Rain or Shine: 8 Best Weather Apps

In a world of politics, playing favorites, and stereotypes it’s always nice to witness some absolutes in our life. The weather is one such example. It doesn’t discriminate, care how you feel about it, or even take your desires into consideration. It simply just “is.” And without getting all philosophical on you, it’s important to understand the unforgiving nature of such a force. From delightful to deadly, our earth’s weather patterns and events can bring out both the best and worst in us who happen to be residents on this planet. However, that isn’t to say we should go cursing the next thunderstorm or rain shower that dampens our plans. Because without weather, we simply wouldn’t exist on this planet.

That being said, knowledge is power. Since we can’t control the weather, we might as well try to understand it and remain informed as to what is expected to happen in the sky above us. We’ve come a long way since the days of the rain dance and old wives’ tales about patterns in the sky. In fact, meteorologists and scientists alike have been looking into ways to control the weather through manipulating local atmospheric conditions in order to diffuse and divert superstorms such as hurricanes away from coastlines and out to sea, or the mitigate the ripened spring conditions for severe tornado outbreaks in our nation’s heartland. Yes, we are working on having our hand in manipulating weather conditions, though unfortunately, it already appears that we’ve done our part in making matters worse.

So if understanding how this great atmospheric machine works, or if your simply want to plan your Saturday actives around a rain event, staying abreast of changing weather conditions and forecasts are crucial in making the most out of what you’re wearing, how you plan on getting to work, and what extracurricular activities are possible. Fortunately, we carry around these little supercomputers in our pockets that provide us access to an infinite amount of information with the help of a pair of thumbs. And within the breadth of phone applications out there, it shouldn’t be surprising that weather has its hand in mix. As for which ones are the most reliable, user-friendly, and easy to navigate? Well, just have a look for yourself at the following eight best weather apps that are sure to keep you informed on changing conditions, rain or shine.

Weather Underground

Weather Underground

Founded back in 1995 by a doctoral candidate in meteorology at the University of Michigan, Weather Underground is now based out of San Francisco and in 2012 was acquired by The Weather Channel. And if you’re wondering about the name, yes it is an allusion to the 1960s radical student group by the same name. They offer several applications for both iOS and Android operation systems but their original is the most comprehensive and user-friendly. The app is powered by a network of over 250,000 personal weather stations that help to provide highly accurate and timely hyper-local forecasts and conditions.

Users can also enjoy interactive maps with multiple layers (radar, satellite, heat maps, rain accumulation, crowd reports) and global tracking for hurricanes. The application is also compatible with Apple Watch, keeps track of daylight hours, and you can view weather at a glance thanks to their notification center. Best of all, it’s free.

Weather Underground

RainAware

RainAware

If you like to plan things by the hour instead of by the day or week, then RainAware might be the answer to your perpetual stress about the weather. With this application, you can time rain and storms to your exact location thanks to an extensive GPS network that pins your location against incoming rains. From here, based on their movement and direction, RainAware will give you an approximate time precipitation will begin falling from the sky. In short, “a 50% chance of rain today” is effectively translated into “it will rain in 2 hours.” Estimates function up to three hours out in advance so this is definitely a hyperlocal forecast and short-term forecasting tool. However, it’s accuracy in timing make the app a great addition for a day hike or afternoon at the beach.

Precipitation chances are also published up to 12 hours out, it comes with radar imagery, satellite imagery, you can share the rain times on social media so everyone is in the know, and it updates every minute to keep you ahead of impending storms. Obviously, you can’t control the weather, but you can very well manipulate your timing in a way that helps you get the most out of those days filled with pop-up showers and storms. I mean, it is Spring isn’t it?

RainAware

Hurricane Tracker

Hurricane Tracker

With the changing seasons comes warmer weather, longer days, and vacations at the beach. But with warmer weather comes warmer water, and with warmer water comes fuel for some of earth’s most magnificent weather phenomenon: hurricanes. These superstorms continue to perplex and fascinate meteorologists to this day. And as amazing (weather-wise) as these storms can be, their deadly nature is real.

That’s why with Hurricane Tracker, we’re looking at you East Coasters, you can track and stay up to date with push notifications regarding any landfalling hurricanes. Users will get daily audio tropical updates, long range Threat Graphics, more than 65 maps and images, and individual model breakdowns of each storm. This app has been around for over 7 years and serves as a reliable tool to keep you in the know. It covers the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Oceans as well as any storm that threatens the Aloha State. Knowledge is power during hurricane season, and it’d be unwise to not equip yourself with the tools necessary to keep you safe.

Hurricane Tracker

Accuweather

Accuweather

As a highly user-friendly option for those of us that don’t consider ourselves weather nerds in the field, Accuweather is a great tool for getting the basics for current conditions and forecasts across the globe. Interested in knowing the temperature rain chances, and want access to an interactive weather map? Accuweatherher is the ticket. Users can now also share their own weather observations via AccUcast, giving real time updates to changing conditions. The app also feature MinuteCast, which are minute-by-minute precipitation forecasts for the next two hours in a hyperlocal area.

In addition to all these features, the weather app also syncs up with your devices, sends push notifications for severe weather alerts, gives both descriptions and animations for the weather forecast up to 15 days in advance, and you have access to trending weather videos inside the app as well. In short, this weather app keeps you in the know, doesn’t tell you more than you want to hear, and looks good while doing so.

Accuweather

NOAA Weather Radar

NOAA Weather Radar

An acronym for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA is an American scientific agency operating within the United States Department of Commerce. Obviously their focus is on oceanic conditions, but they also function as a research institute in addition to their duty as a disseminator of weather-related information for public consumption. They were founded back in 1970 during the Nixon administration and have since been one of the pioneering forces in the arena of weather forecasting. Needless to say, their Weather Radar application is one to be revered. It’s a powerful, yet easy-to-understand weather station that fits in the palm of your hand.

In terms of features this is in-fact the only weather app where all National Weather Service watches and warnings are shown in conjunction with the radar as polygons covering the respective territories in which they’re active. There’s also 24-hour and 7-day forecast features, push notifications relating to weather alerts for your local area, and bookmark features that allow you to toggle between you favorite areas.

NOAA Weather Radar

Weather Live

Weather Live

Aesthetically pleasing and smooth in operation, Weather Live boasts a magnificent display and is now optimized for iOS 10. Rain or shine, warm or cold, this app will keep you informed with current conditions, forecasts for your city as well as a myriad of locations around the world. we get it, sometimes the weather can be boring, a topic reserved for small talk at the office and for those who have nothing else to talk about. But thanks to the design and user experience in this application, the dry aspects of weather forecasting come alive on your screen in a manner that no other app we’ve come across can match.

As far as features are concerned, Weather Live offers detailed weather stats and forecasts such as both 7-day and 24-hour predictions, individual readings such as wind direction, speed, Dew Point temperatures, humidity, pressure, and wind chill. You can also interact with the app in such a way that makes you a weather reporter simply be confirming weather conditions or reporting conditions in your area. The app will then use that gathered information to improve and refine forecasts in your area. Switch between locations, share the weather with your friends, and receive push notifications for sever weather alerts as well.

Weather Live

Dark Sky

Dark Sky

Picture this, you’re looking to take a lunch break at work, run home to walk the dog, or simply want to go for a stroll around town. However, there’s rain in the forecast all day, but you’re not exactly sure at what times. Now, with the help of Dark Sky Weather, you’ll possess the knowledge regarding exact rain or snow times up to an hour in advance. The app uses GPS to create forecast that are specific to your exact location, then giving you minute-by-minute predictions for the next hour, then hour-by-hour forecasts for the next week. The app’s navigation is also seamless, offering smooth radar animation of past, present, and future storm paths to help you plan and prepare.

In addition to such streamlined functionality, users will also enjoy push notifications along with advanced options such minute-by-minute alerts to let you know when it’s going to rain, severe weather alerts for your area, or custom notifications for the next 24 hours for anything from temperature, precipitation, wind or more. It’s what you want to know, need to know, and visualized in a manner that makes this information easy to digest. All that’s left to do now is download it.

Dark Sky

American Red Cross First Aid

American Red Cross First Aid

Sometimes, regardless of push notifications and preliminary planing and knowledge, disaster strikes. It could be in the form of a landfalling hurricane, winter storm, tornado outbreak, or flash flood. But whatever the case, the after effects of the extreme weather event can leave people without electricity, food, water, or even place to live. And where these disasters strike, the American Red Cross wont be too far behind, ready to provide aid and provisions to those hit hardest by the storm. It stands to reason then, that their app be taken seriously as well.

Offering everything from preparation suggestions for potential disasters to step-by-step instructions for dealing with injuries that may occur as a result of such events, this app is a valued resource to assist in picking up the pieces after the storm has passed and the sun returns. Build out an emergency kit, test your knowledge on first aid, and have access to all their preloaded content at a moment’s notice, even without reception or an internet connection. If there was an app for saving lives, this is most definitely the one.

American Red Cross

20 Essential Travel Apps For Your Journey

Traveling soon? There’s an app for that as well. So if the weather is cooperating be sure to check out these best travel apps for the wandering soul.

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