Top 10 Free Apps to Check U.S Weather Forecast
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One of the most fundamental functions that weather applications perform is providing us with a prediction that helps us organize our days and weeks. Further data such as monthly forecasts, humidity levels, and precipitation totals may be available in some weather apps.
Even if the built-in Weather app on your iPhone (which pulls data from The Weather Channel) or the Google Weather app on your Android isn't ideal, the ecosystems in which those devices exist already know where you are. If you're concerned about safety, it's best to manually check the weather via a browser or other device.
With climate change bringing about more extreme weather events, it's more important than ever to have a reliable weather app on hand. Here are ten of our top picks.
How to choose the best weather apps
There are several factors we considered when choosing the best weather apps:
Features: While reporting the weather, most weather apps take a somewhat different tack. While RadarScope provides detailed information for weather experts, the Weather Channel simplifies complex topics for the layperson. It all depends on your specific needs.
Cost: Not all apps are free, so we consider what kinds of subscriptions are necessary and what they cost to help save you a buck wherever possible.
Accessibility: It's possible that certain apps are exclusive to Apple devices, while others are Android-only. To make sure you have a compatible device with the greatest weather app, you need check to see what kind of platform it supports.
What does a weather app do?
A weather app is a way to use your mobile phone to check current, past, or future weather patterns. Some apps may have extended functionality, like tracking of ocean tides or the skies.
1. The Weather Channel
Since its inception, The Weather Channel—now an IBM Business—has been relied upon for accurate forecasts, and the app is no exception. With a maximum of 15 days for both hourly and daily forecasts, you may plan your day or week with the help of this site's user-friendly, easy-to-digest weather information. You can always know if bad weather is on its way since you may sign up for notifications for extreme weather. Warnings for your area will persist until the storm has passed. In addition, the Weather Channel app includes up-to-date information on sunset times, moon phases, and tides.
The Running Index is a helpful tool for runners because it takes into account many factors when determining when you should go for a run. Pollen and other contaminants in the air can be measured and reported on, letting you know when it's best to go outside. Not only are assessments on American air quality downloadable, but so are those for the United Kingdom, Mexico, Spain, France, Germany, China, and India.
The Weather Channel excels as a free weather app because it covers all the essentials.
AccuWeather is a formidable beast, consistently ranking among the top 10 most downloaded weather apps worldwide. It's ideal for those who will soon be embarking on a trip, working outside, going on a run, enjoying a picnic, etc. Two factors contribute to this: It provides a detailed, 15-day prediction as well as an hour-by-hour forecast for the next four hours.
You'll be able to plan your day around the times when precipitation is expected. In addition, the map shows radar for the past hour and for the next two hours, making it easy to prepare.
What the current temperature is, how it feels, the high and low for the day, and the likelihood of precipitation in the next few hours are all displayed on the main screen.
Sun rise and set times, allergen danger from tree pollen, dust, pet dander, grass pollen, and mold, weather report submission, location tracking, and breaking weather news are just some of the features included in AccuWeather.
If all of that sounds like too much to take in at once, remember that you can always change the way the app looks by hiding or revealing sections as needed.
The basic version of the app is free on Android and iOS, however there are paid upgrades available that remove adverts and provide more extended forecasts.
3. Dark Sky
If you were to ask a weather nerd what their favorite weather app was, chances are they would say Dark Sky. People all across the world praise this app's precise predictions and cutting-edge radar maps. Dark Sky uses NOAA radar data in conjunction with its own hyperlocal forecasting method. There are a few additional weather applications on this list, and they all use Dark Sky's forecasts.
Although though Dark Sky's Android and Wear OS apps were discontinued on August 1, 2020 (shortly after Apple acquired the company), the iOS app remains popular among owners of iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches.
4. Weather Underground
If you want to know when you can go outside and do things like ride a bike, run, look at the stars, walk, take pictures, hike, fly a kite, etc., this app is for you.
WU collects its data from hundreds of thousands of personal weather stations throughout the world and claims to be the most accurate weather service in the world. Temperature, radar, satellite, severe weather alerts, heat maps, webcams, hurricanes, and more can all be viewed on an interactive map.
The current location, a preview of the radar, and a forecast for the day's weather, including the expected high, low, and "feels like," temperature, are displayed at the very top of the app.
The 10-day daily and hourly forecast, a temperature graph for a quick glance at the day's progress, the air quality index for today, Smart Forecasts, weather videos, health information (UV index and flu risk), webcams, and finally, hurricane and tropical cyclone information, can all be found as you scroll down the app.
This app is free to download and use on iOS and Android devices, but there is an in-app purchase option to remove adverts and gain access to premium features like Smart Forecasts and longer hourly forecasts.
5. NOAA Weather Radar Live: Clime
The NOAA Radar Pro app has been rebranded as NOAA Weather Radar Live: Clime for the iPhone and just Clime for Android. Nonetheless, the central point has not changed. The radar in this weather monitor updates in real time, so you can see how the weather is changing while it's happening.
Standard 24-hour and 7-day forecasts are provided, as are severe weather alerts. The satellite weather imagery provided by Clime, however, is what really sells this app and makes it worthwhile to use.
The best features of Clime, such as severe weather alerts for all bookmarked locations, hurricane, lightning, and wildfire trackers, and a temperature map, are only available to users who pay for a premium account. Advertising is also removed for subscribers.
6. Storm Radar
The Weather Channel's Storm Radar is the perfect app for keeping track of severe weather events down to the minute. Its maps are extremely specific, revealing a storm's predicted path and arrival time.
The weather map that comes with Storm Radar is very adjustable, allowing you to pick and choose which features to show. You may select from such options as radar, satellite, severe weather warnings, temperature, local storm reports, storm tracks, temperature change, hurricane/tropical storm, earthquakes, and road weather.
The storm's estimated route for the following six hours may also be seen on the map in Storm Radar, in addition to the storm's location two hours ago and its path to its current location.
This weather app has a ton of features, but it doesn't feel complicated to use. Just tapping on the map will bring up an overlay with local weather conditions, and selecting the star icon will add that spot to your list of favorites for receiving alerts about impending storms, flash floods, and more.
The iOS version of Storm Radar is free, however app contains advertisements. You can pay a monthly fee to disable them and get additional features like full-screen mode, lightning tracking, and premium radar layers.
7. Emergency: Alerts
An app you hope you never have to use, but will be thankful you have on your iPhone or Android when catastrophe strikes: Emergency: Notifications from the American Red Cross.
Emergency: Alerts is a useful app to have on your phone year-round, not just during hurricane season, because it monitors everything from hurricanes and floods to high heat and winter storms. Not only may you enter your home city and the names of people that are significant to you, but Emergency will also keep tabs on your location. The app includes a map with emergency shelter information and customized alerts.
Emergency Alerts can help you get ready for a storm by providing you with information on how to deal with disasters.
8. Tides Near Me
Tides Near Me is the greatest app for anticipating high and low tides, whether you prefer to go boating, surfing, or just hang out on the beach.
Select a country, city, and tide station to get up-to-the-minute data on the most recent and upcoming tides, a glance at the tides for the remainder of the week, and a map of tide stations in the area so you can easily compare data from different locations.
Unlike other weather apps, which can be useful in a variety of situations, this one is best used for tracking the heights and depths of the tides. The times of sunrise and sunset for each day of the week are also displayed.
Tides Near Me is available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad and Google Play for Android without advertisements for a little fee.
OpenSummit is an indispensable hiking app. Around a thousand places in the United States are covered, and it's completely free to use for the basics.
Just type in the peak's name or explore the map to find it. You can monitor the weather by adding peaks to your wishlist.
For both today and tomorrow, the app provides information on the likelihood of precipitation (rain and snow), lightning (low, medium, or high), temperature, and wind speed (sustained, gust, or > 30 mph).
You may also sync it with your Instagram account to view the most up-to-date images from the area. The app also includes safety guidelines for hiking, including advice on how to stay healthy while on the trail.
Only US locales are supported at the moment, but hundreds more countries are planned for the future.
For Android and iOS, it's free, but a subscription to OpenSummit All-Access unlocks premium features like hourly forecasts for 5 days and more map layers.
Getting quick alerts is where WeatherBug really shines as a mobile weather app. Download the app from the app store for free, then enable push notifications from the app's settings.
WeatherBug, the National Weather Service, and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration have all issued severe weather warnings. Spark Lightning Alerts are also available, providing advanced warning of potentially life-threatening thunderstorms in your area.
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