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November 29, 2017

Don’t be left out in the cold! Plan ahead with the best weather apps for Android

by John_A

Your local weatherman is always the best person to tell you what the weather’s going to be like, but what happens when you’re on the road, away from home, or can’t get to the TV? That’s where weather apps come in. Apps are a great way to get the latest forecast any time you need it.

There’s a surprising number of capable weather apps on the market, but the truth is, not all weather reports are created equal. There’s quite a bit of variation between mobile offerings, with some reveling in real-time Doppler images and others emphasizing the 10-day forecast, but each touts functionality designed to provide an all-encompassing weather forecast of your local area. After all, even a good meteorologist can only tell you so much.

Our list below looks at six of the best weather apps for Android that won’t leave you out in the rain or the cold, and why they should be the next apps installed on your Android. We’ll also tell you why we think they’re special and rise above the rest. Without further ado, here’s our list.

Did you know that you can check the weather on Facebook? And if you’re checking the weather because you’re traveling, don’t forget to check our picks for the best travel apps and how to book a last minute getaway.

RadarScope ($10 plus $10 a year optional subscription)

This app doesn’t tell you the temperature, nor is it going to give you a forecast. In fact, RadarScope is pretty one-dimensional when it comes to weather apps. It shows you the radar and that’s it, but you cannot get a better radar app from anyone else. At $10 a year, it’s one of the higher priced apps, but it’s worth it.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, storm chaser, or even somebody that just likes up-to-the-minute weather info, this is your app. Radars refresh every six minutes, and storm warnings are placed on top of the radar images as well. You’ll also have access to other radar products, such as velocity, precipitation estimates, and nearly a dozen other products, none of which are available through your standard weather app.

While it’s an additional expense, we recommend subscribing to RadarScope Pro. You’ll get the capability to add lightning data, dual-pane radar data (to view two radars at once), and loop up to 20 frames (two hours of data). It’s $10 per year, but this app is a must-have for those most affected by storms and rain.

Download now from:

Google Play

National Weather Service

Due to certain long-held policies within the National Weather Service, our government’s top weather agency does not put an emphasis on services that could be seen as competing with the private weather industry. It has, however, started to offer its services through APIs, which can be easily integrated into third-party applications.

National Weather Service is one of them. While not an official app of the NWS, we’d imagine if they did make an app, it would look much like this. Nearly every product the NWS offers can be found in this app, and it’s speedy and easy to navigate. It even alerts you when the NWS issues warnings and advisories for your area.

The app just added NOAA Weather Radar recently to its suite of offerings, so it does just about everything the private weather apps do — so if you regularly check your local NWS forecast, try this app to get it all but straight from the source.

Download now from:

Google Play

The Weather Channel

How could The Weather Channel’s app not make our list? It’s free, comprehensive, and has just about everything you need to keep an eye on the sky. The app will automatically change based on your current location and provides current weather plus hourly weather out two days and forecasts up to fifteen days in advance.

In addition, you can set the app to automatically notify you of severe weather alerts, as well as watch exclusive web content and videos recorded from the Weather Channel’s television broadcasts. If you’re up early — check the app from 6-11 a.m. for “The Lift,” an app-first six-minute weather show detailing the day’s weather nationwide.

Android users get a dynamic home screen option that changes based on time, location, and weather (take that, iPhone users), and allergy sufferers will find the app useful and so will outdoor enthusiasts. The app tells you whether the weather’s right for a variety of outdoor activities, which change based on the seasons. Its weather maps are also fast updating, and while not as good as RadarScope Pro, lightning data is available, too.

Download now from:

Google Play


AccuWeather gets high marks from us not only for its simplicity but also for its comprehensiveness. The app features something called MinuteCast, which is an attempt by AccuWeather to give you a minute-by-minute rundown of weather conditions up to two hours in advance. Hourly forecasts are available up to three days out, as well as a 15-day daily forecast.

Other features set it apart from the others, though. You’ll get information on allergies, sunrise and sunset information, as well as current weather news and videos. You can also send in your own weather reports and videos. AccuWeather might feature your videos in its news reports.

Overall, we’ve found AccuWeather’s MinuteCast to be a neat and surprisingly accurate feature.

Download now from:

Google Play

The Weather Underground

If you’re a fan of hyperlocal data, then The Weather Underground is it. The service (now owned by The Weather Channel) is the web’s largest repository of online personal weather stations, meaning you’re likely never too far away from a local weather report.

In addition to local weather data, The Weather Underground’s app is pretty data-heavy. Presented in both text and graphical form, you can find data — both current and historical — on temperature, wind speed, daily rainfall, and even data on pollutants and current UV index. Forecasts are provided only ten days in advance, a bit shorter than other apps and its parent The Weather Channel, but like we said, the focus is on data here.

We’re also fans of the webcam section, which gives you a photo look at what’s going on, and “Wunderphotos,” its crowd-sourced photo feature. Snap a photo yourself, and it might be featured in the app for others to see. Data nerds, you need to download this app right away.

Download now from:

Google Play

Weather Radar & Forecast

Sometimes simplicity matters. If you’re not that concerned with all the bells and whistles, Weather Radar & Forecast is a surprisingly good option. The interface is very clean, with the basics you need — current conditions, a five-day forecast, and even radar data.

Weather Radar & Forecast also includes an option to display data on your lock screen, and a widget to place on your desktop if you wish. Other than that, there’s not much — but it’s free and simple, and best for those that find the bigger weather apps a bit too confusing.

Download now from:

Google Play

If you’re on iOS, these are our picks for the best weather apps, and if you decide to go out in bad weather, you can pick one of these windproof umbrellas to help you out.

Update: We’ve gone through all the apps to check for accuracy and added some useful links.

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