Dark Sky ($3.99)
Get your hyperlocal forecasts from Dark Sky, which focuses on bringing users fast weather information that can predict changes as close to an hour out. The app taps into your device’s GPS capabilities to figure out exactly where you are, then brings you temperature and precipitation data that’s relevant to you at the moment. You can also see the paths of storms near you with the app’s radar animations.
The Weather Channel iPhone app doesn’t thrill, just informs
A much more in-depth look at the weather, just about all the data you could need is available in The Weather Channel. You can get forecasts for the day, the hour or the week, and also help get more accurate weather information to others by reporting your weather conditions. You’ll find tons of data, like “feels like” temperature, barometric pressure, wind speed, humidity, sunset and sunrise times, and more.
The app from the Weather Channel isn’t as crisp and clean as the weather app that comes with the iPhone, but it is far more detailed. And really, weather apps don’t need to be sexy, they need to be useful.
The Weather Channel looks and feels like The Weather Channel from television. It is densely packed with information, but you can quickly discern what you want to know: Do I need a jacket before I step out and is it going to rain this weekend?
Along the top row, you can choose current weather or hourly, 36-hour and 10-day forecasts. You also see the chance of precipitation along with key details like humidity and wind speed. The bottom row includes a button for severe weather alerts and a video button for your area’s recorded broadcast, as if you’re watching The Weather Channel.
The app’s main screen is a minimalistic overview of the radar map and current temperature. The navigation menu at the bottom of the screen includes the radar, local forecast, videos, severe weather alerts and the Twitter stream.
The local forecast screen provides a ton of weather information about your area. You can see current information including the temperature, humidity, wind speed and UV index. You can see detailed information for the next 36 hours, and also the 10-day forecast. The bottom of this screen also shows the radar, twitter feeds from professionals tweeting about weather and weather-related videos. The video section not only includes the forecast, but also news stories and special clips about a variety of weather events.
Yahoo Weather (Free)
Grab your five-day, 10-day and hourly forecasts from Yahoo Weather and make all the plans you need with the weather data it provides. You can get interactive maps showing heat, snow and radar and satellite data, and the app also provides tons of other data about wind speed and direction, temperature and more. Yahoo Weather also provides data for up to 20 additional cities so you can see what’s happening in other places around the world as well.
Fahrenheit – Weather and Temperature on your Home Screen ($0.99)
Fahrenheit is a very clever little weather app. Rather that use the push notification counter to tell you that there’s been “1” or “2” updates to the forecast since you last checked, you’ll see something like “35” or “73” plastered in the corner of the icon as it rests on your app screen. No, the app isn’t pushing an insane amount of updates, but simply telling you the current temperature without you ever having to open the app.
Of course, once you open the app you’ll see plenty of other information, too. The current conditions, humidity, pressure and dew points to name just a few. You can add unlimited cities to the app in case you want to monitor multiple locations, and there’s even Facebook and Twitter integration in case you feel like sharing weather info with your friends.
The app displays the temperature number on the app, so you can see how hot or cold it is without having to tap all the way through, and you can also activate notifications for temperature changes that appear in your notifications and on the lock screen. You also get full weather information within the app, like forecasts, humidity and barometric pressure, and more.
Weather Underground (Free)
Weather Underground works to bring you a more complete look at your weather by leveraging data from more than 30,000 personal weather station, creating a community powered weather reporting system. It also includes handy features like weather and radar maps, and provides Push notifications for things like severe weather reports. You can also get historical weather data to compare to current conditions.
For a simple, but visually friendly weather app, check out the WeatherBug. It allows you to preset and scroll through your locations (I tested Glendale, Calif., Chicago, and Barcelona), and then gives the expected highs, lows, precipitation, and other weather conditions, for each. There is detailed day-to-day information, as well as a six-day forecast.
You’ll get lots of handy notifications from WeatherBug. The app specializes in providing users with info like severe weather warnings, dangerous thunderstorm alerts and lightning notifications, and more. You can also use WeatherBug to get hold of your standard short- and long-term forecasts, and check out feeds from more than 2,000 live weather cams.
Partly Cloudy ($1.99)
Get a look at the day’s weather in the infographic style with Partly Cloudy. The app presents you with a look at the day’s weather as displayed on a clock. You can see what the weather is likely to be like at different times of the day, and get an idea of what you might need to wear or bring with you. The app presents all its information so you can see and understand it almost instantly.
Swackett takes a different approach to delivering its users their weather information. Rather than focusing on numbers like temperature or chances of precipitation, Swackett presents its info in terms of what clothes you need to wear when you go out. You’ll also get a rundown of what activities the weather is suited to, like walking the dog or going for a run, so you can better plan your day. And of course, there’s also plenty of other, usual weather data on-hand as well.
AccuWeather balances a quick and easy design that shows you up-to-the-minute conditions with tons of additional weather details. You can quickly glance at the app to get the information need to plan your day, or page through to see weather maps, lots of granular weather information, and more. You can also customize the app to show you what you want to know and leave off the weather data you don’t need. AccuWeather combines storm alerts, multiday and intraday forecasts, radar, weather videos and satellite imaging into a single app.
The interface on the Accuweather app is terrific, and the features are seemingly endless. It’s easy to jump from the current, hourly and 15-day weather forecasts. Further, the app includes radar shots, live video, potentially disruptive weather, alarms and alerts. And for those who are light-skinned and need to protect themselves from the sun, there is a UV index, and an air quality index for those who suffer from allergies.
The main screen for AccuWeather shows the current forecast with buttons for hourly and 15-day forecasts. It also offers ultraviolet radiation (UV) and air quality indices. By flicking through its screens, you can read National Weather Service advisories, see inclement weather alarms and view risk meters for severe weather such as thunderstorms and snow.
Forecasts include the actual temperature, real-feel temperature, a visual representation of current conditions, humidity levels, air pressure readings and wind speed plus wind direction.
As a bonus you won’t see on other weather apps, except The Weather Channel app, AccuWeather offers lifestyle-geared forecasts, weather news and fun weather-related videos. In its favor over the The Weather Channel, AccuWeather has more stunning graphics and a few additional features, such as risk meters.
You can add up to 15 locations from the main screen, making access to multicity forecasts a flick away.
Perfect Weather ($2.99)
Looking to strike a balance between being informative and being well-designed visually, Perfect Weather tries to provide users with all the weather information they need, and none they don’t. The app provides a seven-day forecast to help you plan, along with weather maps, hourly forecasts and temperature charts, as well as quick access to temperatures for multiple places and severe weather alerts.
Shine – Weather at a Glance
Your phone likely already comes with an app for the weather. An app that really only gives you the basics. An app where you really don’t trust the accuracy of the forecast. So why exactly do you need another one? That’s the question for Shine. Basically this app tells you city by city the weather, mainly focusing on breaking the day into three pieces, morning, afternoon and evening. There’s nothing more, not wind speed, not anything. If you’re looking for a simple app this might work for you, but why you’d want it over the one already built in to your phone is beyond me.
NOAA Weather Alerts
I purchased this app because it stated that the app was based on NOAA information (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and I’ve been wanting an app from them forever. Why? Because to put it quite simply, it’s the most accurate information out there. The app will give you all sorts of interesting information, like dew-point, barometer and visibility ratings and even gives you regular hints as you navigate through the app. You can look at the Radar, Satellite, Map, Graph, and even the notes that are posted with a NOAA weather report. Comparing it to the website it looks to be EXACTLY what NOAA is saying. To be honest, I couldn’t be happier… here in the northwest getting a good forecasting app is very difficult… we have difficult weather, but now I have NOAA in my pocket and it’s likely I’ll never use anything else again.
If you like to know when weather conditions are about to turn nasty, Weather Alerts will send a warning to your iPhone.
Weather Alerts sends push notifications if violent weather, including hurricanes, tornadoes, violent thunderstorms, floods, high winds, fog or wintry conditions, are about to descend. Since you can set alerts for any area of the country you want, this app is also useful if you’re on vacation and want to know what’s going on at home. Or, if you’re travelling, an alert could help you decide to alter your plans.
The alerts are aggregated from multiple data sources, so you’ll be privy to a greater selection of information than the NOAA National Weather Service’s app offers. And unlike some storm-specific apps such as Hurricane! and Quake Warn, you’ll be alerted to as many weather condition warnings as you choose.
Besides written alerts, you can view warnings on an advisory map similar to on-screen warnings during TV broadcasts. Unfortunately, you can’t click on the alerts directly from the map. You’ll have to view them separately on the Alert screen.
Any weather app can tell you the weather, but Weather+, true to its name, goes the extra mile. With this app you can see the weather, too. That is, each type of forecast comes equipped with a looped visualization so you’ll get the picture if the day is windy, rainy, snowy or Judgmental Day-level thunderstormy.
The app also dispenses with the usual essentials including the humidity, precipitation, pressure and visibility levels, alongside information like wind direction and speed. As an added bonus, when you check a given location’s forecast, you can also see what time it is there. That way, if you want to tell your friends in Nevada that it’s another gorgeous day in March, you’ll know not to wake them up first.
Living Earth – World Clock and Weather ($3.99)
If you want to take a “bigger picture” look at the weather, Living Earth is the way to go. Zoom all the way out to space to check on the live cloud cover present in this app. From there you can see weather all across the world complete with standard forecast info.
Living Earth also comes with a world clock so you can see the current time no matter what forecast you’re looking at. If you’re really curious, you can even see the sunrise and sunset times for each city you’re interested in. You can use the world clock to set an alarm within the app and wake up looking at the current condition of the Earth, as well.
Free MyRadar app focuses on the weather
MyRadar is a free application with one single purpose: to provide you with the most up-to-the-minute radar information for the United States. There are a ton of weather apps out there, but many times all you need to see is the radar.
Upon opening the app, you’re presented with a map of your local area with animated radar displaying light to heavy precipitation. You can pinch to zoom in or out, and pan around the map. The date and time are displayed, and the radar animates in ten-minute increments. You can control the speed of the animation, and choose to view the road map or satellite image.
The radar is just as accurate as any other radar I’ve used, but the image is a bit rough compared with others. It’s just not as smooth or refined as the radar at sites such as weather.com. Other radars use a five-minute interval for each radar image, while MyRadar uses a ten-minute interval. Obviously, the shorter the interval, the smoother the animation will look.
Being a free application, you can’t complain too much about lack of features. However, it would be nice if you could save multiple locations, and choose which ones to zoom in on. It also would be beneficial to clean up the animation itself, just to make it look more refined.
More Weather iPhone apps to ensure you will always be prepared
If all you want is the current conditions, then check out Nav Clock (99 cents). It provides all the necessary information, minus the fancy screen interface features. It’s one page with the time, date, temperature, wind factor, visibility, pressure and dew point. A screen shot of what it currently looks like outside serves as the background.
Another minimalist option is the Umbrella app ($1.99), designed to answer one of life’s fundamental questions – do you need an umbrella? It makes a quick assessment of your location and current weather conditions, and in bold letters tells you “yes” or a “no.” Swipe left, and you get a “yes” or “no” for tomorrow as well.
Weather conditions are critical for those who work (or play) outside. For surfers, there is the MSW Surf Forecast app, which provides tides and waves size. For skiers, there is the Ski & Snow Report app, which allows you to search both snow packs and temperatures by resort.
Weather is often most relevant during travel. The FlightTrack app includes weather updates. At $4.99, it’s best to download this app for more than just the weather updates. With a $4.99 upgrade, however, you get TripIt integration, which offers another access point for FlightTrack-related weather alerts.
Weather Calculators and News
The Weather Calculator is a pretty fun app, despite it’s blaring primary colors and elementary interface. This app can estimate temperature based on the number of cricket chirps you hear, air moisture or pressure. With several ordinary and unexpected calculators, the app can be resourceful and entertaining.
If you’re looking for weather news, there are several news portal apps designed for Android use. USA Today is one such Android app, incorporating a useful Weather section to keep you abreast of local and national weather information. The free app also lets you subscribe to different news channels, letting you set up alerts for the Weather section.
We’ve all been caught in a downpour without an umbrella, or in a snowstorm without the proper coat or boots. Our recommendation is heed the Boy Scout motto — Be Prepared. Download one of these iPhone weather apps; while we can’t promise that you’ll never be cold again, we can at least help you make a decision about what to wear.