AppleInsider may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made through links on our site.
Whatever the weather, we have got you covered on the best weather apps available to download from the App Store.
A recent article in The Independent revealed British people spend over four months of their lives talking about the weather.
“Woo-ee, it’s really coming down out there.” We’ve all said it at one point or another, gesturing outside to tennis ball-sized hail pummeling the asphalt.
It’d no surprise that the weather is the unsung small talk topic of choice for quick exchanges with strangers and awkward situations, where we’re reaching for something to propel the conversation forward.
There’s no doubt that the weather dictates our lives, but with these impressive and intuitive weather apps for iPhone, we can stay in the know.
Weather Channel app: Free and functional
The Weather Channel app is for the storm chaser, outdoor runner, worried parent with kids out-of-state or abroad, allergy sufferer, and news devourer.
In essence, the Weather Channel app is the hub for everything weather For example, it details the current temperature with a feels like gage for days when the thirty-degree Fahrenheit reading will feel more like negative thirty due to wind chill.
It also includes hourly and daily projections, and for how long these big weather events (rain, snow, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.) will be in effect.
Scroll down, and you’ll see metrics for wind, humidity, dew point, pressure, UV index, and sunrise/sunset. For the runner or allergy-sufferer, a health and activities subheader details whether the weather is good enough for a run right now, and if a potential allergy threat is in the area.
Scroll further, and you’ll find another subheader detailing outdoor conditions.
Chill index is particularly important for the dog walker or runner. If your hands and knuckles have been cracking and dry, check out the dry skin index to confirm if it is indeed a very high concern.
For those who live in polluted areas, this app serves as a helpful indicator of current air quality. If you live in Los Angeles and the pollution rating is severe, consider swapping your outdoor jog for an indoor workout next to your trusty air purifier.
For parents with children living out of state or abroad, keep tabs on all of your loved ones by adding their current city of residence to favorites.
Gone are the days when your love language was scraping your son’s windshield before he slid off to high school. Now, empty-nesters can take similar measures by opening The Weather Channel App and texting Jimmy – “Looks like that hurricane’s going to hit you guys in a few days. Got your hurricane shutters up?”
The app also includes a live radar and map. To see the projections for when exactly that storm will hit where you are, click the play button to watch the storm shift through by the hour.
Additionally, the app offers the capability for significant weather alerts to be pushed to your phone. You can choose which alerts you’d like to be notified about.
To switch on these alerts:
- Open The Weather Channel app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Tap the Alert Bell icon in the top right-hand corner
- Select Manage
From here, you can choose for which events you’d like notifications:
- Significant Weather
- Change Ahead
- Real-Time Rain
- Lightning Strikes
- Government Issued Alerts
- Breaking News
- Daily Rain/Snow Alerts
Tap the simple “on/off” toggle to switch notifications on or off for any particular weather event.
For the pro weather tracker who wants the intel on all — and we mean all weather around the world, the Weather Channel App is the app to download. The app’s greatest strength, however, is also its weakness.
Being the hub that it is, even including short news clips and flu-tracking in your area, it has two problems. It takes at least three seconds to open — bad news for the wildly impatient, and the app quits often, especially during video playback.
However, because of the grandiose, all-encompassing nature of the app, these small bugs can easily be overlooked.
RadarScope: Meteorologist and FAA-approved
RadarScope is next level for weather aficionados, and for those who have a basic understanding of atmospheric science — or are eager to learn.
If you’ve graduated from The Weather Channel App with a thirst for more precision and detail, RadarScope is of the professional-grade weather tracking variety. In fact, it is advertised in the app store as a utility for weather enthusiasts and meteorologists.
The app reflects data from The Next Generation Weather (NEXRAD) and Terminal Doppler Weather (TDWR) radars in the USA and around the world.
NEXRAD belongs to a 160 string of networks of high-resolution S-band Doppler weather radars, operated by the National Weather Service.
TDWR is operated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and is used by air traffic controllers. Its interface looks government-issue, akin to radars used in the military.
These are the same radars that meteorologists and scientists use to track weather systems. Holding a ranking of #1 in weather in the App Store, this app has no choice but to be reliable.
The user is able to track weather systems with maximum accuracy, even to a street-by-street level.
RadarScope offers real-time lightning data and up to 30 frames of radar data, including extended loops of super-resolution data.
Subscribers have access to a data interrogation tool that regulates data values for radar pixels, as well as a highly proficient multi-pane mode, giving the user the capability to evaluate two to four radar products, side-by-side.
Apple Watch users, be aware that the app can be unreliable without your iPhone nearby. This means that if you are on a run, the radar might not load before you are caught in that avoidable downpour.
RadarScope’s Pro Tier 1 has an annual 9.99 subscription fee, is compatible with iOS 14 or later, and is a 35.6 MB download.
Apple’s Weather app: No-frills
For those overwhelmed by RadarScope and The Weather Channel App’s many features, Apple’s more simplistic Weather app might be for you.
Firstly, it has a gorgeous, clean-cut interface.
If it is raining or snowing, rain and snow will travel across your screen. This is a particularly cool feature, reminiscent of the moving portraits in Harry Potter.
Like The Weather Channel App, there is an hourly weather projection and 10-day forecast.
There are also some bells and whistles, such as the feels like feature (and even cooler, why it might feel two degrees cooler).
It also includes UV index, sunrise and sunset, wind, precipitation, humidity, visibility, and pressure. Comparably, you can easily add your favorite locations to check up on your out-of-state or abroad loved ones.
Both apps give the weather aficionado the option to turn on weather alerts. To turn on alerts for Apple’s Weather app:
Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services > Weather, then tap Always. This way, you’ll be informed when certain weather events are heading your way.
Apple’s Weather app comes with your phone and is compatible with iOS 10 or later.
Carrot Weather: Wisecracker weather fun
In three words, Carrot Weather is wisecracker weather fun. Whether you are a comedian or just looking for a daily laugh, Carrot is for you.
Its design is similar to Apple’s Weather app, with bright colors and a simplistic user experience. Its in-app prose and style is raises eyebrows, and — it hopes — will get a chuckle or two during your daily commute.
It is advertised as much more than a weather app, where the user can “complete activities to strengthen [their] relationship with the homicidal A.I., follow clues to track down 100+ secret locations [and] film [their] own TV-news-style weather report videos.”
Its creative nature is unlike any weather app out there. For those seeking a laugh, its Age Rating is 17+ for mild sexual content, suggestive themes, profanity, and crude humor.
Upon downloading and opening the app, the user has the ability to cater to their own personality preferences, ranging from professional to overkill.
The user soon finds that Carrot, more an entity than a utility, is their new overlord. She provides important messages upon entry into the app, such as this one:
If Carrot has a little too much personality for you, feel free to switch off her sassiness.
To boost endorphins in the brain, the app also offers achievements, like experiencing one’s first snow — which serve as clever incentives to revisit the app.
Its whimsy, however, does not overshadow its professional-grade functionality.
Carrot provides features like radar, storm cells with direction tracking, weather fronts, and a cool feature called cards that lets you customize your weather notifications.
If you’re afraid of Zeus smiting you, for example, you can choose to be alerted if there are any lightning strikes within a certain number of miles of your location.
All in all, Carrot overflows with personality and is a privacy-conscious app.
Carrot Weather offers free and premium ($19.99) versions, is compatible with iOS 13, and is a 226 MB download.
MyRadar Weather Radar: Radar-centered app
Like the RadarScope app, there is a learning curve to using MyRadar Weather Radar due to its impressive, real-time home screen radar presentation.
Upon opening the app, instead of a daily or 10-day forecast, the user is confronted with a live radar.
This is exciting for some, but might be overwhelming for others who are looking for a simple, written rain/no rain prediction.
Instead, the user must zoom in to see where the applicable weather systems are.
Click through each widget at the bottom of the screen to figure out what each selection does. Once these are committed to memory, operating the app is a breeze.
One particularly cool feature that mirrors The Weather Channel app is the videos function, showing all relevant and recent weather news in the country.
The app provides more than enough information for the weather aficionado. Centered on a large, zoomable radar of your current country, it includes graphs to see weather trends in real-time and beyond.
Like the other abovementioned apps, this app provides customizable alerts for noteworthy weather systems.
MyRadar offers free and premium versions ($9.99 annually), is compatible with iOS 14, and is a 173.6 MB download.
With the above apps, you’ll have all the weather intel necessary for those: “Phew, shows six feet of snow tonight!” conversations with strangers.