We’re dealing with a major heatwave in Northern California, and I realize I have to pay closer attention to the weather. If I need to know the temperature outside and the UV index, I still turn to Dark Sky. But if I need more context on my environment, like whether I should don a mask while I’m out running errands to avoid breathing in particulates from forest fires, I turn to Astrospheric.
Times are changing, and so is the climate. Rapidly. Astrospheric helps me tune in to what’s going on and how many precautions I should take. It pulls in meteorological data from the Canadian Meteorological Center. The app updates with the forecast every six hours.
There are different viewing modes for the maps, including a layer that lets you see how much smoke is wafting in the air from nearby fires, and the direction it’s headed. There’s a layer that enables you to check on Aerosol Optical Depth, or AOD, which measures how much dust, sea salt, and pollution is in the air—vital information for those with respiratory issues. There’s also a layer that shows the ground temperature, which I find useful to know whether I’ll be able to hike my favorite treeless trail.
What I like
Astrospheric offers both an 8-day and a 48-hour view of the climate. There’s a neat slider you can manually drag to visualize the changes or press the play button for a dynamic map. There is a moon tracker, too, that I use solely for knowing whether it’s time for powering up my crystals.
What I don’t like
The interface is a bit all over the place and I can never quite remember how to get to each mode. I’m also bummed I can’t suggest this app to my friends outside of North America. Not even my Hawaiian pals can use it, where it would be particularly useful for tracking particles like volcanic ash.
If you’re digging the idea of this app, how about voting for me in the arena poll?