By Señior Tech from the November 2015 Edition
October 23rd, 2015 put Manzanillo on the map. Patricia threatened to wipe it off. Many of our friends, relatives, and acquaintances who never knew where Manzanillo was located could no longer claim ignorance; as newscast on all channels showed the Mexican coast which was to be barraged and levelled by high winds and killer waves. Fortunately, the forecasters were wrong.
I received numerous emails and text messages asking if we had heard about the hurricane.
So Señiora Techie and I picked up our respective iPads and opened up an app that tracks hurricanes. Coincidentally is is named iHurricane. The following screenshots show data and projections of the storm in real time (or within 30 minutes).
The graph on the right shows travel speed, wind speed and barometric pressure of the hurricane just prior to landfall. The map on the right shows “Patricia” from origin to time of my writing of this article. The data used by this app is supplied by the U.S. government National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The app is also available for Windows Phone and Android OS. The authors do provide a disclaimer that states that the app should not be used to make decisions on personal safety. The app does allow users to periodically check for storms in their area. Storms in Manzanillo normally do not get the attention that Patricia garnered, so it is an app everyone should consider. An option within the app can send email alerts for storms in the user’s area.
There are also numerous apps that show users where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are occurring worldwide. I use an app titled Volcanoes that alerts me when the Colima volcano is erupting by a notification on my iPad. The app gets data from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Washington. The notification occurs within minutes of the eruption and I can view data showing when ash is spewed into the atmosphere.
Thankfully the hurricane named Patricia was not catastrophic as predicted. In my opinion, the hurricane tracking app provided us more information than that available from traditional weather and news channels. We felt less anxious about the storm because we were able to see exactly where the storm made landfall.
My article in May dealt with storage of our vehicle by the Nissan dealership in Manzanillo. Next month, I will followup on that service.