Weather 4D is an iOS iPad & Android app best known for its fantastic animated weather displays with the ability to download global weather and present animated, multi day forecasts of pressure, wind, temperature, precipitation, cloud cover etc. The full package costs just under £50 but this app is mightly impressive and a valuable addition to your app toolbox if you’re a keen sailor.
You can also purchase background detailed mapping by GeoGarage who offer charts, accurately produced from hydrographic offices around the world – so for instance in the UK, you can opt for UKHO/Admiralty charts, SHOM for France etc. In fact, there’s over 10000 charts available covering most areas of the world. You can then overlay the weather onto the marine chart and layer the data you want to see as well as run an animation of the forecast.
Now here’s the secret sauce – Weather 4D has a full function NMEA interface compatible with Digital Yacht wireless to NMEA products and our wireless AIS systems like the AIT3000 and Nomad. Set up is easy – just connect to the Digital Yacht wi-fi point and enter the IP address in the Weather 4D setup as below. The setup is sophisticated but simple with you able to define which data is used.
Once done, Weather 4D turns into a realtime nav system with GPS and track overlays plus AIS targets, alarms and goto/routing functions. The photo below shows out test boat (in red) moored in Poole and you’ll see the realtime AIS targets with a heading vector overlaid onto the detailed Admiralty chart.
Touch the target and you’ll bring up the boat name and MMSI number. Heading vectors for the targets can be set for 10, 30 or 60 minutes or turned off and you can also enable AIS target trails for 10-60 minutes.
The system also has plenty of AIS options including the ability to overlay internet sourced AIS data. This is dangerous for real-time navigation as there’s often a delay (you’ll see a ship you’ve just passed right in front of you!) or coverage can be poor but it’s fun for use at home looking at other ports or checking on your vessel’s AIS status. You can also optionally set the iPad to upload your local AIS data to the internet if you want to be part of the crowdsourced data gatherers. This can also include local wind data which will offer real-time data to other users – interesting!
With NMEA instrument data also available, you can turn you iPad into a jumbo instrument display as in the screen shot below
So overall Weather 4D is a great app that really comes into its own when connected to any of our wireless NMEA/AIS systems. This app is also available on Android.
Find out more about this app by clicking here.