The National Weather Service offers radar data free from its website and is relatively easy to use. The resolution of the imagery is a little grainy, and there’s no way to plot your position on the map, and its zooming capabilities are limited.
You’ll also need Flash installed on your computer to run the loops, which some may object to for security reasons. There is also no app available, as the News can’t compete with private services due to Federal law.
Cons Resolution is grainy No way to plot your position on the map Requires Flash player Created by Avalon Apps, NOAA WeatherRadar Live is an excellent alternative to using the News radar site on your phone.
If the lack of lightning and warning data of NOAA WeatherRadar Live is an issue, we’d recommend The Weather Channel’s app instead. While obviously, it’s a more general weather app, there are some great radar features that we think are worth mentioning.
If we had to pick a negative with this one, it’s that the app smooths radar imagery too much to make it look attractive on the screen. A few months back, The Weather Channel launched a fee-based feature called Premium Radar.
In addition to radar, it overlays wind data information in a fluid and visually appealing way. You can layer all kinds of things on top, from precipitation to cloud cover, and even browse through weather model data.
It also might be a bit too complex for the average user to understand, so we’d recommend some other weather websites and apps if you’re looking for something easy to use. While it doesn’t smooth the radar images to the degree The Weather Channel’s app does, it is still enough that it may cause some inaccuracy.
Although it doesn’t have nearly the reputation it had a decade ago, Weathering is still around and still offering hyper local current weather conditions on its website thanks to its network of weather stations situated at homes, schools, television stations, and other locations throughout the world. While its visual maps for all kinds of weather data are pretty impressive, like the two apps above, it smooths out radar images.
Whatever option you choose, any of the weather radar websites and apps above will keep you informed in the event severe weather strikes. I've had a lifelong interest in the weather spanning more than 30 years, culminating with the pursuit of a Meteorology degree from Minersville University in Pennsylvania.
You might have seen my work on Digital Trends, PC World, VentureBeat, or even the New York Times website. At Weather Station Advisor, I joined the team to provide you with the best reviews, recommendations and advice to get the most out of your investment.
If you're looking for detailed information, you'll appreciate the free AccuWeather app, which has thorough weather reports that let you know conditions, wind speeds, and dew points by the hour. The index gives you a more robust understanding of what the weather will feel like, as opposed to just the number you see on a thermometer.
Dark Sky has been a long-time favorite among weather app users, even if it comes with a small price tag of $3.99. You'll be able to get hourly forecasts of projected conditions and temperature for your entire week, with customizable weather alerts available.
Keep an eye out for thunderstorms and hurricanes with the real-time severe weather reports and live radar maps. The Weather Channel app updates often and reads through user reviews, so it's constantly evolving.
The app uses a network of 250,000+ weather stations, aggregating crowdsourced data about your specific location. Each station has instruments to gauge numbers for temperature, humidity, pressure, rainfall, wind speed, and direction.
The app is free of charge, though it does include ad displays, which you can turn off for a year with a payment of $1.99. Free and easy to use, Weathering delivers fast alerts and provides reliable real-time forecasts from your current time to ten days into the future, using localized GPS data.
The best thing about this app is that you'll be able to visualize the weather with 18 different maps, including Doppler radar, lightning, wind, temperature, pressure, and humidity. If you're in areas affected by hurricanes, severe winters, and lightning, you'll receive real-time storm alerts.
On top of everything, the app will inform you how the weather may influence your sports, workouts, allergies, pain, and more. It uses real-time animated radar images, showing rain, snow, precipitation, and cloud cover.
You'll be able to get push notifications for tornadoes, flood warnings, snow storms, and other harsh weather for your current location. Besides radar maps, you'll also be able to get basic numbers about the forecast, such as pressure, humidity, wind speed, visibility, sunset and sunrise, and dew point.
The premium version of the app removes ads and includes severe weather alerts for an unlimited number of saved locations. It takes data from radars, satellites, and surface stations to figure out areas of rain where you are and forecasts local storms.
At $9.99, Radarscope is the most expensive app on this list, but its radar detailing is unsurpassed, and great for experts or anyone who wants to keep a close eye on a storm. Instead of GIF or PNG files, you will see native radar data in a radial format with lots of detail in two-minute intervals.
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