If you’ve seen one weather app you’ve seen them all, right? Not really. While the vast majority of weather apps are designed to deliver quick-time predictions on passing weather patterns, there's a heck of a lot more to them than meets the eye. These days, weather patterns are changing so fast that accuracy plays a bigger role than ever.
Keep reading, as we reveal our pick for the most reliable, feature-packed and easy to use weather apps that you can download from the App Store and take with you into 2022.
What is the most accurate weather app?
Heading straight to the eye of the app storm, AccuWeather leads the charge on all fronts. The app delivers minute to minute forecasts to 1.5 billion people across 2.7 million locations worldwide. AccuWeather pinpoints a user's location via GPS and delivers hyper-localized weather alerts and daily forecasts using detailed stats and live radar mapping. The app pulls its data from multiple locations, including the National Weather Service as well as leading meteorological organizations from the United States and abroad.
Some of the Accuweather app’s leading features include:
MinuteCast Feature: With a detailed minute by minute breakdown of weather patterns, mapping and localized updates across two-hour intervals.
Severe Weather Warnings: Where you can set notifications and pair them up to other devices, for severe weather warnings and potentially hazardous conditions.
Detailed data and forecasting statistics: with detailed live radar mapping that includes reports on air quality, UV index, precipitation, visibility and more.
You can also pair and integrate Accuweather with your Apple Watch to get live weather alerts while on the move. The AccuWeather app is available on the App Store for Apple Watch, iPhone, and iPad. The basic app is free to download, and the premium version, which carries a few more features, goes for a $2.99 one-time fee.
What is the best free app for weather?
If you're looking for prediction power and none of the usual subscription fees, The Weather Channel App and Weather Underground are both strong contenders.
A go-to destination for weather reporting and meteorological findings for 30+ years, the Weather Channel app is simple to use, free to download and will give you all you need to know about upcoming weather patterns at a glance. The app has a 15-day, localized weather forecast that’s updated every hour, and a cool storm tracking radar that sends out safety alerts.
Weather Underground app for iOS is an ultra-powerful (free to download) alternative with top forecasting capability. Weather Underground correlates up to the minute weather predictions across 250,000 different weather stations, bringing together hyper-localized forecasts up to 10 days in advance. The apps heatmapping and radar navigation are top-notch, with severe storms, heatwaves and other hazardous weather patterns tracked, recorded and delivered via in-app notifications. Other reporting metrics include an air quality monitor (for smoggy conditions), overall visibility, dew point, precipitation, UV Index, sunrise/sunset and a whole lot more. The app is free to download via the App Store, with a $1.99 per year paid subscription.
Does Apple have its own weather app?
Your iPhone and other Apple devices come with a built-in weather prediction tool. The Apple Weather App is a great option for anyone with a passing curiosity for weather patterns and forecasts. This no-frills app is simple to use and quick to get the hang of, giving you a general scope of weather predictions for the days and weeks ahead including high’s and lows, precipitation, UV Index, visibility, humidity and more. The Weather Apps UX mimics the day's weather with moving visuals of sunny skies or dark brewing storms. While you’re not going to get cutting edge heatmaps and data analysis, you will get a general reading of the days to come, accessible via Siri, with a 77% reading accuracy.
In 2020, Apple acquired Dark Sky, a popular weather forecasting app, which will be available on the App Store for iOS users until the end of 2022. Apple has taken the best elements and core reporting structure from the Dark Sky platform and integrated it with their own Weather App. iOS users will see a host of brand new forecasting features brought to the table in the months to come, including self-reporting, custom alerts and a brand new intuitive look and feel that combines the best elements from Dark Sky and Weather App into one detailed platform.
How reliable is AccuWeather?
Towards the end of 2020, a study was conducted through ForecastWatch to analyse the effectiveness and accuracy of Accuweather and its flagship app. Over a four year period, the study analyzed 120 million forecasts from 1,000 different locations and found that, compared to 5 other leading market competitors, Accuweather came out in a top position year on year in terms of overall data accuracy.
Although there are some top weather app competitors systematically carving a name for themselves, AccuWeather still takes prime position. Their patented MinuteCast feature is said to be the single most accurate forecaster to hit the market in the last few years, with the ability to forecast 2-hour precipitation, including start and stop times.
However, if you’re sensitive to in-app advertising, you may want to steer clear of Accuweather. While their prediction capability is top-notch, their user experience can be a little annoying at times. However, you can always opt for the Accuweather Pro Plan, available on the app store for a $2.99 once-off fee.
All in all, Accuweather is a solid option for free and premium weather forecasting. If you’re still shopping around for the perfect weather app, a few other top options include WeatherBug, CARROT Weather, or Weather Live. Start with a free download, and if you're liking the interface, you can always upgrade later.
What weather app do meteorologists use?
And finally, if you have an active interest in changing weather patterns and the knowledge behind daily forecasts, you may want to look into spending a little extra on an app that does it all. Used by meteorologists and climate experts the world over, the RadarScope App takes forecasting to a new level.
Available for both Android and iOS, the RadarScope app is packed with leading features that tell you everything you need to know about incoming and outgoing weather patterns, predictions and forecasts. RadarScope’s basic version can be downloaded for a $9.99 yearly fee.
Some of RadarScope’s leading features include:
Advanced-Data and radar tracking: Using Nexrad level 3 data from radar stations and outposts across the United States, Puerto Rico, Gaum, Germany and Australia.
Multiple reporting features: Where RadarScope can accurately report real-time velocity, reflectivity, UV Indexes, predicted storm tracks, dual-polarization and more.
Storm Warnings: Including severe weather alerts and notifications for localized flash floods, hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes and thunderstorms.
RadarScopes touch screen navigation is a little tricky to get the hang of at first, but once you know what you’re doing, you’ll always have your finger on the pulse of all the latest weather forecasts. Zoom in on a collection of radar heat maps and scroll through the toolbar to highlight key points on each. Search through over 25,000 cities and 289 different radars to track, record and display weather patterns wherever you are in the world.