Best Weather Apps: Top 5 Reliable Forecasts Most Recommended By Experts

How’s the weather up there? Answering this question is as easy as reaching into our pockets nowadays with the built-in apps that help us plan the day. The best weather apps are essential tools for staying informed and prepared in an ever-changing climate. These apps provide real-time weather updates, forecasts, and radar information, helping users plan their day with accuracy. With user-friendly interfaces and customizable features, they offer a convenient way to access weather data, ensuring you’re always ready for whatever Mother Nature has in store.

The forecast tells us more than what’s happening in the clouds. Advanced reports include air quality, pollen count, dew point, and more. A study says if you are someone who enjoys outdoor activities, you need to be aware of when pollen counts are lowest and what times are best for you to be outside. Weather apps and websites are a good way to monitor pollen levels in your area. This is especially important for people who find themselves with seasonal allergies in the springtime. Everyone should be able to enjoy the great outdoors without the sniffles.

We rely heavily on our phones. Sometimes, instead of just stepping outside, using an app to check the weather is more convenient. In fact, a study of 2000 smartphone users found that 62 percent of respondents are constantly looking up weather forecasts on their phones. Hey, it can’t hurt to be informed.

If you’re someone who wants all the ins-and-outs of the weather from an app you can trust for accuracy, we’ve got you covered. To find the most reliable platforms, StudyFinds compiled a list of the five best weather apps after reviewing 10 expert websites. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

Woman looking at smartphone while holding umbrella
A woman with an umbrella checking her phone (Photo by Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images)

The List: Best Weather Apps, According to Experts

1. Carrot Weather

Tom’s Guide loves this option: “Formerly an iOS exclusive you couldn’t get on Android, Carrot Weather has long since bridged the platform divide; now the malevolent AI overlord Carrot can bring Android users the weather forecast. iOS users still enjoy features like being able to add a Carrot Weather widget to their lock screens as well as support for Live Activities in iOS 16.1. But periodic updates add other features and bonuses for premium subscribers such as tide data or forecasts for up to five locations.”

“We tend to be skeptical of apps that describe themselves as ‘hilarious.’ We’re of the mindset that weather apps shouldn’t be funny. But, after testing out CARROT Weather, a 2021 Apple Design Award winner, we’ve been won over, ” says Cool Material. “Users can set the app’s ‘personality preference’ so if you’d prefer a buttoned-up weather experience, CARROT delivers. While the quips are fun, we appreciate the streamlined, clean design of this weather app. And, best of all, the base app is free. Though it’s worth considering an upgrade to CARROT’s paid tier for further customization.”

“Its local forecasts are often accurate and reliable. It even includes options to make the app look and behave similarly to Dark Sky. But rather than dry weather readouts, Carrot Weather’s updates and commentary are often humorous and sarcastic, and the app features stylized art and animations that stand out against the often plain and utilitarian designs of other third-party weather apps,” writes Life Hacker.

2. The Weather Channel

Business Insider says you might recognize the name from television: “The app is like an extension of that channel on your smartphone, with a wealth of quality content. You get hourly and extended forecasts, radar imagery, and even video clips and other content pulled straight from cable TV. The app also includes sunrise and sunset times, air quality reports, tides times and moon phases, as well as optional weather alerts. While much of the app is free, The Weather Channel app is ad supported. If you prefer, you can subscribe to the premium service for $4.99 per month for ad-free content.”

“None of us will be able to bend the weather to our will like Sean Connery in 1998’s The Avengers, or Thor in the other Avengers. Instead, we rely on weather apps like The Weather Channel’s offering to keep us alert to the weather’s whims. This excellently designed iPhone app provides all the weather information you need, and even works with Apple Watch,” adds PCMag. “Your main screen shows the current temperature and conditions displayed over a large, bright photograph. The image is, usually, selected to match your current location, but it frequently draws from stock images. From here, you can also see what conditions other Weather Channel users are reporting and when the next round of precipitation is likely to occur.”

“The Weather Channel app is one of the most popular third-party weather apps on Android and iOS for a reason. Along with the weather info, you can also watch live coverage, view pollen/dust levels, check current flu or COVID-19 infection rates for your neighborhood, and much more,” writes Life Hacker

3. Weather Underground

Lifewire says there’s one feature that makes this app unique: “its Smart Forecasts are what sets it apart. Choose multiple weather conditions—like rain, wind, temperature, and air pollution—that you consider ideal for a specific outdoor task, and this app will show you when is the best time to go outside and do it. This is the perfect app if you’re in need of knowing when, exactly, you can do things like ride your bike, go running, star gaze, walk, take outdoor pictures, hike, fly a kite, etc.”

“Weather Underground underwent some big changes when IBM bought the company a while back. It gets the basics right, including the current forecast, a weather radar, the future forecast, and stuff like that,” adds Android Authority. “The app augments the experience by adding things like an air quality metric, sunrise and sunset times, hurricane tracking, and weather news. Additionally, the radar is fairly customizable with plenty of layers. The price is quite a bit steeper than it used to be, and we understand if that price is too high for you, but the free version works the same with ads.”

“Weather Underground’s privacy policy is unlike other weather apps — and many mobile apps. The app lets you know upfront that it will use your data for targeted ads. The app makes it easy to opt out of sharing your information and to delete the data the app has on you. It also shows you how to manage your iPhone and Android app permissions. You can even request a copy of the data the app has on you from the Data Rights menu in Settings,” explains CNET

4. NOAA Weather Radar

Cool Material describes this app’s HD Radar and Satellite overlays as “incredibly accurate and make it simple to identify rain, snow, or other precipitation (and even cloud cover) in a beautiful real-time display. Its built-in rain map provides a detailed rain forecast for up to 24 hours, and if you’re too busy to check out the maps, you can also receive push notifications to keep yourself up to date on any developing noteworthy weather alerts.”

“With a Clime paid subscription, you get one of the most comprehensive weather radars out of all the weather apps on this list. While other radars might show the temperature, rain and snow, Clime’s radar will show you cloud coverage, snow depths and even active fire and hotspots,” says CNET

“Many weather apps draw data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. So, just cut to the chase with the NOAA Weather Radar Live app. With it, you can check local forecasts and track weather patterns using interactive satellite maps,” points out PCMag

5. FlowX

Make Use Of sets the scene: “You get a visual overview of the weather conditions with details like rain, clouds, temperatures, pressure, air quality, and more. You can easily zoom in and out to see a suitable amount of detail according to your requirement. Flowx also displays a graph for changes based on weather trends, helping you make plans for the coming days. In addition, you can place an informative weather widget on your home screen. And apart from being ad-free, it also claims to have a no-tracking policy. However, two paid subscriptions are available if you want to enhance your experience further.”

“Flowx is an Android weather app known for high local forecast accuracy, even in the free version. The app lets you view a wealth of meteorological data, and over 20 different forecast models for up to seven-day weather outlooks,” writes Life Hacker. “The paid Flowx Pro adds even more features like customizable weather maps, home and lock screen widgets, and up to 16-day forecasts. Flowx is Android-only for now, but an iOS version is in development and should be an excellent option if it matches the Android version’s features and performance.”

“Flowx is an app jam-packed with information at just a glance. Although not a great option for daily planning, the Flowx really shines as a weeklong forecast so you can plan the perfect time for that weekend hike. Its simple slide navigation also makes storm-tracking a mesmerizing experience. Flowx also downloads with location tracking turned off by default, so you’re safe there as well. Unfortunately, Flowx is currently only available on Android and not iOS,” adds Popular Mechanics

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.