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.
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.
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.
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. Many apps even take advantage of notifications to let you know if there's a big storm coming that you need to prepare for.
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.
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.
(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.
Sure, Apple's built-in weather app is a great option with its nice graphics, animations, and useful hourly forecasting. It provides native data rendering of reflective, velocity, dual-polarization, echo tops, accumulation, and more from any Neural or TDR radar in the U.S., Guam, and Puerto Rico.
Radar layers include severe weather warnings, lightning alerts, and a variety of storm trackers. The monthly Pro level includes additional data sets, like real-time lightning alerts, extended loops, and more.
Members of the Spotter Network and Allison House can log in with their membership for additional exclusive information. If you know about Neural radar or understand what a Correlation Coefficient is, you will consider Radarscope to be money well spent.
The Red Cross has a series of disaster preparedness apps that cover forces of nature as earthquakes, tornadoes, and wildfires. It also has a very useful toolkit that can activate a flashlight or strobe light on your device, sound a loud alarm to signal your location, and send an automatic text message to loved ones that you are safe.
It has direct connectivity to the NOAA weather radio reports and extensive information on what to do to prepare for a hurricane, as well as what to do when one hits and how to deal with the aftermath. If you or a loved one live in a hurricane-prone area, Hurricane by American Red Cross will keep you informed on dangerous weather conditions.
Dark Sky made a name for itself in the weather app category for its precise accuracy at predicting weather changes up-to-the-minute. If there is any chance of rain, snow, or a storm headed your way, Dark Sky will let you know how soon it will arrive.
It's so specific that you can figure out if you should take that 10-minute walk, especially if the app says rain won't fall for 20 minutes. In addition to providing daily, hourly, and 10-day forecasts, it details the pollen index for the day, including which allergy triggers are predominant.
It also has a fantastic connected-home feature that lets you connect your Nest, Honeywell, or SmartThings hub for a detailed analysis of your energy consumption. You can also report on your local sky conditions as well as hazards like power outages or flash floods from inside the app.
Some additional cool features include a real-time report from the station closest to your location and user-submitted photos of weather conditions in your area and around the globe. Cast as a human-hating artificial intelligence, with such comments as “I hope you get a sunburn,” and “Your heating bill is going to bankrupt you,” you'll always get a laugh out of your CARROT weather report.
Plus, the more you use CARROT Weather, the more you will unlock secret locations, like Mount Doom and a certain Outer Rim Moisture Farm. If you have a sense of humor about all this weather talk, CARROT will make you smile (and laugh a lot).
It offers relatively detailed data for daily, hourly, and 7-day forecasts, but what makes this app stand out is the highly customizable display. Plus, every morning, you'll get a daily report notification with the current condition and its relativity to yesterday's weather.