mPING Weather-Reporting App: Now Anyone Can Be Al RokerS

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) can't be everywhere at once, so it's crowd-sourcing the weather report with a new app called mPING.

Raining? Sleeting? Snowing? Open up the app on your iPhone or Android device and log what kind of precipitation you're seeing in your area. You can include details about the size, volume, and speed of the hail or rain or whatever it is. Then that data will be added to a program run by the NOAA's National Severe Weather Storms Lab (NSSL) and University of Oklahoma researchers called PING, or Precipitation Identification Near the Ground, and used to create a database of weather reports around the country. Sounds boring, but it's an effort to make weather reporting more accurate. And you'll be happy about that next time you're scrambling to move your car out of the path of some unexpected grapefruit-sized hail. [iTunes, Google Play via NOAA]