdog and the network wasn’t restored there, until around 7:35 AM the next morning.
On Thursday December 5th, Myles Keleman reported the following in the NOAA Weather Radio and Weatheradio Canada Facebook group. “Station XLM537 is currently looping a “technical difficulties” message. Don’t know how long it’s been. I just discovered it.” However, it came back early the next morning because somebody reported it directly.
On Monday December 9th during the afternoon, all of the Atlantic region had gone down and wasn’t restored until Tuesday December 10th, around 1:20 PM ADT.
Before Christmas, Collingwood XMJ 316 was broadcasting a dead carrier and the problem was also fixed, before Christmas. It was spotted during the previous week and it was fixed on December 23rd.
On January 8th 2020, London XLN 470 had gone into watchdog, some time during the morning and wasn’t restored until some time in the evening.
On Wednesday January 15th, the entire Atlantic region was down and wasn’t fully restored, until some time on Thursday January 16th.
On Saturday, January 18, Toronto XMJ 225 Went into watchdog mode and was not restored until Monday January 20th at 8:08 AM, after broadcasting a dead carrier for 11 minutes. This was a situation, where data wasn’t loading to be updated and everything had simply dropped off, until the only things left repeating were the station ID message and the canned messages for the words “Current Marine Reports” in both English and french. This is much like how Toronto had gone into watchdog, from July 2013 until September 2014, which I had documented in earlier issues of the newsletter.
Weather Nets On Ham Radio from Daryl Stout WX4QZ
a) VoIP Skywarn Hurricane Prep Net — Meets at 8pm Eastern, 7pm Central, 6pm Mountain, 5pm Pacific Time, on the WX_TALK Echolink Conference Server…Echolink Node 7203, and IRLP Node 9219.
During the off-season hurricane months from December through May, the net meets on the FIRST SATURDAY of the month ONLY. During the Atlantic Hurricane Season, from June through November, the net meets WEEKLY, at 8pm Eastern, 7pm Central, 6pm Mountain, and 5pm Pacific Time.
Also, note that on the first Saturday of December, the net is ONE HOUR EARLIER…at 7pm Eastern, 6pm Central, 5pm Mountain, and 5pm Pacific Time. This is so at the conclusion of Skywarn Recognition Day, stations don’t have to wait for the net to occur.
Further details are at http://www.voipwx.net
b) Southeast US D-Star Weather Net — Meets at 9pm Eastern, 8pm Central, 7pm Mountain, and 6pm Pacific, every Sunday night, on Reflector 4, Port A. The net also meets on the Southeast US D-Star Weather Net Ratflector on D-Rats.
Further details are at http://www.dstarinfo.com/se-d-star-wx-net.aspx
Lastly, stations can get a list of selected D-Star Nets during the week by sending an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org — and again, a list of selected Echolink Nets is at http://http://www.theweatherwonder.com/elk.htm
Daryl Stout, WX4QZ, Net Control
Southeast US D-Star Weather Net
Certified Skywarn Severe Storrrm Spotter
Where toPurchase Weather Radios
Weather Radios can be purchased at various electronics stores that specialize in radios and other equipment such as:
CB World at http://www.werecb.com/,
Universal Radio at http://www.universal-radio.com/,
Radiooorld at http://www.radioworld.ca/,
Burnaby Radio at http://www.burnabyradio.com/,
Ambient Weather at http://www.ambientweather.com/, and many more retailers throughout North America.
Best Buy, which caters more to General consumer Electronics such as, Smart phones, tablets, MP3 players etc. However, they also Carrie some Weather Radios, in both Canada and the US. http://www.bestbuy.com/ also in Canada http://m.bestbuy.ca/defaultpage.aspx?lang=en and if you want results from a search on Weather Radios, https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/Search/SearchResults.aspx?query=Weather+radio
Or, the free iOS app Best Buy Canada by Best Buy Canada Ltd
If you want more information about the app, check The developer website for more information. http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/bestbuyapps.aspx
When planning to purchase your first Weather Radio, it is highly recommended to look for the Public Alert identification logo.
Weather Information on the Internet
Suggested weather sites to visit as follows; In Canada the current websites url is http://www.weather.gc.ca
Want to get your weather in the US? Go to http://www.nws.noaa.gov/
Weatheradio Canada webpage at http://www.ec.gc.ca/weatheradio
NOAA Weather Radio webpage at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr.
DX Info Centre at http://www.dxinfocentre.com/, to hear what Weather Radio sounds like before buying your first receiver, visit YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/ or just use Google to watch or listen to Youtube video or audio.
The NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards Newsletter is published four times a year. There is some seasonal information to notify recipients of additional weather information available to them that they may not know about (most of which can be found on the NOAA Watch web site http://www.noaawatch.gov/ ). At this site you can also subscribe to various weather feeds. The rest of the newsletter remains relatively unchanged due to outreach requirements. The current newsletter is available at the Noaa Weather Radio website http://www.weather.gov/nwr/news.htm. At this time, there is no newsletter mailing list to subscribe.
If you have additional questions, please feel free to e-mail email@example.com, here is the link to the answers website; http://findanswers.noaa.gov/noaa.answers/consumer/search.asp.
NOAA and Weatheradio Canada group on Facebook,
WXtoIMG at http://www.wxtoim.com/downloads/,
Digital Atmosphere at http://www.weathergraphics.com/da/
NWS Taunton Amateur Radio SKYWARN Station home page at http://www.wx1box.org
The Maritime Amateur (Ham Radio for Maritimers by Maritimers) http://www.maritimeamateur.ca
VoIP Hurricane Prep Net – Saturday 9pm Atlantic Time / http://www.voipwx.net/
Phil Chadwicks blog at philtheforecaster.blogspot.com
Weather or Weather Radio Apps
This is a growing list and it needs more results for future reference. If you have idea’s for weather or Weather Radio apps which should be put into future issues of the newsletter, send an email to the author at firstname.lastname@example.org. Right now these are iPhone apps only, because that is all we have at the moment. Your help is needed to expand it.
Alertable by Public Emergency Alerting Services Inc
Note: for android users there is an android version of this app, which you can find on the Google Play store.
Weather Office Free by X2 Studios
This app provides weather and forecast information for both Canada and the US from Environment Canada and the National Weather Service respectively. In fact nearly all apps mentioned here provide information from one or both sources. There is a version you pay for but to me, it is the same as the free version.
NOAA Weather Radio by Christopher Coudriet
This app allows you to listen to NOAA Weather Radio and receive alerts for your county in the US. It would be nice if it also provided the same feature for Weatheradio Canada and Canadians too, as it provides some Canadian WXR’s as live streams.
Weather Radio by WDT by Weather Decision Technologies, Inc.
This app gives you NWS alerts and also pushes lightning alerts to your iPhone, when lightning is possibly detected in your local area or, in area’s you have selected.
TuneIn Radio – Stream Live Radio by TuneIn
This popular app allows you to listen to conventional, Internet and even some Weather Radio stations when and where available. you can even listen to podcasts of your favourite radio shows if you like and maybe even audiobooks, To help you pass the time in the monotony of a commute or while waiting in the waiting room for an appointment.
WeatherCAN by Environment and Climate Change Canada https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/weathercan/id1334221563?mt=8
Météo – Canadian Weather by North Bits Solutions Ltd.
This is another app designed for Canadians and is available in both english and french. It is similar to the Degrees Pro app and some of the others on this list. It is also free, despite that it offers in app purchases.
Atmosphérique Pro – Canadian Weather from EC by Quadrant Newmedia Corp.
This app is rather Self-explanatory, in that it allows us to hear scanner feeds from various police scanners, as well as Weather Radio. In fact, it helped in reporting one of the issues I highlighted in “The Watchdog Report” earlier in this issue.
This is what it says in the application’s description. “Our app helps keep you safe, dry, & save you time. Our weather coverage combines top-tier data, instant alerts, custom updates, & your detailed reports in one location. Introducing our new free app. Instant Weather helps keep you safe, keep you dry, and save you time. By combining top-tier weather data, government weather alerts, our custom severe weather updates, and the detailed reports from the most passionate weather community on social media, we’re able to provide you with the best possible forecast. ——————– Free version: – Instant Weather Alerts – Custom Severe Weather Updates – Accurate Current Conditions – 15 Day Forecast – 10 Day Hourly Forecast – 6.5 Hour Minute Forecast – Past & Future Radar (1.5 Hours) – Report Weather – Ads ——————– Remove Ads Subscription ($0.99/month or $5.99/year): – *No ads – *Past & Future Radar (5 Hours) – Custom Severe Weather Updates – Instant Weather Alerts – Accurate Current Conditions – 15 Day Forecast – 10 Day Hourly Forecast – 6.5 Hour Minute Forecast – Report Weather ——————– Remove Ads + 15 Minute Radar ($12.99/year): – *No ads – *Past & Future Radar (5 Hours) – *15 Minute Radar Intervals – Instant Weather Alerts – Accurate Current Conditions – 15 Day Forecast – 10 Day Hourly Forecast – 6.5 Hour Minute Forecast – Report Weather We’ve been developing and testing the app for several years and we’re finally ready to launch it! There is still a lot we want to improve with the app and still the potential for occasional bugs. We have more details about upcoming features, known bugs, tips, etc., on our website at https://InstantWeatherInc.com/app-faq Please join our Facebook tester group at https://Facebook.com/groups/InstantWeatherApp to share bugs and feedback with all testers, and to learn about the latest updates that we’re working on! A huge thanks to all those who have supported us over the years and have made this all possible! If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at help@InstantWeather.ca Thank you, – Adam”
Weather Gods by Weather Gods Ltd
This app is an interesting one, in that it provides weather alerts and plays sound affects too, so a lot of people who are blind appreciate it for its ease of use. However, it pushes weather alerts to the iPhone a few minutes late and that isn’t good, in a potential tornado situation where you may have less than 15 minutes to prepare and get into a safe place, to avoid being struck and killed by flying debris. However, it does push severe weather alerts so, if you wish to give it a try go ahead but I encourage you to use it with another app, like WeatherCAN, which is much faster and pushes alerts in a more timely manner.
My Lightning Tracker & Alerts by JRustonApps B.V.
This is another app which pushes lightning alerts to your iPhone but you have more control over how they are sent out, such as changing the distance and time duration between receiving a push notification from the app. Also, you have an option of changing the sound used to alert you of a lightning strike but it doesn’t notify you that it has been 30 minutes since the last lightning strike within 17 km of your current location. But, it still is a good app.
The official Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter Twitter Account
There are many reliable manufacturers and retailers of Weather Radios sold in Canada and the USA. Below is an admitedly incomplete list of Weather Radio manufacturers. Note: This list of suggested weather radios is strictly for informational purposes, and not as an endorsement of any specific model or manufacturer.
Midland Radio Corporation http://www.Midlandradio.com
Oregon Scientific http://www2oregonscientific.com
Uniden Corporation http://www.Uniden.com
Sangean USA http://www.Sangean.com
Reecom Electronics Inc
Kaito Electronics Inc http://www.kaitousa.com/
If you have any comments or suggestions, or if you wish to submit an article, please email me at email@example.com. You can also follow me on Twitter @WxrNewsletter. Also, check out The Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1854305558188610/
I would like to give special thanks to those who made contributions to this latest issue as follows:
Daryl Stout WX4QZ, Joey Shynn VA3GOC, Ward Kenedy VE3WGK, Myles Keleman, Calvin Dejong, Bob Robichaud VE1MBR, Midland Radio Corporation, Marc-Antoine Chabot, Malcolm Kendal VE3BGD, Jim Langille VE1JBL, Gregory Zwicker, Phil Chadwick and Marc Fitkin for their help and contributions to the newsletter.
Sincerely, Gord The Old Reliable.VA3WXA
From my iPhone 8