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Always consult more than one source of weather information before making economic or personal safety decisions.
Upon opening WeatherLCD, you will find yourself at the "Current" screen. Its purpose is to display current weather conditions for a location of your choosing.
The location in white letters is the current observation/METAR/TAF station. The location in black letters is the forecast point. These locations may be separated by several miles or more.
You will note forecast icons on-screen, and these may be scrolled left and right.
Next to the pressure readout (lower right-hand corner) is the 3-hour pressure trend display. It reads in inches of mercury or millibars, depending on the metric setting (accessed by touching the search box in the upper-right corner of the screen), and reflects differences in station (not sea level) pressure.
At the top left is the "Refresh" button. In order to save battery, WeatherLCD will only refresh data automatically upon startup and when returning to the Current View after more than 5 minutes have passed. Just press "Refresh" for the latest information.
Immediately to the right of "Refresh" is the "Locate" button. Use this button to automatically find the weather for your present location. If you are using an iPod Touch, location will be determined by the proximity of WiFi hotspots. If you are using an iPhone, location will be determined by the proximity of WiFi hotspots, cell phone tower triangulation, or GPS. Note: DO NOT attempt to use WeatherLCD as a geolocation/navigation app.
At the upper right-hand corner of the "Current" view is the search bar. Tap the search bar to enter geographic information. You may search by tapping a map, or by entering a text query.
When entering text, do not worry about punctuation or capitalization. The following entry formats are acceptable:
Note that some Alaska weather data is experimental, and may not be available for all locations at all times.
If nothing happens after you attempt a search, it means either your input is invalid, or temporary technical problems are preventing data access.
If the observation at the closest available weather station to your searched location is more than 90 minutes old, the next closest station within 50 miles will be selected. ALWAYS take note of the observation station, in white letters, at the top of the screen.
You may be presented with an experimental marine point forecast if you select a coastal point in Map Search, or auto-locate when on the water. However, best practice is to use the Marine View (accessed by touching the "More..." button at the bottom of the screen) for marine weather data.
Below the search bar is the memory button. Touch it to access the stored locations table. Touch a table cell to obtain weather data for its location. To add a location, use the "Store" button (read more below). To delete a location, swipe it with your finger from left-to-right and touch the "Delete" button which will appear.
Now, back on the main screen, the weather station nearest your search location is top center. Below it to the left is your search location. Below to the right is the "Store" button. Use this button to add a location to the memory. If the "Store" button is not displayed, it means the present location is already in memory.
You may notice that WeatherLCD remembers the last weather data location you accessed before shutting down, and brings it back up the next time you run the app. In the unlikely event WeatherLCD crashes, there is a small possibility this feature will cause app memory to become corrupted, preventing you from running WeatherLCD again. Should this situation occur, just delete WeatherLCD from your device and re-sync from your desktop or laptop. None of your other apps will be affected by a WeatherLCD malfunction.
The final feature of note on the Current screen is the "Details →" button. Simply touch this button to display a user-selectable daily or hour-by-hour text forecast for the current location (on 568 point display height devices, text for the first forecast period is displayed at the bottom of the Current View). Touch the "Discussion" button for an in-depth technical discussion.
At the bottom of the screen, the second tab will bring you to the "Lightning" view. This view presents the probability of lightning in the contiguous United States. There is a national view, and regional views with probabilities down to the county level. The time at the top of the map is UTC (UTC=GMT=Zulu for the purposes of WeatherLCD) and note the legend on the right hand side of each map. IMPORTANT: the maps are predictions, and do not represent actual lightning strikes. WeatherLCD is not a substitute for your eyes, ears, or common sense.
The third tab brings up the "Alerts" view which may appear with a badge specifying the number of watch, warning or advisory products available. The appearance of the badge does not always mean something horrible is about to happen, but pressing the "Alerts" tab and reading the products will, at minimum, increase your weather awareness for the present location.
A feature in the Alert view is a combined radar/warning display. It may be accessed by touching the "Combined" button. Please note that this display can only show tornado, severe thunderstorm, flash flood, and special marine warnings and is not a substitute for the text warning products. The radar is the most recent short-range, base reflectivity image available, and does not animate. The map may be panned and zoomed as needed. Note that sometimes warning boxes are very small, and zooming is required to examine them.
Now for the animated radar. Upon loading, you will be able to interact with the display by scrolling and zooming. The animation itself consists of four frames from the short-range (143 miles max.) base reflectivity product, four frames of the long-range (286 miles max.) base reflectivity product, or four frames of the one-hour precipitation product. Toggle between the short and long range displays, and the precipitation display using the segmented controller at the bottom of the screen.
The animated frames represent the most recent, as well as the third, fifth, and seventh most recent images available. The animation pauses for 2.5 seconds on the most recent image. The times at which the images were taken are shown above the display. You may notice that images are made more frequently during precipitation events than when no precipitation is present.
The colors you see in a NEXRAD Doppler radar display are a measure of "reflectivity." The idea is that the greater the amount of rain drops the atmosphere contains, the greater the amount of transmitted energy that returns to the radar. During precipitation events, use the table below to interpret displayed colors:
|Source: National Weather Service|
And below is a table for the one-hour precipitation product (which appears at the bottom of the Radar View when the one-hour precipitation product is selected on 568 point display height devices):
Just because a splash of color appears on the screen does not necessarily mean anything noteworthy is happening. For example, examine the scenario below:
Amorphus blue and brown blobs in the middle of the frame are typically from ground clutter. Surface objects, such as buildings, located within 20-30 miles of the radar can reflect its beam.
Below is an example of a genuine precipitation event:
Here are some sites you can use to expand your radar knowledge:
|Tap the map on a marine (water) point to obtain marine data. The red pin is the point you tapped, which is used for forecasts. The green pin is the *approximate* location of the nearest observation station (such as a buoy) whose data you may access by touching the "Obs" button. Not all observation stations have comprehensive data, and some may not report any current data.|
In addition to the Pacific, Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Alaskan waters, data is available for the Great Lakes, Lake Champlain, and Lake Tahoe, but not for other inland lakes. Marine point forecasts for Alaska are experimental. To obtain current observations for Alaskan waters, touch the "Obs" button, touch the "Main Page" link in the web view, touch "Alaska," and then enter the station id (if you know it), or touch the observation point for your region of interest.
In all cases, after touching the "Obs" button, be sure to scroll the resulting web view down to see all the data.
On the forecast screens, icons and/or text will allow you to quickly grasp forecast marine weather conditions. Always scroll all the way to the bottom to make sure you haven't missed anything. Note to Mariners, while there is nothing wrong with consulting a point forecast, you should also consult the Zone forecast to become aware of marine weather over a larger area.
For some Pacific coast and Hawaii locations, the swell size (significant wave height) and period will be listed.
To return to the map to select another point, simply touch the "Map" button.
Hazardous marine conditions may be accessed in two ways: either by touching the "Hazardous marine conditions" link at the top of the forecast page, or by scrolling down, past the text forecast.
***Important information for surfers and beachgoers: The National Weather Service's hazardous marine condition products DO NOT include high surf or rip current warnings. These are listed with the shore-based "Watches, Warnings & Advisories" products located under the "Alerts" tab. To check for beach/surf hazards, type in the city of the beach where you are headed, and then touch the "Alerts" tab WITHOUT going through the "Marine Forecast" view.
Although the WeatherLCD Marine Forecast is not a "surf report," it can provide surfers useful information which may be compared day-to-day with practical experience. What does a 2-foot swell at low tide mean for a particular beach? How about a 5-foot swell at high tide? Does the forecast 5 days out correctly indicate surf conditions?
For Canadian Great Lakes Region: Tap the map on the Canadian portion of any of the Great Lakes. A table with locations for which forecast/watch/warning data is available will display. Touch a desired table cell. Marine data from Environment Canada will display in English or French, depending on the language setting of your mobile device. Due to licensing restrictions, WeatherLCD will not display the full text of Canadian marine watches or warnings, but does provide links to watch/warning details on the Environment Canada website, which will open in Mobile Safari.
|Disclaimer: Aviation data presented by WeatherLCD is for information only, and is intended for airline passengers and aviation enthusiasts. It is not guaranteed to be timely or accurate. Under no circumstances is data presented by WeatherLCD to be used for flight safety or route planning purposes.|
WeatherLCD includes a view which maps pilot reports of turbulence. Reports indicating negative turbulence are not displayed. The severity of each turbulence report is coded by the color of the pin used to represent it. Green for light, purple for moderate, red for severe. There is a higher category, extreme, also represented by a red pin that fortunately does not occur very often. (Note: Occasionally, especially on routes to Hawaii, a pin may appear to be the "wrong" color. This could be due to an aircraft making separate reports from the same position. Tap these pins multiple times to toggle between reports).
In theory, coverage is from -87 to +87 degrees latitude and from -180 to 179 degrees longitude. At any given time, however, the vast majority of pins will appear over the Contiguous United States, with a few more pins over Alaska, air routes to Hawaii, and Canada. Occasionally, a pin will pop up over Central America, the Caribbean, the North Atlantic, or the Western Pacific.
To obtain the data represented by a pin, just touch it. If there are many pins in a small area, pinch-zoom or double-tap the map until it is possible to select the desired pin.
Upon selection, an annotation window will appear. At the top of the window will be the "Flight Level." This is merely aircraft altitude (above sea level) in hundreds of feet. So, for example, FL220 = 22,000 ft above sea level, FL90 = 9,000 ft above sea level, etc. It is possible that pilots will report a range of altitudes over which they are experiencing turbulence. This range is represented by two flight levels, separated by a hyphen. It is also possible they will report two discrete flight levels, which will be separated by a "/" symbol.
The first element in the subtitle (second) line of the annotation window is the turbulence frequency. If present, it will be reported as either occasional or continuous.
Next is the intensity of the turbulence. For the first reported altitude (or altitude band), the intensity will be "light" or higher. However, the intensity associated with the second altitude (or altitude band), separated from the first by a "/" symbol, may be as low as smooth-light or negative (no turbulence).
Finally, the type of turbulence, if present, is displayed. "Chop," the most common type, is defined in the case of light turbulence as, "slight, rapid and somewhat rhythmic bumpiness without appreciable changes in altitude or attitude," and in the moderate case as, "rapid bumps or jolts without appreciable changes in aircraft altitude or attitude." (Source: National Weather Service Operations Manual Part D, Chapter 22, 5/22/91)
Clear Air Turbulence typically occurs above 15,000 feet, and is not associated with cumuliform cloudiness, including thunderstorms. (Source: National Weather Service Operations Manual Part D, Chapter 22, 5/22/91)
Low Level Wind Shear (LLWS) is a very dangerous form of turbulence because it may affect an aircraft on takeoff or landing, when airspeed and altitude are low. Wind shear is defined as, "any rapid change in wind direction or velocity." (Source: FAA Advisory Circular No. 00-54, Subject: Pilot Windshear Guide, 11/25/88). Following a number of high-profile accidents in the 1960's, 70's, and 80's, wind shear detection systems were installed at airports and, later, onboard aircraft, and crew training was improved.
The final type of turbulence is Mountain Wave. Mountain wave turbulence is generally encountered on the lee (downwind) side of a mountain range, and caused by strong winds passing over and perpendicular to the range. (Source: Mountain Wave Activity Over the Southern Rockies, Alberta Vieira, Albuquerque Center Weather Service Unit (CWSU), 4/1/05).
Starting with version 4.1, WeatherLCD displays full information from turbulence reports. Touching the detail disclosure arrow on a map pin annotation callout will reveal aircraft manufacturer/model or airline/flight no., depending on the data available. Below this information is the raw report text.
Reading the reports is an art, so let's use an example:
B737 APA UA /OV DVV180025/TM 0019/FL380/TP B737/TB OCNL MOD CHOP 380/RM AWC-WEBSWA
Decoding: APA = Centennial Airport, Englewood, CO (nearest airport), UA = routine report (UUA would be urgent), OV DVV180025 = 25 nautical miles south (180°) of the Denver International Airport (VOR station DVV), TM 0019 = Time 00:19 UTC, FL380 = Flight level 380 (38,000 ft), TP B737 = Boeing 737-700, TB OCNL MOD CHOP 380 = self-explanatory turbulence description at FL380, RM AWC-WEBSWA = Remark: Report filed through the Aviation Weather Center over the Web by Southwest Airlines.
Sometimes you will see other report parameters such as: SK = Sky Cover, WX = Visibility & weather, TA = Temperature (°C), WV = Wind direction and speed, IC = Icing. Please note that some reports (usually from commercial airliners) are in a somewhat different format.
Should you want more information about an aircraft or airline whose report you are studying, just touch the "Wiki" button in the upper-right-hand corner of the screen. You will be taken either to a list of articles to choose from, or directly to a specific article. In the event a list of articles does not include what you are looking for, you can always use Wikipedia's on-page search box. Touch the "Report" button to return to the "Report" screen.
Note: The alert arrow is turned off in the "Turbulence" view.
WeatherLCD presents snow accumulation data in graphical form over 5 frames, with each frame covering a 6-hour period. Ending times of the periods are specified at the bottom of each frame. Most frames are too large to fit on-screen, but they may be panned and zoomed to meet your needs.|
Note: Snow accumulation data is not available for Florida, the Gulf Coast, or inland portions of Texas where it rarely snows.
17 U.S.C. 403 statement:
All weather data presented by WeatherLCD (including aviation data) and all graphics (with the exception of those in the bottom tab bar, the sky and water view backgrounds, the (Google) maps, and Canadian marine data) are from the National Weather Service and not subject to copyright protection. homedatasheet.com, Inc. is not affiliated with the National Weather Service.
Canadian marine data is copyrighted and used under license from Environment Canada. homedatasheet.com, Inc. is not affiliated with Environment Canada.
Your Privacy: homedatasheet.com, Inc. takes your privacy very seriously. The following are some points to consider when using Weather LCD.
Since you will be accessing National Weather Service data, it is possible that your Internet Protocol (IP) address and the types and locations of weather information you have accessed will be recorded on their server logs. See:
for more information. (homedatasheet.com, Inc. is not affiliated with the National Weather Service).
Environment Canada has a Privacy Statement on its website.
WeatherLCD also uses Mapkit, natively coded Apple maps on the iPhone. It is possible your IP address and locations viewed will be recorded on their servers. See:
for more information.
Similar data is recorded by us, homedatasheet.com, Inc. We will use this data to improve WeatherLCD over time and develop exciting, new products.
In the unlikely event WeatherLCD crashes, you will have the option to send an anonymous crash data report to us. The report may contain information to help us identify and correct the problem which caused the crash. It does not contain any personal information.
Thanks again for your purchase. We hope WeatherLCD will serve you well for years to come.
All tab bar icons and the auto-locate button icon were created by Joseph Wain (http://glyphish.com) and are used under license.
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