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Instead of cumulative strikes or strikes per minute, it shows the strikes using time as the horizontal axis and distance as the vertical. What this allows you to do is better judge where the strike is coming from. As the storms get closer, you begin to see patterns in the data. From watching the data roll in, it appears that observations are taken every 2 to 30 seconds, depending on the sensor. WeatherFlow didn’t have any specifics available as they still were writing the specifications and user manuals at the time of our test. And like you’d expect for a "smart" weather station, there are Alexa and Google Assistant integrations and the capability to connect and trigger smart home devices through IFTTT.

Temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, and rainfall are all covered. The station also has a built-in lightning detector and a UV and light sensor that reports the UV index, brightness, and solar radiation, too. The package also includes a Wi-Fi base station, which the Tempest uses to connect to your home network. The entire setup process is within the app, and I had the station up and reporting data in just five minutes. WeatherFlowWeatherFlow’s Tempest weather station houses all of its sensors and instruments in a single compact enclosure that can be mounted to a mast or a tripod. This unique concept adds a webcam to a home weather station, but you’ll need to buy a second kit to get all of the sensors you’ll need to monitor the weather.

Netatmo’s Weather Station is the personal weather station of choice if you have a smart home system or are planning to install one. While it is somewhat pricey and does have some quirks, its accuracy and feature set is impressive and hard to beat. Wind and rain measurements are very useful, especially if you have activities affected by that type of weather. High-end stations are nice to have if you can afford them; they’re typically the most accurate, but unless you need specialty measurements—UV, soil moisture, and the like—don’t spend the money. NetatmoNetatmo Weather Station comes with the base station and one indoor/outdoor temperature/humidity sensor, Picasa but you also need the rain and wind gauges to really enjoy this station’s capabilities. This is the best consumer-oriented weather station we’ve reviewed to date, but it’s priced accordingly. As Outside Magazine notes, the National Weather Service does not have a weather app.

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Like The Weather Channel, Weather Underground is also owned by IBM. The app is free, but you can upgrade to a premium ad-free version for $20 per year or $4 per month, which also includes detailed visual forecasts up to 15 days out. The Weather Channel app, its service providers and its ad and analytics partners may collect information, and share it with third parties, according to its privacy policy. If you give the app permission to collect location information while apps are running in the background, it will do so. You can turn off direct location collection through your device settings.

Flowx can display a variety of data overlays, such as precipitation, clouds and wind direction arrows, with data sourced from the NWS/NOAA and Environment Canada. The app is ad-supported, with an optional subscription that removes ads and rewards the developer.

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Apartment dwellers will especially appreciate that the modules can be installed on a balcony without creating an eyesore. And the addition of indoor modules makes it possible to monitor temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels on a room-by-room basis. Additionally, it sends alerts for tornado, severe thunderstorm, flash flood, and special marine warnings. WeatherFlow also lets you connect to IFTTT, allowing weather events to trigger other smart home devices. The connectivity works well and allows you to set triggers for any of the station’s sensors. There’s even a trigger for each time the station takes an observation, allowing you to copy your observations to a Google spreadsheet, for example.

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So if you see one that says NOAA in the app store, it’s not anything official from the U.S. government. Although not a great option for daily planning, the Flowx really shines as a weeklong forecast so you can plan the perfect time for that weekend hike. Its simple slide navigation also makes storm-tracking a mesmerizing experience. Carrot Weather gets its data from Dark Sky and Weather Underground, so your location information is also shared with them when you request weather, according to its privacy policy. Your location information can also be used to support third-party ads. You can obtain a copy of your information by emailing the company, and can delete information from the app’s settings. You can upgrade the app for a one-time $4 fee to remove ads and get an additional 10 days of forecasts.

That’s the storm approaching us, and then dissipating as it moves away. Graphs of cumulative strikes are also available, but you’ll need to tap on the “last 3 hours” count on the station data screen in the app to view. The way the Tempest app graphically displays lightning data is different from other methods.

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