Finally, now you can collect all your hurricane news in one place

finally now you can collect all the hurricane news in one placeIf you’re the kind of person who finds shows like Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers a little too much, and finds themselves thinking about all of the potential hurricanes that could touch down near them (Hi, Erika), then you’ll be happy to know that there is, as the ad says, an app for that. Specificially, an app from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that’ll let you know where all the earlier hurricanes have been.

“We feel that it’s important for people to understand where hurricanes have hit in the past, to give an idea of where they might touch down in the future,” NOAA communications director Donna McCaskill told Talking Points Memo when explaining the organization’s new Historical Hurricane Tracks app. The app, which allows users access to data about tropical cyclones all over the world, is actually an updated version of technology that’s been around – and in use – for almost a decade, now updated and made available to the general public.

According to geographic information system developer and contractor at NOAA’s Coastal Services Center Jen Boulware, who’s been working on the app for the last nine years, “one of the bigger changes we made in this version was moving from just Atlantic storms to international data.” The new generation of the web app means that you can input a city name (or even specific zip code within the US) and see a map of the area, complete with the passage of any and all hurricanes that have traveled through that area in the last 150 years. Hurricane paths are delineated in colored lines that show their intensity, from Category One (yellow) through Category Five (purple), with each path offering details on the date of when it hit ground and, if clicked upon, information from the NOAA archive about the hurricane’s speeds and pressure throughout its journey on land.

Other features on the app include “access to storm reports written by hurricane specialists at the National Hurricane Center,” with reports being made available for both the Atlantic and East-Central Pacific Basins, as well as the chance to build custom URLs to enable users tracking specific information (So that “users can follow… specific storm tracks,” apparently; I find this kind of wonderful, the idea that people could build fansites for one particular storm track being something that seems so weirdly specific that it really appeals to me).

There is, however, one problem with this app: Namely, that it’s not really an “app” as much as a website; it’s based online, and runs on Flash, which means that Apple products such as iPhones or iPads can’t access it at all. Clearly, what the world needs – or, at least, we do – is a true app version that can be used anywhere in the world on any device, to let us know if and when hurricanes are en route and we need to make a last-minute run for it.

Product Review

Airselfie 2 may as well be a GoPro stapled to a drunk hummingbird

On paper, the Airselfie 2 is marketed as flying photographer that fits in your pocket and snaps selfies from the sky. Unfortunately it’s more like a HandiCam controlled by a swarm of intoxicated bumblebees
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.

Google honors Veterans Day by highlighting military service stories

For Veterans Day, Google is honoring the heroes that served the country with a new Google Doodle that highlights the stories of five veterans from the five different branches of the military.
Emerging Tech

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sale smashes online shopping records

The annual online shopping frenzy that is Singles' Day this year raked in $30.8 billion, up from $25 billion last time around. The Alibaba-organized event generates more in sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

Apple to boost its Amazon presence with listings for iPhones, iPads, and more

Apple is about to start offering more of its kit on Amazon. The tech giant currently only has very limited listings on the shopping site, but the deal will see the arrival of the latest iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and more.

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.

Will Chrome remain our favorite web browser with the arrival of newest version?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.

Zoom in on famous works through the Art Institute of Chicago’s new website

Art lovers, listen up. The Art Institute of Chicago has given its website a serious makeover with new features that let you get up close and personal with more than 50,000 artworks by famous (and not so famous) artists.

Over a million veterans now eligible for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program

Comcast's low-cost Internet Essentials program, which provides internet access for just $10 per month, has expanded to include U.S. veterans. One million veterans now qualify for the service.

Google’s Squoosh will get an image web-ready with in-browser compression

Google's latest web app development is an image editing and compression tool, Squoosh. In just a few clicks, it can take a huge image and make it much lighter and web-friendly, all in your browser.

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Social Media

‘Superwoman’ YouTuber Lilly Singh taking a break for her mental health

Claiming to be "mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted," popular YouTuber Lilly Singh has told her millions of fans she's taking a break from making videos in order to recuperate.