Weather can be very unpredictable but it doesn’t hurt to try to get ahead of it. There’s nothing worse than looking out the window in the morning and dressing for sunshine then getting drenched on your way to lunch. The opposite isn’t appealing either. You can save yourself some discomfort by looking ahead at your day and plan accordingly by using an app. With technology people don’t need to leave their house to know how warm it is outside, and we should embrace that. These five apps are free and available for Apple and Android so you will always know when to wear a jacket.
1. Weather Underground
One of my favorite ways to get weather is the Weather Underground website, and the app is even easier to use. Upon opening, either use GPS to find your location or search by city name or zip code. You will then get a breakdown. You can see the forecast for the day or hour, temperatures for all over your local area and the time the sun will set. If you don’t trust the temperature listed, you can go to a webcam and look for rain or snow. Look at the weather in graph form or opt to get a written description about the rest of the day. If you’re curious about other places in the country, you can take a look at the hurricane map and see how much snowfall you’re favorite ski town has gotten. You can then share your findings on text, email, Twitter or Facebook. Download of the app also gets you access to Dr. Masters Blog where you can read posts about weather phenomenon.
- Asks for verification on forecast so it be as accurate as possible
- Shows moon phases
- Lists pollen level and flu activity so you know when to stay indoors
- Ads can be distracting
- Radar view can be slow without Wifi connection
- Can be hard to sift through all the information
2. The Weather Channel
The Weather Channel is a classic weather go to so of course they wanted to get in on the app game, and they delivered a decent copy. With many of the features of the Weather Underground app, it has a smoother look. The main menu is the current temperature over a photo of your city. To get more information, simply scroll down to find humidity information, hourly breakdown and a ten day forecast. Keep going and the app represents ski slope information, pollen reports and flu information. This isn’t the app for someone who wants a complete information quickly but for someone who appreciates a nice aesthetic and a brand name The Weather Channel app is for you. You can set up Weather Alerts to receive severe alerts, breaking news, pollen news and the rain/snow forecast. This will make sure you’re the most prepared you can be. If you live in Denver but have family in Chicago, you can add cities to your page and switch back and forth. Use the Social Weather Report to see what people in your area are writing about the weather. You can make comments about precipitation or temperature and find a more accurate reading from people who are standing outside experiencing it.
- Lists airport conditions near you
- Allows you to toggle between multiple cities
- Social Weather Report brings real-time updates
- Ads are integrated into menu so they seem like part of the app
- Integrated videos come with misleading titles and aren’t worth your time
- Not a good option for someone who wants a full breakdown immediately
3. Yahoo Weather
Apple devices come with a preloaded version of Yahoo Weather, but the downloadable app has many more features. The first thing you notice when you open the app for the first time is it asks to enable daily notifications. Every morning you will be greeted by the daily weather report, so you don’t have to open an app. The main page is a photo from Flickr of the area and an abbreviated forecast. Scroll down to find how things will look like for the rest of the day and week. Skip over an integrated ad and there’s a written description of what the day will hold. You won’t find pollen levels or snowfall at your favorite ski slope, but the app is clean and simple to understand. It only focuses on the important things like whether or not you’ll need a coat or umbrella. Unlike other apps where you have to go into a different menu to see other places, you can swipe easily between cities.
- Menu accompanied by user photos of the area
- Images are easy to understand
- Easy to swipe between different areas
- Integrated ad is confusing
- Doesn’t have ski slope, pollen or tide information
- Can’t scroll through forecast in horizontal display
For someone who lives in Portland, Oregon, AccuWeather is a great option for me. Beneath the abbreviated forecast it tells you exactly when the rain will start. Is it accurate? Not all the time but it’s comforting to know when you should bring your rain jacket. Outside of that it’s a pretty straight forward app. Tap the top of the main menu to see temperatures in your favorite cities and you can add all your favorites. Scroll down and see humidity, UV rays, cloud cover and dew point. All you would need to plan for the day. It also has a Looking Ahead section where you can see what the week holds. Further down is a graph detailing the forecast for the day. One of the most interesting features is a map that shows a radar. If you don’t trust the above sentence laying out when the rain will start, you can refer to the radar to see exactly where the storm is coming from. There is a Platinum Version for $3.99 to remove ads and get a 25-day forecast. The free version has everything you could want, but if the ads get too annoying, you can switch to the paid version in the app.
- Overview of many cities right at the top of the app
- Background mimics what the sky currently looks like
- Map with radar is a nice way to look at weather
- Can take awhile to update
- A little confusing to get out of certain menus
- Banner ads at the bottom seem like part of the app
MyRadar is fairly self explanatory, it really is just that, a radar. You can see an hourly forecast or get more details of precipitation and wind pressure, but main menu is just a radar. Either put in your location or use GPS and MyRadar will show you what the radar looks like in that area. Zoom in or out to see if a storm is headed your way. You can choose the way you look at the radar gray, roads or ariel. If those don’t work for you, head to the layers tab and toggle the things you want to be included on the radar be it temperature, earthquake warnings or cloud cover. If you’re interested in what the temperature is around the country you can set it to the Temp Map and just see different colors for You can upload photos of what the sky looks like or share a picture of the radar on text, email, Facebook or Twitter.
- Accurate and easy to read
- Ability to share stills of radar
- Earthquake warnings
- It is real time so when you zoom in it can take awhile to load
- Banner ads at the bottom in free versions
- Can be glitchy if you don’t have any internet