Okay, I am sort of a weather junkie. I didn't used to be, but when I moved to Florida (with hurricanes), and the weather was directly related to my research activities, I became a little but of a junkie. Not as bad as some, but definitely more than most.
That's why I was a little disappointed with the iPhone default weather application. Sure, it gave you temperatures...but what if I wanted more! I tried the Weatherbug program, and that was okay...but I still found myself going to the Weather Underground site often. Then I found The Weather Channel program.
Read on for the review, after the jump!
The Weather Channel program has just about most types of weather information you could want. So let's go through what it offers.
First, you can customize your locations. I don't know if there is a limit to how many locations you can include, but I added five with no problem.
When you access the weather data, the screens are divided into "weather", "explore map", "video", "severe", and "more". They are navigated by hitting tabs at the bottom of the screen. The weather tab is the first you see, and you can get current conditions, hourly, 36 hour, and 10 day reports. The current conditions data includes temperature, cloud cover, "feels like" temperature, wind, humidity, UV index, and visibility. The only thing lacking are the sunrise and sunset times.
The hourly screen reports the anticipated changes on an hour by hour basis. Rather than just settle for a 60% chance of rain, you can determine when it is supposed to rain, and plan your activities accordingly. The 36 hour forecast if just that - what it will be like for the next day and a half. And the 10 day forecast is a long term look at the weather (temperature and precipitation).
The Explore map tab allows you to look at a radar map of the area. However, you are not limited to just radar - you can also look at cloud cover, radar AND clouds, temperature, "feel like" temperature, 24 hour rainfall/snowfall, and UV index. You can include cities, schools, parks, golf courses, or lakes on the map.
The video tab gives you a short (about 2 to 3 minutes) local video forecast - basically what is played on The Weather Channel station on TV. The severe tab gives you any severe weather forecasts, and the "more" tab is a help screen, an about screen, and links you to more videos (worldwide weather).
All in all, a pretty full featured weather program.
I am not sure how it would do with out of the ordinary weather items - hurricane tracking, for example. Presumably a hurricane warning would show up, but I don't know if you would have detailed access to the prediction cones, anticipated landfall, strength data, etc. I am don't know if it shows you the cycle of the moon (I looked last night, but I was tired and now I can't remember). But for a casual weather junkie, or people who just are really looking for detailed information for event planning, this application covers most of the bases. It would also be nice to be able to customize a screen to show the information you want specifically.
Of course, you are still relying on the report of the weather man, but that is another issue entirely.
- Very complete data set,
- easy interface
- Information can almost be TOO much
All in all, if you want a complete weather program, this is one of the best I have seen. And to top it off, it is free.
[The Weather Channel is available from the iTunes App Store, though some may need to search for the "international" version. iSigh.]