There are hundreds of weather apps in the App Store. It's a very popular category. Sure, Apple's built-in weather app is a great option with its nice graphics, animations, and useful hourly forecasting. However, each person has a different idea of what makes a great weather app. Some want simplicity, while others want all the data.
We've got a list of the best weather apps across a variety of styles. There's something for everyone here.
- Hurricane by American Red Cross
- The Weather Channel
- Dark Sky
- Weather Underground
- CARROT Weather
- Weather Live
Radarscope is for serious weather enthusiasts. It provides native data rendering of reflective, velocity, dual-polarization, echo tops, accumulation, and more from any NEXRAD or TDWR radar in the U.S., Guam, and Puerto Rico. Radar layers include severe weather warnings, lightning alerts, and a variety of storm trackers. The monthly Pro level includes additional data sets, like real-time lightning alerts, extended loops, and more. Members of the Spotter Network and AllisonHouse can log in with their membership for additional exclusive information.
If you know about NEXRAD radar or understand what a Correlation Coefficient is, you will consider RadarScope to be money well spent.
Hurricane by American Red Cross
The Red Cross has a series of disaster preparedness apps that cover forces of nature as earthquakes, tornadoes, and wildfires. The Hurricane app is great for those living in places prone to hurricanes, or for people with loved ones living in the range of those areas. It doesn't tell you what the current temperature is, but it will alert you when a hurricane or high-wind storm is headed your way. It also has a very useful toolkit that can activate a flashlight or strobe light on your device, sound a loud alarm to signal your location, and send an automatic text message to loved ones that you are safe. It has direct connectivity to the NOAA weather radio reports and extensive information on what to do to prepare for a hurricane, as well as what to do when one hits and how to deal with the aftermath.
If you or a loved one live in a hurricane-prone area, Hurricane by American Red Cross will keep you informed on dangerous weather conditions.
The Weather Channel
The Weather Channel, while still providing a simplified interface, brings a few additional details to the weather-watching party. You'll get the daily, hourly, and 15-day forecast, as well as wind speed, humidity, and UV index. Plus, find out the weather-related road conditions and watch forecast videos for your area. The Weather Channel specializes in gathering bite-sized weather-related news stories so you can find out about local and national storms, scientific discoveries, and nature videos.
If you think of the weather as part of your daily news digestion, The Weather Channel will feed you what you want.
Dark Sky made a name for itself in the weather app category for its precise accuracy at predicting weather changes up-to-the-minute. The app was built using forecast.io and provides a detailed 24-hour outlook, as well as a 7-day forecast. The precipitation and temperature global map let you drag your finger through time to see when storms will arrive or how much time you have until the day turns hot. If there is any chance of rain, snow, or a storm headed your way, Dark Sky will let you know how soon it will arrive. It's so specific that you can figure out if you should take that 10-minute walk, especially if the app says rain won't fall for 20 minutes. You can even report the conditions in the sky from within the app for a more accurate assessment.
If you like knowing exactly how to dress when you walk out of the door at any time of the day, Dark Sky will let you know how soon you'll need that umbrella.
For people that suffer from allergies, WeatherBug is a great source of news on the subject. In addition to providing daily, hourly, and 10-day forecasts, it details the pollen index for the day, including which allergy triggers are predominant. It also has a fantastic connected-home feature that lets you connect your Nest, Honeywell, or SmartThings hub for a detailed analysis of your energy consumption. Even if you don't have a connected thermostat, you can figure your daily costs based on weather conditions, average electricity and gas costs, and what your HVAC is set to.
If you are concerned with your household's energy consumption, especially if you have a connected-home smart hub, get WeatherBug.
The Weather Underground has a very personalized interface in a number of ways. For example, the data is generated and uploaded by nearly 200,000 personal weather stations run by weather enthusiasts. You can also report on your local sky conditions as well as hazards like power outages or flash floods from inside the app. The detail cards are customizable — you live in an area that rarely sees hurricanes or tropical storms, you can remove that card from your list, for example. Some additional cool features include a real-time report from the station closest to your location and user-submitted photos of weather conditions in your area and around the globe.
If you are a bit of a weather geek and like to stay informed on all manner of data, check out the Weather Underground.
CARROT brings you the weather, but with a spiteful twist. Cast as a human-hating artificial intelligence, with such comments as "I hope you get a sunburn," and "Your heating bill is going to bankrupt you," you'll always get a laugh out of your CARROT weather report. Plus, the more you use CARROT Weather, the more you will unlock secret locations, like Mount Doom and a certain Outer Rim Moisture Farm. Did I mention that Carrot can now appear right in your living room thanks to AR? Don't tap its ocular sensor or you might regret it.
If you have a sense of humor about all this weather talk, CARROT will make you smile (and laugh a lot).
Weather Live is a beautifully designed app with real-time weather condition background images. It offers relatively detailed data for daily, hourly, and 7-day forecasts, but what makes this app stand out is the highly customizable display. You can choose from four different layouts, each providing simple or complex details. You can also set which data is displayed in which order for each layout. So, if you live somewhere with a lot of rainfall, you may want the precipitation parameter on top. If you like to watch the sunset, put that time higher up in your layout. Plus, every morning, you'll get a daily report notification with the current condition and its relativity to yesterday's weather.
If you have an eye for design, but also want the ability to customize how you view your weather data, you'll be pleased with Weather Live.
What is your go-to weather app? Why is it special to you? Talk to us in the comments below.
Updated January 2019: Added additional information.
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