STORMSURF - Mobile - Help

Welcome to the new Stormsurf Mobile application (or app). It provides access to our most popular and commonly used products, optimized for use on the road, on the beach or anywhere you don't have a desktop or laptop.  With a smart phone and signal, you will have access to our data. And we're not talking just a few teaser products - We're talking full feature wave models, weather models, real-time buoy data, manually built forecasts and hundreds of spot wave and wind forecasts enabling you to construct a surf forecast for any location on the planet, all from your cell phone and all for free.  No subscription required and no hidden fees. And better yet, there's a few new things sprinkled in that are not yet available even on our full-featured web site (check out the new his-res buoys). 

Hardware
To get started you need a smart phone connected to a 3G or 4G network or other mobile device (like a tablet) with at least WiFi access. We've tested everything on an iPhone (3GS), and have done limited testing on the iPad, iTouch and a variety of Android phones (OS 2.1+).  Earlier versions of Blackberry devices should work, but with varying degrees of success. Some content should even be  viewable on a flip phone with a data plan (basic buoy data). The staggering array of mobile devices available on the market today precludes us from testing every one of them.  So if you're planning on purchasing a phone exclusively for using this app, we highly recommend you test the app thoroughly at the carrier's store first (i.e. Verizon, ATT, Sprint, etc) to verify it's compatibility.  We provide no guarantee of compatibility, but we do try to make it as usable as possible on as wide a variety of devices as feasible (mainly through keeping the app very simple).  

Getting Started
The instructions that follow are geared towards iPhone owners - similar functionality exists on most Android phones. Just play with it a bit and you should get the same results.

Open the web browser on your smart phone.   Navigate to: Stormsurf.com/mobile
Select the icon in the bottom of your browser that enables you to save the link.  Select: 'Add to Home Screen'.  The Stormsurf icon will be added to your home screen.  You can now access the Stormsurf mobile application whenever you like from your home screen, just like running an app you purchased from iTunes or the Android Market.

The first page of the Stormsurf app displays 5 options: Buoys, Wave Models, Weather Models, Local Surf & Wind Forecasts, and Pacific Forecast & QuikCASTs.  You can navigate to and through any of them with just a touch of your finger. The text that follow provides operating instructions and  information about the content included in each section.

Buoys
First navigate through the region menu by selecting a region.  Also take special note of the very last region in the list: 'Hi-Res Buoys (CA & HI)'. For users that live or are visiting that region, we will discuss this in more details shortly.  But for now, let's select 'Southern CA'.  A new page with an embedded table appears. Across the top of the table are columns labeled: 'Buoy #', 'Location' and 'Spec'.  Scrolling down the page you will find the full selection of NOAA and CDIP buoys contained in the Stormsurf website.

Select the first buoy number: (46006).  The most current data for buoy 46006 appears including Sea Height, Swell Height, Swell Period, etc.  Note that the Swell Height is calculated by Stormsurf and is the size of the primary swell.  The Swell Period is the Stormsurf calculated period of the Primary Swell.  Surf Height is the calculated integration of Primary Swell Height and Period to derive an estimate of the actual surf height at a theoretical beach exposed to all the energy present at the buoy, assuming a neutral/normal bathemetry.  Actual surf height can be up to 2 times that value depending on bathymetric characteristics, or could be less. If you just want basic buoy data, use Sea Height and Swell Period (e.g.. 10 ft @ 16 secs).  

Also notice the link at the bottom of the data labeled 'prev'.  If you touch it you can view the previous hours data for that buoy. If selected,. you can go back up to 6 hours,  or use the 'next' link to navigate back to the most recent reading. To return to the menu, use your back button/arrow again.

Once back on the 'Southern CA' regional buoy menu, select: 'Spec'. The most recent Stormsurf calculated spectral density data graph is displayed. Unlike NOAA and CDIP, we are not displaying the 'energy' from each frequency, but rather the actual swell size (in feet) present in each frequency.  In this way one can assess if multiple swell trains are hitting the buoy a the same time, what the peak frequencies are for those swells (i.e. 16 secs, or 11 secs or whatever) and one can almost estimate the size of those various swells based on the integration of component frequencies.         

Hi-Res Buoys - For users in Washington, Oregon, California and Hawaii a limited selection of CDIP buoys are provided. What sets the data from these buoys apart from the same buoys elsewhere on our site and in the mobile app is that 1) They update every 1/2 hour and, 2) The algorithm for calculating primary and secondary swell heights has been totally rebuilt, to be far more sensitive.

Select the Hi-Res Buoy Option from the main menu. A new menu appears with the following column labels:  Buoy text, Location, Surf, Spec, 00hr, Table, Anim(ation).  The first buoy in the list is 'Greys Harbor'.

Select a Buoy Text link (i.e. click on '036').  A table of data appears.  The table lists the date/time of the reading, the Calculated Surf Height derived from the primary swell, the Primary Swell pure Swell Height, Period and Direction, followed by the Calculated Surf Height derived from the secondary swell, and it's component Secondary pure Swell Height, Period and Direction. The last set of numbers is the classic Significant Wave Height and Period and associated Directional data. There is a bit over 48 hours worth of readings provided in 1/2 hours increments. With this data one can determined with a high degree of accuracey if new well is building in or falling out.  Touch the back button on your browser to return to the Hi-Res buoy menu.

Select the Surf icon for the buoy of your choice. The graph that displays is a representation of the calculated surf size for the last 48+ hours. Surf size is calculated by the integration of the calculated Primary swell size and period.  Primary surf height is in red, and secondary surf size (calculated by the integration of calculated secondary swell size and period) is in blue.  Once can us this graph to quickly determine whether the surf is coming up or down.  This too is updated every 1/2 hour. Touch the back button on your browser to return to the Hi-Res buoy menu.

Select the Spec 00 hr icon. The graph that displays depicts the most recent spectral density data for that buoy. As per the above discussion, all data points are the calculated hight of the swell at each frequency. Once can use this to quickly assess the various swell trains hitting the buoy.  Touch the back button on your browser to return to the Hi-Res buoy menu.

Select the Spec Table icon.  The page that comes up displays the most recent spectral data (just like the link above).  But in addition, it provides the ability to scroll back one 1/2 hour increment at a time to see previous spec density images (up to 8 hours). This is a 'light weight' method to view previous spectral data. It also is the only way to view previous spectral data on older Blackberry devices (due to their limited ability to handle java script). Touch the back button on your browser to return to the Hi-Res buoy menu.

Select the Spec Anim icon.  The page that comes up displays the most recent spectral data (just like the links above), but in addition provides the ability to scroll back one 1/2 hour increment at a time to see previous spec density images (up to 48 hours). This is the 'heavy weight' method to view previous spectral data. to start the animation touch the 'Start' button at the bottom of the screen. It will take a while to load all 96 images even over a 3G network, so be patient.  Once the data is all loaded the animation will start and run through all the images in the sequence. At any time you can then hit the 'Stop' button and either step forward or backwards using the << or >> buttons, or jump top the first or last images using the |<< or >>| buttons. Touch the back button on your browser to return to the Hi-Res buoy menu.


Wave Models
From the main menu select the Wave Model option. A new menu appears which provides a variety of options for viewing the normal Stormsurf hemispheric wave models (e.g. North Pacific, South Atlantic etc). Both Significant Wave Height and Primary Swell Period  data is provided. There are two methods of viewing each.  

For users with 'lite weight' smart phones (older Blackberry devices), select an icon in the 'Height' column.  The 00hr image from the sequence will appear.  Using the text links at the left, one can manually step through all the images in a typical 180 hours sequence.  It's slow and laborious, but it allows you to control how much bandwidth you use and how long you want to wait. And for Blackberry users, it's probably the only way to get to the data.  Touch the back button on your browser to return to the Wave Model menu.

For iPhone and Android users,  select the Anim(mation) Icon.  This is the 'heavy weight' method to wave model data. To start the animation touch the 'Start' button at the bottom of the screen. It will take a while to load all 31 images even over a 3G network, so be patient.  Once the data is all loaded the animation will start and run through all the images in the sequence. At any time you can then hit the 'Stop' button and either step forward or backwards using the << or >> buttons, or jump to the first or last images using the |<< or >>| buttons. Touch the back button on your browser to return to the Wave Model menu.

Use the same approach defined above to view Swell Period models.

Note: If you are an Android user and have Adobe Flash installed on your mobile device (typically Android 2.2 or greater), you can either use this mobile app or view all the flash content directly off the main Stormsurf website (Stormsurf.com). There's no need to use the javascript animations provided in the mobile app.

   
Weather Models
From the main menu select the Weather Model option. A new menu appears which provides a variety of options for viewing Stormsurf Weather models. There are a variety of sub-menus provided, each containing different types of data.  

The top menu contains icons to access the hemispheric 'Surface Pressure and Wind' models including regional models of the US East and West coast, and our new North America model. 

The second menu provides a limited selection of local hi-res wind models for South and North CA and a Tahoe wind models for those assessing ski/snow boarding conditions.

The third menu provides precipitation forecast for major swaths of the US, plus the new hi-res snow models for the Tahoe region. Again, this is targeted for boarders and skiers.

There are two methods of viewing any of the models:  

For users with 'lite weight' smart phones (older Blackberry devices), select an icon in the 'Height' column.  The 00hr image from the sequence will appear.  Using the text links at the left, one can manually step through all the images in a typical 180 hours sequence.  It's slow and laborious, but it allows you to control how much bandwidth you use and how long you want to wait. And for Blackberry users, it's probably the only way to get to the data.  Touch the back button on your browser to return to the Weather Model menu.

For iPhone and Android users,  select the Anim(mation) Icon.  This is the 'heavy weight' method to wave model data. To start the animation touch the 'Start' button at the bottom of the screen. It will take a while to load all 31 images even over a 3G network, so be patient.  Once the data is all loaded the animation will start and run through all the images in the sequence. At any time you can then hit the 'Stop' button and either step forward or backwards using the << or >> buttons, or jump to the first or last images using the |<< or >>| buttons. Touch the back button on your browser to return to the Weather Model menu.

Note: If you are an Android user and have Adobe Flash installed on your mobile device (typically Android 2.2 or greater), you can either use this mobile app or view all the flash content directly off the main Stormsurf website (Stormsurf.com). There's no need to use the javascript animations provided in the mobile app.       


Local Surf and Wind Forecasts
From the main menu select the Local Surf and Wind Forecast option. A new menu appears which allows selection of the appropriate ocean area (Atlantic, Pacific or Indian Ocean). Select the desired Ocean.  A new menu appears with columns depicting a selection of a locations with icons for a Surf Graph, Wind graph, or Text Forecast.

Pick a location of interest and touch the Surf Graph option. A graph will appear.  Forecast Surf Height (in feet) is depicted in Red. Surf Height is calculated by integrating the swell height and period. Use the scale at left. Pure Swell Height (ft) is depicted in yellow triangles (use scale at left). Pure swell period (secs) is depicted in blue circles (use scale at right).  Date/Time runs from left to right along the bottom of the graph.  All times are in Universal Time (UTC/Zulu).  00Z is the first time increment within a day and the time increases in 3 hour increments until the next day is reached. 00Z is 4 PM Pacific Standard Time (the day before) and 7 PM Eastern Standard Time. Touch the back button on your browser to return to the Location menu.   

Pick a location of interest and touch the Wind Graph option. A graph will appear.  Forecast Wind Speed (in kts) is depicted in Red. Wind direction is depicted by the blue arrows at the bottom. The arrow depicts the direction the winds is blowing from. Assume the top of the graph is north, the bottom south, the left west and right east (like a map). So an arrow pointing straight down means the wind will be blowing from the north. And arrow pointing to the upper right will be blowing from the southwest. The longer the arrow, the stronger the wind is forecast (and that should be apparent also by looking at the wind speed in red above). The time scale is the same as discussed above in the Surf Graph.  Touch the back button on your browser to return to the Location menu.   

Pick a location of interest and touch the Text Forecast option. A table with columns of data will appear. The first column is time and date (in UTC - same as discussed above in the Surf Graph). The second column is the forecast Surf Height. Surf Height is calculated by integrating the primary swell height and period. The next columns is forecast primary swell height and period and swell direction. The fourth column is Significant Wave Height and Period. And the last column is forecast winds Speed and Direction. Touch the back button on your browser to return to the Location menu.   Navigate back to the Main Menu.


Pacific Forecast and QuikCASTs
From the main menu select the Pacific Forecast and QuikCAST option. A new menu appears which allows selection of the Detailed Pacific Forecast or the QuikCAST of your choice. (all are the exact same pages that appears on the main Stormsurf website including banner advertisements etc).


Thanks
for taking the time to try out the new Stormsurf mobile app and we hope this makes your encounters with the ocean, waves, snow or whatever weather experiences more rewarding.