FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions about the app BlitzAlarm

 

What is indicated by the different cell colors?

The cell colors show the strength/severity of the thunderstorm. The severity is defined by flashes per time per area, also known as "flash density". The colors are interpretated as shown in the picture on the left.

 

How does the energy-saver mode affect the functions of BlitzAlarm?

The energy-saver mode deactivates the location service of the app while continuing to run in the background. This increases your battery life, but your position won’t be updated if you are on the move.

 

Why isn’t every thunderstorm’s movement displayed as a nowcast/forecast?

Only after a certain amount of lightning strokes is measured in a given area the movement of a thunder cell can be forecasted. For weak lightning, therefore, no nowcasting is shown. The nowcasting is displayed in the app as outlines next to the solid red (current) thunder cell.

 

Why don't I receive any push-notifications?

Make sure that you have enabled the receipt of push-notifications via your device’s settings. In the app’s settings, you also have to enable “Allow saving my position online”. Furthermore, a functioning data connection is required.

 

How does the location service work?

  • Your location is basically detected while the app is running in the foreground. If you tap “user location”, GPS is used for precise detection, if available.
  • If the energy-saver mode is enabled and the app is running in the background, the location will not be detected.

  • Due to certain basic characteristics of mobile operating systems – both iOS and Android –, a reliable location service cannot be guaranteed while your app is running in the background. The OS may remove the app from the background. Only continuous use of the app by the user guarantees reliable detection of your position.
     

How are the warnings sent to my device?

  • If your position is currently known:

    • “Thunderstorm to be expected in xx min.” if the nowcasting refers to your location
    • “Distant thunderstorm” if the lightning strokes appear at a distance of 10 to 25km
    • “Thunderstorm within reach” if the lightning strokes appear closer than 10km

  • If your last known position is older than two hours:

    • “Thunderstorm activity in your region” if the lightning strokes appear within a 50-km radius of your last known location

Note: The above-mentioned parameters are optimized constantly and may be modified.

What should I do if my position isn’t displayed correctly?

After changing your location, open the tab “my location” in order to check whether your position has been detected correctly. While the tab “my location” is in the foreground, GPS is used to determine your position – this may take up to a few minutes. Afterwards, you can run the application in the background. If you change your position again, open the app to verify your position.Hint: Do not use the energy-saver mode if you are changing your location frequently.

 

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