If the only conversation you can muster up during your first date is the weather, you might be in for a long night (and we don’t mean in the good way.) But if you’ve got no other choice, you might as well be accurate with your meteorological small talk.
Weather apps are obviously used for more than just awkward ice breakers. They keep you in the know, especially when the weather can turn on a dime. Nobody wants to get stuck in the rain waiting for their Uber or train. And having an accurate weekly weather report can help you dress appropriately so you aren’t caught off guard in a Tuesday ice storm in shorts. Remember kids, knowledge is power.
Stay in the know with one of the best eight weather apps for your phone.
Dark Sky is one of the few weather apps that isn’t free, but it is certainly worth the price to have accurate weather forecasts and up to the hour precipitation readings in your local area. Dark Sky is armed with a handful of useful features. Tapping on the home screen unlocks a variety of weather information like barometric pressure, humidity and wind speed. Swipe one way and bring up a radar map while swiping another brings a 24-hour forecast. You can get notifications, keeping you posted on inclement weather heading your direction. The app is so ridiculously accurate that it will even notify you right before it starts raining, how much it is going to rain and when it’s supposed to stop. This app can be especially helpful for those who live to be outdoors.
“This weather app has personality,” said nobody ever — until now. The Carrot Weather app provides accurate weather forecasts drawn upon from different sources — including Dark Sky, our best overall pick — and sprinkles a little snarky chutzpah for good measure. Don’t be surprised to see messages like, “I made the sun come out for you today. Are you really going to Netflix and chill all day?” Like Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar, you have complete control over the humor from your robot (or in this case, weather app). And if you want straightforward 7-day forecasts, critical weather alerts and hourly weather reports, it does that, too, as long as you don’t mind a lighthearted quip with a side serving of snark.
The Weather Channel
EASY TO USE
The Weather Channel app is like getting a condensed version of the popular TV channel on your phone. You can take in the weather in a variety of different ways. The weather can be delivered to you with short video forecasts, quick summaries and even flashcards to show you important weather data for the day. But thinking the app isn’t robust would be a mistake. You can dive deep into weekly forecasts and get nearly up to the minute weather updates. All of this is packaged in an app that’s simple to navigate. It really is a great sidekick smartphone version of the Weather Channel.
The Weather Channel
MOST INFORMATION AT A GLANCE
AccuWeather can do everything from long 15-day forecasts to hourly weather updates. The main screen on the AccuWeather app is designed to pack in the information, so you don’t need to look around too hard to find what you want. But all the apps features are not all there. By swiping left or right you reach additional tools like saved locations, hourly forecasts and chart mapping. AccuWeather also works in widgets to provide you access to the information you want with a quick glance at your phone. And if you want alerts for bad weather heading your way, AccuWeather can do that, too. There is a lot packed into this app that users will appreciate.
BEST FOR STORM CHASERS
Those dark clouds in the distance, see what’s actually going on with them using the RadarScope app. RadarScope provides detailed radar maps using Doppler radar from the National Weather Service, so you can watch the weather change in real-time. This is essentially the same weather data the pros use on TV. With such accurate weather radar information, you can be prepared for potential disaster causing-storms, especially if you live in an area prone to exceptionally bad weather. But having access to this data comes at a steep $10 price.
NOAA Radar Pro
GREAT FOR BAD WEATHER NOTIFICATIONS
That’s right, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has an app, because of course it does. NOAA Radar Pro is available for both Android and iOS devices, but iOS devices can take advantage of the apps newest feature. NOAA will send notifications to your Apple Watch any time there is a weather warning issued. Nobody wants to get caught in bad weather, and getting an alert on your wrist can help you from getting caught in the storm. Beyond a great notification systems, the NOAA Radar Pro provides an interactive radar map, and of course your daily forecast information. The app is free, but if you want to have an ad-free experience, it will cost you around two dollars.
NOAA Radar Pro
BEST FOR LOCAL WEATHER
Sometimes you want a little more verification on the weather than just “chance of snow.” The Weather Underground app uses crowdsourcing to verify the weather in local areas. Who’s better to tell you that it’s raining in New York than someone standing in the rain in New York. The weather app also relies upon thousands of local weather stations to deliver hourly forecasts and meteorological data. It’ll send you notifications for severe weather warnings, as well as 10-day weather forecasts.
BEST VISUAL WEATHER REPORTS
Formerly known as Weatherbomb, Flowx is for those who are visual learners. The app has a ton of information to offer, mostly in the form of graphs and maps. You can see how the weather has changed over time and even predict future weather. Slowly dragging your finger left or right across a map you are viewing enables a timeline feature that rewinds and retraces weather patterns. You can set the app to revolve around your current location or save locations to track the weather. The app isn’t as cut and dry as some weather reports, but visual, detail-oriented weather watchers will appreciate the inner workings of Flowx.