iPhone weather apps are bad at predicting snowfall — this app finally solves the problem

Main Street snowy night
(Image credit: Josh Hild / Unsplash)

I’ve tested out dozens of weather apps over the years, and there’s one consistent frustration I’ve had with all of them, including Apple’s stock weather app: snow. I live in an area that consistently experiences heavy winter snowfall, and yet most weather apps offer snow prediction primarily in terms of the percentage chance of snow. You can often find more information if you dig more deeply into the app, but not in the iPhone widget or even on the first page of the app. Those of us living with real winters know that’s not good enough. We need to know how much snow to expect, and we shouldn’t have to dig deeply into the app to find out if we’re going to be digging ourselves out of the house that day or just getting flurries. 

How the apps I’ve been using fall short

While I’ve tried many, many weather apps on my iPhone over the years, lately, I’ve been going back and forth between two apps on the best iPhone, the iPhone 15 Pro Max, both of which are quite beautiful to look at and easy to read. Apple’s own weather app is a beauty for sure, except for the fact that the widget is gray on a gray day. I have to look at a gray sky for 8 months of the year, I don’t need to see that on my iPhone or iPad screen as well! But information on snow accumulation is buried pretty deep into the app, necessitating a lot of scrolling to get any useful predictions. My theory is that this app was designed by Californians for whom snow is more of a concept than a reality.

Person removing snow from car

(Image credit: Getty Images / Unsplash)

The other app I often use is Carrot Weather. This is a fantastic app with tons of flexibility, a longtime favorite of mine. You can move the tiles around within the app to put the information YOU want front and center. If you subscribe to the premium or ultra-premium tier, you can choose from tons of different widgets, each of which is editable. You CAN get the precipitation accumulation in the widget, which I didn't realize at first. Not by default, but you can edit the widget to show that information. However, I like to see the total accumulation both for the day and hourly, which is only offered in Carrot's largest widget size. That's more than I want to devote to weather on my home page. This may seem like a minor complaint, but I keep my home screen carefully curated.

I have noted that there are a number of snow prediction apps on the App Store, but they are all aimed at skiers and snowboarders. I’m not at a resort and I’m not interested in ski and snowboard run conditions. Just my local roads!

I think I’ve finally found the one

Foreca weather app screenshots

(Image credit: Karen S. Freeman / Future)

If you’re an iMore Show listener, you know I’ve been talking about this on the show the past couple of weeks. A listener reached out to me on X (formerly known at Twitter) to tell me about an app called Foreca. Finally: an app that has the precipitation accumulation forecast right in a widget! Plus it’s right on the front page of the app when you open it, and you can tap for further details. Foreca is a Finnish app, and Finland is certainly a part of the world where people know snow. The app offers quite a bit of detail about the upcoming snowfall, both in the hourly forecast and the daily forecast.

I spoke with Tuomas Reivinen, the Commercial Director at Foreca. Interestingly, he told me that several other weather services use Foreca’s weather forecast, including Microsoft (in Windows and msn.com) and Carrot Weather. So why don’t other apps make the information as easy to find? 

Is Foreca just about snow?

Foreca weather app screenshots

(Image credit: Karen S. Freeman / Future)

Not even close. Even if where you live there is nary a flake, you’ll still find an abundance of information in the Foreca app. On the medium-sized widget alone, you get the temperature, conditions, and amount of precipitation, for the next six hours. Plus you get the current wind speed and direction, high/low for the day, and total precipitation accumulation. And the information in the widget is editable. 

Foreca - Weather & Radar

Foreca weather and radar app icon

(Image credit: Foreca)

iPhone/iPad - Free

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Open the app and the first page shows you all of that plus sunrise/sunset, humidity, daylight sunshine hours, when the next precipitation is due to start, and the forecast for the next several days. You can tap for observations, weather warnings, and more details on the daily forecasts (broken down by hours.) And that’s just the default. You can change what’s on the home page. For example if you don’t want wind, sunrise/sunset, or humidity, you can change those to air quality index, pressure, dew point, moon phase, UV index, and more.

Along the bottom, there are options for more detailed information: radar (clearly marked what’s been observed and what’s forecasted,) daily forecast, hourly forecast, and meteogram (which plots temperature, precipitation, and wind on a graph.)

Bonus: promo code for you

Foreca is free to download, and all of the features are totally free. There are no features hidden behind a pay wall. It is ad-supported, so the optional in-app purchase subscription is only for ad removal. The developer of Foreca has offered a promo code for a three-month subscription trial just for iMore readers. Note that if you use the offer, it will automatically renew after the three months, unless you cancel it at that time. Click here to use the code.

Karen S Freeman

Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at TechRadar and Tom's Guide. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, CNET, AppAdvice, and WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.

  • Just_Me_D
    This is untrue. When I lived in North Carolina, the “iPhone weather apps” I had installed did an excellent job of letting me know when it was about to snow, as well as when it was actually snowing.
  • Annie_M
    I'm going to check this out.
  • Bla1ze
    I dunno.. in my area, all weather apps and forecasts just seem like a guessing game. They never seem to be right. Atlantic Canada is like that old joke "don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes, and it'll change".
  • EdwinG
    Bla1ze said:
    I dunno.. in my area, all weather apps and forecasts just seem like a guessing game. They never seem to be right. Atlantic Canada is like that old joke "don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes, and it'll change".
    Except in St. John’s! There it’s more like, “Don’t like the snow? Here’s 1 more metre!”

    I find the weather predictions by Apple to be most precise 1 to 3 days out. Anything shorter or longer is usually wrong. ECCC has been better predicting the 12h timeframe.