Winter is here in full force. It's the time of year, depending on your location, that a snowstorm could fall upon us at a moment's notice.
It's important to know what the weather conditions are going to be at any given moment. Outdoor elements can affect nearly everything that we do. From how we dress, to if we even leave the house.
With all of the helpful weather apps available, there's no need to be caught off guard.
Here are some of our favorite weather apps that will help you always be prepared.
There is a built-in weather app on all iPhones and most Android gadgets. However, they don't necessarily have all of the features you want or need.
With the Weather Underground app, you will get all the typical features plus a long list of others.
Simply drop a pin in your neighborhood on the interactive Weather Underground app and you'll see all the best weather data you can imagine, including:
- hour-by-hour and 10-day forecasts
- current conditions
- actual temperature
- "feels like" temp
- wind speed and direction
- today's rain accumulation
- chance of precipitation
- dew point
- air quality and UV risk
- satellite maps
- heat maps
- crowd reports
- ski reports
- sunrise and sunset times
- daily weather summaries
You can compare today's weather against historical data, and there's also a handy Health section that lets you monitor local flu outbreaks. Keep an eye on global storms, too, with the Tropical Storm section and sign up for alerts when extreme weather is on the way. Watch the storms with one of the many real-time weather webcams, thumb through hundreds of gorgeous weather photos, listen to weather radio and have access to many more online resources.
Weather Underground also gives you choices for customizable widgets, which will let you get all your important info at a glance on your home page.
Dark Sky provides detailed information and predicts when it will rain or snow, down-to-the-minute, at your exact location to help you plan for the day or week. The app uses your phone’s GPS to know exactly where you are standing and works remarkably well.
The app has a slew of built-in notification options for rain and severe weather alerts. You can also set your own notifications. The app developers give an example such as setting a custom alert to let you know if it’ll be too cold at night for the plants in your garden.
While on iOS the app is a $3.99 purchase, Dark Sky is a free download on Android. The free version provides current conditions, the next 24-hour forecast, a detailed next week forecast, and our weather maps.
Then there’s an in-app purchase to upgrade to Dark Sky Premium, which unlocks the magic mojo: the hyperlocal minute-by-minute forecasts, the fancy notifications and alerts, and widgets.
There’s a two-week free trial period for the full set of features, so you can see for yourself what Dark Sky can do before committing to the Android version. Dark Sky Premium is a $2.99/year subscription for Android.
The MeteoEarth app was adapted from a professional weather broadcast tool that is used by TV meteorologists around the world. The app truly brings weather to life using high-end gaming technology and extraordinary graphics. It's free for both iOS and Android.
Here are some of MeteoEarth's features:
- Pause, rewind and move forward in time for 24-hour forecasts
- Save unlimited favorite locations
- Choose and combine multiple layers to display cloud cover, precipitation, wind, pressure, etc.
- Track hurricanes and typhoons with the storm tracker
- Access to thousands of live weather cams covering popular destinations around the world
You can also choose the MeteoEarth Premium option for extended five-day forecasts and the option of checking wind conditions at any altitude right up to the jet stream. One subscription costs $9.99 per year and covers Premium services on MeteoEarth, AlertsPro and WeatherPro. Ads are also removed from the premium subscription.
RainAware Weather Timer
The RainAware app lets you time rain and storms to your exact location. The app updates quickly to stay ahead of changing weather.
The app costs $3.99 for Android and $4.99 for iOS. Here are some of its features:
- Rain clock counts down until the precipitation arrives at your location
- Updates every minute to stay ahead of the fastest changing weather
- View radar imagery with your location highlighted
- See clouds forming or dissipating with high-resolution satellite images
For those of you who are serious about your weather, there is RadarScope. It's a specialized display utility for weather enthusiasts and meteorologists.
RadarScope allows you to view NEXRAD Level 3 and Super-Resolution radar data along with tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flash flood warnings, and predicted storm tracks issued by the National Weather Service.
When warnings are in effect, you can tap the warning button in the upper-right corner to browse the list of active warnings, select a warning to view the details, and even zoom to the selected warning on the map.
The basic RadarScope app costs $9.99 for both iOS and Android.
Best free online weather forecast map I bet you never heard of
We've seen plenty of storms lately that caused severe damage and destruction. Sometimes, when a massive storm is on the way, it might be a good idea to evacuate the area. That's why you need a dependable source for weather information.