There’s no shortage of weather resources available to pilots in today’s popular EFB apps and they all do a great job at presenting text weather reports, interactive radar imagery and complete weather briefings for pilots.
Sometimes though you just need a quick glance at the latest radar imagery, or view the updated METAR to see how things are trending. Yes you could visit your favorite all-in-one aviation app, but this usually takes several taps and screens to get to the data you’re looking for. For this reason we still think supplemental weather apps that specialize in one or two weather products have their place.
Our favorite app for checking radar imagery and precipitation movement is MyRadar, which presents a fast-loading, looping nationwide radar feed. There are lots of app options for doing the same thing with METARs/TAFs, and a good one to check out is StationWeather. This app is dedicated to a clean, graphical view of METARs, TAFs and NOTAMs and is perfect for a quick look at the latest text weather from your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch. Here’s a look at what the app has to offer:
METARs–When you first open the app you’ll see a customizable list of airports on the left side of the screen and a graphical depiction of the weather features on the right.
You can view the raw METAR and NOTAMs by tapping the Station Info button at the top right of the screen.
TAFs–Swipe from right to left on the METAR to view a visual display of the TAF. You can then slide your finger across the top timeline to view the forecast weather changes over each hour.
Weather charts–The app features a selection of wind/temperature and significant weather forecast charts for the just about every region in the world.
Map–View a worldwide map showing color-coded flight categories for each airport that has weather reporting.
Dictionary–Use this tool to quickly decode abbreviations used in weather reports and forecasts.
Apple Watch support–This offers quick access to raw METARs and a graphical view of winds and clouds on the Apple Watch.
There are several versions of the StationWeather app available in the app store, which can lead to some confusion. First this is not a universal app, so you’ll have to download separate versions for your iPad and iPhone. Then there is then a free version and paid version ($3.99) for each device type. The free version allows you to only store 3 airports in the favorites view, but includes most of the other features of the premium version. To get Apple Watch support you’ll need to download the full iPhone version.