Track today's blizzard with the best third-party weather apps for your iPhone or iPadApple's native iOS Weather app is pretty spartan. Given that we're in the midst of a very strange winter in the U.S. —with record temperatures, thunderstorms, tornadoes, ice storms, and epic snow all in the same week —use one of these six weather apps to get a bit more data than Apple supplies.
AccuWeather - Weather for Life
All of the weather apps glean raw data from one source, but forecasts and data presentation varies a great deal between organizations. AccuWeather's app presents the raw data, its own forecasts, and now also includes crowdsourced weather data, minute-by-minute precipitation forecasts, all laid on top of an info-dense, but not cluttered, interface.
If you want all the data that lead up to today's forecast. this is the app for you. If you just want to take a quick look and just get a general idea, maybe pass on this one.
It is ad-supported, but a one-time $3.99 in-app purchase purges them forever.
AccuWeather - Weather for Life is free, has an Apple Watch version, requires iOS 9, and takes 168MB of device storage space.
There's no denying that Carrot Weather is an attractive app. It boasts an intuitive, streamlined design, presenting the most important information, such as temperature, precipitation, and three-day forecast able to be checked at a glance.
Because the app exists squarely in the middle of the irreverent Carrot line, the app maintains its trademark sassy delivery, offering users pithy quips about the weather. Also, as in other Carrot apps, using Carrot Weather long enough will satisfy unlock criteria for weather reports from Star Wars, in the midst of a robot apocalypse, and others.
Also of note for Apple Watch users, Carrot boasts one of the best native apps for Apple's wrist-worn device. With a premium subscription for $2.49 per year, Carrot gains precipitation and severe weather alerts, along with half-hourly data updates, notifications, and complication customization features.
If you want strict, no-nonsense weather forecasts, look elsewhere. If you want entertainment delivered with the weather, get Carrot Weather.
Carrot Weather sells for $3.99, has an Apple Watch complication, requires iOS 10, and takes 59MB of iPhone storage.
NOAA Weather Radar - HD Radar & Weather Forecast
If you only want a bit more data than Apple provides with the pre-installed Weather app, but not as much as Accuweather hits you with, a happy medium is NOAA Weather Radar - HD Radar & Weather Forecast.
NOAA Weather Radar - HD Radar & Weather Forecast eschews presenting local data, and gleans its information straight from the NOAA source of all forecasts, presented as clearly as possible. It still provides al the niceties of other weather apps, such as alerts, and forecasts, as well as allowing the user to set up other pinned locations, like work, or a friend's house to get alerts from there as well.
Version 3.16 of NOAA Weather Radar - HD Radar & Weather Forecast is free, requires iOS 8 or newer, and takes 93.1MB of storage.
The Weather Channel
The great grandpappy of 24-hour weather is The Weather Channel. The parent TV network launched in 1982, and was the first broadcast channel to give U.S.-wide weather, 24 hours a day, to all that would subscribe.
While viewership is dropping, the network's digital presence isn't. The Weather Channel app data presentation sits in between the aforementioned NOAA Weather Radar and AccuWeather apps, and is easiest to get a quick glance, and absorb everything you need in a moment, without the need for interpretation.
Additionally, the station's morning video show is available first on the app, before it airs on the network.
The Weather Channel app is free, with a $3.99 in-app purchase to remove ads, is iPhone-only, has an Apple Watch version, takes 188MB of storage space, and requires iOS 9 or above. It is the oldest app of the six we're discussing today, so Apple still retains older versions lacking may of today's niceties for iPhones left behind by the march of time —but it works!
Dark sky is a little different than the other weather apps. Instead of prioritizing day-at-a-glance, or a week's notice of rain on Saturday, or similar, the app's main intent is to let you know when the sky will dump some form of precipitation on you, with an hour's advance notice. It'll still give you that week's view, but letting you know of the immediate impact of the weather on what you're doing is a nice, and unique, feature.
So, if you're out for lunch on foot, heed Dark Sky's alerts. Hit the coffee shop after lunch for those 15 minutes of the downpour, versus being uninformed and slogging it out in the street and being miserable for the rest of the day at work.
Dark Sky sells for $3.99, requires iOS 8 or newer, has an Apple Watch version, and takes a very small 20.8MB of storage.
Just in time for the snow for some users, Facebook is deploying full user location-specific weather forecasts within the mobile app. The new feature is far beyond the previous "weather greetings," and adds an entire forecast within the user's news feed.
Weather.com provides the forecast, so this isn't yet another expansion from the house that Zuckerberg built. However, the feature is of little use if you're a Facebook holdout, or just don't want the social network pawing through your data.
If you don't have the feature yet —stand by. Facebook says that the feature is in testing to select users now, with wider availability to the entire user base before the end of February.