Weather Bug App Allows Users to Track Lightning with 'Spark' Fea - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Weather Bug App Allows Users to Track Lightning with 'Spark' Feature

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Lightning kills people every year. A new smart phone app feature may help save lives this thunderstorm season, as it allows users to track the most recent lightning strikes and how far away they hit.

The Weather Bug "Spark" feature can track strikes even thousands of miles away.

"Perhaps you're expecting to see a thunderstorm roll through your area. You see this and you see how far away it is. You can kind of gauge how far away you are," said Tony J. Amormino, meteorologist.

The app also color codes how safe you are. A green number indicates that you are safe, but as the key approaches red your risk increases.

"We can see we are 1,100 miles away from our closest lightning strike and we can see that it's off to the south southeast of our area. Notice, since we're so far away it's under the safe zone which is green," Amormino said.

Coaches and referees are often faced with deciding whether or not a team will play.

"As soon as one of the crews sees lightning we immediately call a halt to the game, send the players off of the field," said Ron Romeo, a football referee.

"I pretty much lean on the local forecasters to let me know what's going on," said Robert Shields, baseball coach at Bridgeport High School.

Coach Shields said his boys are constantly using their phones to check on Mother Nature.

"That's the only time that I allow them to get their phones out. Because they are right on it with the radar and they have all of those apps," Shields said.

The feature is currently only available for iPhone users but an Android app is on the way.

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