Anna is originally from Utah. She moved with her family to Indianapolis in 2007. Her 9 year-old son and 5 year-old twin girls keep her very busy and her house a little bit more messy. Anna likes to take photographs (even though she can't use Photoshop), appreciates good music (although she cannot sing a note) and always likes to find new, fun things for her family to do (except skydiving or bungee jumping because that's never going to happen). Contact ohhbetsy at hotmail dot com. Instagram @ohhbetsy Twitter @ohhbetsy

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The Day I Became A Storm Chaser

Before moving to Indiana, I never experienced storms like a hearty Midwest thunderstorm. Those storms shake the house and knock down full grown trees left and right. Before moving to Indiana, I never heard an actual emergency being broadcast over the Emergency Broadcast System, only tests. Now, it’s rarely a test but an actual emergency broadcast that I hear. Before moving to Indiana, I never had a safe spot  – where we head when we get a tornado warning. I could set my clock to that tornado siren drill at 11 am on Friday afternoons. Living here, I need accurate, comprehensive, up to date weather information. Most important to me during extreme weather is live radar so I can see what’s coming.  I downloaded the free Storm app, “The best app for the worst weather”. You can find at the Apple App Store or at the Google Play Store.

I happened to download the Storm app on a typical, hot day in Indiana. I mostly browsed all the forecast features, especially despising the humidity bumping up our heat index. There really needs to be a weather classification for humidity and how it ruins you, “Today is 90 degrees and disgusting” or “Today is 85 degrees and pretty gross”.

Storm daily forecast

 

In your  map settings, customize what you want to see. You can view lightning within 100 miles (if in the Continental U.S.). You can also add overlays of storm fronts, severe weather alerts, and more. Since I live in tornado country,  I naturally wanted storm tracks and and lightning (for my daughters who hate thunder and lightning).

Storm App Settings

I wondered how well this app would work during actual severe weather. After living in Indiana for nine years, we have a routine for severe weather which includes being glued to the television during their special weather broadcasts. When the extreme weather hits, we don’t warn the kids until it gets to the point when we are told to take cover. My husband and I feel like the kids get too stressed so we don’t alarm them until we absolutely have to. I usually check local weather websites but the Storm app is exactly what I need during extreme weather. How do I know? I kid you not, three days after I downloaded the app, we had a tornado warning. Now, we have tornado watches often which is a step below a tornado warning. And it came out of nowhere. Here’s a screenshot of what I saw.

Storm app Tornado Warning

That little green dot, that’s where we were. That red trapezoid was the area where there was serious action. What helped me is the ability to zoom in and see that we would likely be safe but that the activity was close enough to send the kids into the room under the stairs, our safe spot. Thankfully were not in the direct path of a tornado, but there were three potential tornadoes reported just miles from our home. As I drove my kids home from school today, we saw incredible damage – trees downed all over. The Storm app is exactly what I need to stay up to date with the most detailed weather information when I need it the most. My timing couldn’t have been better for downloading the Storm app. It is amazing having all that incredible information right there for me, especially in perspective to our current location.

Safe Spot during the Storm

If you don’t live in the Midwest, the Storm app also has great features for extreme winter weather and hurricanes. I had already been happy with all the forecast features but after having it during an actual tornado warning, it’s really essential for me. These storms can be scary but as long as we have that up to date information, we know how to stay calm and do everything we can to stay safe. Obviously, we can’t control where the tornado will hit but we can stay as informed as possible and that’s really important.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Weather Underground. The opinions and text are all mine.

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