Before Hasan goes out in the morning, he always checks the day's newspaper for the forecast. Sometimes he takes his umbrella with him, sometimes he opts for a pair of sunglasses. When Hasan got his first smartphone and found that he could check the weather conditions with just a touch of his finger, he was delighted. But there still wasn't an app dedicated to weather in Bangladesh. He had to depend on Google or Yahoo for his weather updates. But that's not the case anymore.
Even just a few years ago, it used to be joked that if the Bangladesh Met says it's going to rain tomorrow, you can be absolutely certain that it will be a great day to take your family out for a picnic. In recent years, however, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) has managed to improve this dismal reputation and begun to take an active, IT-oriented approached towards weather forecast and information dissemination.
The BMD website (www.bmd.gov.bd ) is now an important functional element of weather forecasting in Bangladesh. It has live forecasting, weather charts, climate outlook projections up to three months, options to send out bulletins and warnings and many more features. Now it's also providing the forecast information for an app.
Weather-Now is a mobile based weather forecast application in Bangladesh, developed by Multimedia Content and Communications Limited (MCC Ltd.). The app they have developed provides temperature and weather forecasts for all the major divisions in the country.
This app is currently available for the Android and Symbian platforms, with an iOS version being developed.
The app is very simple and user friendly. It opens to a page displaying the day's current temperature and weather condition – whether it's sunny or cloudy or drizzling or there's a thunderstorm – with the maximum and minimum temperature in that area in a smaller font.
The forecast of the next four days are given at the bottom of the page, with icons displaying the prevailing weather conditions and the temperature extremes for the day.
The app provides the option to choose which region is showcased on the front page. Currently, the choices are limited to the divisions.
The company is working on expanding and refining this to include cities and districts, to give more specific forecasts. The user can flip through the divisions to check the forecasts all over the country before settling on one division to fix as his front page view.
The app is a simple and handy way of keeping track of weather events. While there's definitely scope to expand its functions – auto-reminders for turbulent weather, greater forecast ranges – it does what it does perfectly well. It's a handy little app for the average user.
The app can be downloaded from Google Play and Ovi Store.