If you’re not already frostbitten, it may just be a matter of time before the arctic harshness brought on by the polar vortex blanketing much of the nation leaves you in the cold as well.
Before leaving the warmth of your particular igloo to brave the Big Chill, check out these eight top iOS and Android weather apps for the freshest forecast. They probably won’t warm you up immediately, but at least they’ll let you know when thawing temperatures are on the way.
Among a bevy of strong weather apps for your phone, the list of apps here represents some of the best free and premium options.
Among the standout features in this free AccuWeather app are a “minute-by-minute” precipitation predictor for the next two hours, and a 15-day weather forecast you can extend by 10 days as part of $3.99, ad-free premium option. Otherwise, this well-rounded app delivers a gaggle of weather-related stats (humidity, dew points, wind gusts, etc.), plus trending news and videos.
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Dark Sky Weather
This popular $3.99 app from Jackadam promises up-to-the-minute local forecasts, alerting you to just when you’ll see the first snowflakes or raindrops in your neighborhood, and when such storms will cease.
You can also receive notifications of any precipitation expected in the next hour, along with government-issued severe weather alerts, and an umbrella reminder that shows up when the probability of daytime rain exceeds 20 percent. One fun Dark Sky feature is a time machine that will either let you look back on historical weather data for a given date or that will predict future forecasts based on seasonal averages.
Carrot’s claim to fame, at least according to developer Grailr, are its “hilariously twisted forecasts.” How hilarious you think they are – and whether you’re willing to shell out $4.99 to receive them, depends on your sense of humor.
Inside the app, you can choose the politics behind your AI-driven forecast (liberal, conservative, centrist, etc.) and pick a “personality” for how those forecasts are delivered, among: professional, friendly, snarky, homicidal, or, profanity-laced overkill.
On a day in which the New York City temperature was 30 degrees (and felt like 20), Carrot’s commentary was “It’s super hot out right now. #alternatefacts.”
Through an augmented reality mode, you can overlay Carrot’s forecast over your real-life surroundings.
Carrot’s weather data actually comes from the aforementioned Dark Sky app, and via a premium option, you can tap into other data sources, including AccuWeather, The Weather Channel, AerisWeather, or your own Netatmo Smart Home Weather Station.
Weather: The Weather Channel
IBM owns The Weather Channel, and so it’s not terribly surprising that this app relies in part on artificial intelligence via IBM Watson. You also can watch Weather Channel videos. One current example: “How can we have both brutal cold and global warming?” Though the app is free, $3.99 buys an ad-free version that is good for one year.
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A handsome layout is a chief selling point of this free app from Apalon. On a dark stormy afternoon, for example, you might see ominous-looking animated clouds provide the backdrop to an informational widget revealing the temperature, humidity, wind and other weather elements. The pricey ($19.99 a year) premium version removes the ads and adds such features as a hurricane tracker and animated interactive weather maps.
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Yahoo’s free ad-supported weather app also earns high marks for its lovely interface and Flickr photos that are matched to your location. Apple, in fact, bestowed the app with a design award as far back as 2013. Otherwise, you get basic weather information, with the option to receive precipitation and temperature change notifications.
WeatherBug offers current, hourly or 10-day forecasts, along with weather news, live cams from your general area, plus featured videos. One recent example: a video showing women practicing yoga in Moscow snow. The app is free, though you can spend $2.99 to dispense with the ads for a year.
The basis of Weather Underground is a network of more than 250,000 personal weather stations, a global community of folks delivering live hyper-local cloud-sourced data collected via environment sensors. In the U.S., you also have the option to view forecasts generated by the National Weather Service. As with other weather apps, you can get real-time alerts for rain, lightning and other severe storm warnings.
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A “smart forecasts” feature lets you monitor multiple weather factors at the same time to let you know when those all of those conditions are favorable for you to engage in various hobbies or activities. For example, if you are into landscape photography, you can string together a list that would forecast when the cloud cover, chance of precipitation, rain intensity and wind speed are all at favorable levels.The app costs $1.99 a year with ads removed or free otherwise.
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