Share |

Motorola Droid Killed the Weather Star

Droid killed the weather star
Chris Myers

In 1981 when MTV debuted, they played "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles as a way to show how things were about to change with the new video music format. I am almost tempted to rewrite the lyrics for what I realized I was doing on Saturday evening/Sunday morning during the severe weather outbreak.

At about 10:30 p.m. when the first tornado warning siren went off, I was already in bed. Being a bit surprised at hearing the siren, I grabbed my cell phone launched one of the apps I use almost on a daily basis, the free version of Weather Bug Plus. Weather Bug Plus not only gives you the forecast, weather alerts, but it shows you where you are located and gives you up-to-date radar images. At 10:30 p.m. there was only a sprinkle in my area and after taking a glance at radar, I realized I may need to close some of our windows, and I got up and did so. I kept glancing at the phone several times throughout the evening, including when sirens went off at 3 a.m. This included looking at the radar several times to see if we were due to be hit by the reddest of the areas showing up on the small screen. I also checked out Twitter to see what was being said and also got some first person reports as well as what news sources were tweeting about what was going on. After checking the radar a few times over a period of about 10 to 15 minutes I was assured that my area of Toledo would be spared the worst of the weather and at each time, at 11 p.m. and at 3 a.m. went back to sleep.

On Sunday morning, I realized what I did not do, which was turn on the TV. The TV at my house has been relegated to very small role given reception issues, no cable, and having more programming options online. I realized that the phone was a better device on getting up-to-date weather information and first person reports than the TV. While I understand that my use of smartphones and desire to look up information on them is not something that everyone in the area will be doing yet, but it does show that the era is here for those who have figured it out.

If I was employed at one of the local news weather departments, I would be concerned. While I may not appreciate the direction of winds and reading thermo maps, it does not take much to see when there are potential problems by a quick look at the phone. Plus, one of the main criticisms of TV weather is the hype and I did not feel like there was any extra hype on Saturday night and that felt refreshing. I also think since I have the information at my finger tips that I don't know if I have a need to return to getting the latest storm information from TV.

So, it is quite possible that the iPhone or the Motorola Droid has officially killed the weather least for me.