The Detroit Post
Sunday, 28 November, 2021

Best Weather App

author
Carole Stephens
• Wednesday, 11 November, 2020
• 7 min read

When Mother Nature is in a bad mood (which is more likely than ever these days thanks to climate change), it helps to keep an eye on what's happening in the sky. A good weather app helps you decide if you'll need to bring an umbrella to work, or prepare for more serious conditions.

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Contents

With wild weather across the country, particularly hurricanes threatening coastal states, it's a good idea to check the forecast or radar for upcoming conditions. Some also pull the predictions from services like AccuWeather, Dark Sky, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Some companies, like The Weather Channel, have their own predictive models, but many apps are just shells into which data flows. Second, and more importantly, to really determine the accuracy of the service's model, we'd have to perform exhaustive tests across the globe.

As it stands, we'll assume that if a company has invested the time and effort to create its own predictive models for something as complex as weather, then it probably knows more about meteorology than we do. Despite earlier conspiracies, the rollout of the 5G wireless network shouldn’t ruin these weather forecasts.

You can track hourly and weekly forecasts, view precipitation and radar maps, and study the sun and moon's positions. Text blurbs in the Discussion section offer additional context about upcoming weather patterns.

1Weather (for Android) Review Its new interface may be complex, but AccuWeather has seen major improvements thanks to a recent revision. The planning features are more comprehensive, as they use weather data to help you manage allergies, safely drive, or boost productivity.

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Dark Sky is a weather app so good that Apple bought the company just to keep it exclusive to iOS starting August 1, 2021. Dark Sky (for iPhone) Review Flow pulls from a variety of local and global sources to give Android owners the most accurate forecasts possible.

Premium users can customize graphs, maps, and widgets to present this deep weather data however they like. This air quality app from Plume Labs offers real-time, local pollution information, a sadly vital service in our current climate.

Along with hourly and daily forecasts, the app gives you the info to stay safe from both raging hurricanes and deadly viruses. Community aspects are de-emphasized, data is no longer shared, and, based on anecdotes, the hyper-local predictions are less reliable.

That said, the app still has plenty to offer, with smart forecasts, detailed storm tracking, air quality and temperature readings, quick links to more content on the Underground website, and a respectful privacy policy. However, multiple new versions of the app, including Weather Elite and Weathering Widget, give users some choices.

If you ever lose your internet connection, the app just tells you the weather in Hell, which, in the long run, is probably the most useful information for most of us anyway. Many apps even take advantage of notifications to let you know if there's a big storm coming that you need to prepare for.

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Most smartphones come with their own pre-installed weather app, but it's always worth checking out third-party options to see if the more extensive data is a better fit for your needs. A major interface revamp to Dark Sky put even more weather data right at your fingertips, including a precipitation map and handy hourly forecasts.

The TWC app provides you with a wealth of meteorological data such as temperature, wind and visibility on an hourly or daily basis, with an extended 10-day forecast available. The Weather Channel also includes social sharing features for users to upload images, tweets, videos and photos.

The app features customizable alerts and provides a map with shelter information in the event of an emergency. (Image credit: Avalon Apps) Weather can change in an instant, so it's handy to be alerted when something severe is headed your way.

A noteworthy feature is the app's ability to send notifications whenever a weather alert is issued, so that you're never caught unaware by snow storms, flood warnings or other dangerous conditions. The iOS version of NOAA Radar Pro includes Apple Watch compatibility, so those alerts are delivered to your wrist.

Android users can download the free NOAA Weather Radar & Alerts, with a $1.99 in- app purchase removing ads. The free download not only offers Doppler radar for North America, but can provide hurricane forecasts, Spark lightning alerts, air quality info and pollen count data on top of the usual array of weather information.

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Since it pulls data from weather services, satellites and tracking stations, Weathering can provide hyper local real-time conditions with current, hourly and 10-day forecasts. The app promises detailed info on pollutants and the air quality index for 10,000-plus locations in more than 100 countries.

Visual also works in 7-day forecasts so that you can plan ahead on your outdoor activities to make sure you're going out in healthy air. The app pulls data from Dark Sky to provide current, hourly, and 7-day forecasts leavened with sarcastic humor to cushion even the gloomiest outlook.

Infographics put useful information in quick reach, with more detailed meteorological data available as you tap and swipe. You can even configure Carrot's sense of humor to be friendly, snarky, or murderous, with the ability to set how political the AI's jokes can get.

iOS's users who opt for the Tier 3 subscription (the priciest option, with a $24.99 annual cost) can receive notifications for rain, snow, lightning strikes and storms. Pay up for a premium subscription to this iOS-only app, and you'll get extended 10-day forecasts that pull data from Dark Sky, Wet and AccuWeather for a comprehensive look ahead at ever-changing weather conditions.

The app displays images of your location with matching time of day and weather conditions, with the option to view detailed five-day forecasts, as well as interactive radar, heat and satellite maps. Updates have brought the Android app in line with the iOS design for a unified experience across both platforms.

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(Image credit: Idea Studio)Knowing the weather before you start out on a road trip can be just as crucial as having the right directions. Pro users get more sophisticated features like alternate routes suggestions, road visibility and expanded data about conditions such as precipitation and wind speed.

If you've got any extended trips in your future, Weather on the Way can be a helpful companion to make sure that you arrive safely at your destination. (Image credit: JRushtonApps)If your interest in the best weather apps extends to the lunar calendar, then My Moon Phase is a must-download.

The app also includes alerts for incoming severe weather events such as snow, thunderstorms, high winds or tornadoes. (Image credit: Ensure Digital Weather)If geeking out over maps, graphs, and predictions is your thing, check out Flow.

Radarscope provides users with Neural Level 3 data from radar stations across the United States, Guam and Puerto Rico, with options for fine-tuning the view with settings for displaying reflectivity, velocity and more. In addition, there are detailed severe weather alerts for tornadoes, flash floods and thunderstorms.

Weather apps provide us with one of the most basic but essential tasks, giving us a forecast to plan out our days and weeks. Depending on which weather app you choose to download, you may also get additional information like monthly forecasts, humidity levels and precipitation totals.

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However, any third-party weather app -- as in, those that don't come built-in to your phone -- poses a risk, since they operate using location data, and sometimes ask for permissions they don't actually need. Bone of the top weather apps for both iOS and Android, The Weather Channel app offers local hourly, daily and weekly forecasts, as well as a “Feels like” feature to let you know what to prepare for when leaving the house.

Owned by IBM, the app also offers real-time rain alerts with radar, and the ability to track seasonal allergies, flu risk and COVID-19 cases. The Weather Channel app, its service providers and its ad and analytics partners may collect information, and share it with third parties, according to its privacy policy.

On the homepage, you'll see the current temperature, what it actually feels like, the daily high and low and precipitation and wind information, along with a radar map. If you tap “more,” you'll find information on humidity, dew point, visibility, UV index and flu outbreaks.

The app is free, but you can upgrade to a premium ad-free version for $20 per year or $4 per month, which also includes detailed visual forecasts up to 15 days out. Weather Underground has perhaps the most impressive privacy policy of the pack: It lets you know up front when you open it for the first time that it will be using your information to target ads.

But when you open the Privacy Settings tab, it gives you the option to directly open your phone settings to change permissions, see data usage information and toggle off “Allow background data usage.” Keep scrolling and you'll see the different allergy levels (like tree, grass and ragweed pollen) broken down for the day.

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You can upgrade the app for a one-time $4 fee to remove ads and get an additional 10 days of forecasts. AccuWeather collects user information and may disclose it to “unaffiliated third-party providers” for targeting advertising in this app and in others, according to its privacy policy.

It gives you access to Neural Level 3 and Super-Resolution radar data, along with tornado, severe thunderstorm, flash flood and special marine warnings. A Pro Tier 2 subscription ($15 per month or $100 per year) will give you that as well, plus archived radar data from the past 30 days, tools that help you predict where there could be a tornado, hail size and probably information and local storm reports from the National Weather Service.

In terms of privacy, Radarscope operates under the policy laid out by parent company Dan. The company says it does not sell information to third parties -- which makes sense, since it's an app you pay for.

It does use Google Analytics and Elodea web monitoring, as well as Droll for advertising, but you can opt out of all of them. Dark Sky differentiates itself with an interactive world map feature that lets you zoom in and out of various countries, states and cities to track radar, forecasts and precipitation.

You can change the app's “personality” in the settings, to friendly, snarky, homicidal or overkill (includes profanity), as well as its politics.

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