Looking to get the latest forecast or keep an eye out for severe weather? Visiting a weather site will give you more information than a smartphone app in an easier to read format. We’ll point you to the best sites online for up-to-the-minute weather information (and their apps for when you’re on the go), so you can be prepared for any weather eventuality.
Best All Around: AccuWeather
Coming straight from the weather experts at The Weather Channel, AccuWeather showcases national weather, local weather and the latest weather-related news on its front page, with stories about big national weather events as well as topics like travel and health which can be weather related. The tabs on the top of the page provide easy access to local, national and severe weather information, as well the allergy forecast. The video tab on the top of the site will direct you to weather news (not forecasts) if you prefer that format.
Pulling up your local forecast page, you’ll find a basic forecast for any area you specify with details for the day, covering high and low temperature, current temperature, the RealFeel temperature, and precipitation. At the top, you can access the AccuWeather MinuteCast, which provides hyperlocal temperature and precipitation for the next 120 minutes. So you can find out to the minute when the rain will start. In the tabs, you’ll also find the extended forecast, weekend forecast, month forecast and radar maps. The radar maps show timelapse clips of acutal radar from the past and projections for the next 90 to 120 minutes.
The AccuWeather app for iOS and Android has a clean easy-to-read design with all the weather stats you’d want front and center. You’ll find temperature, RealFeel temperature, hyperlocal precipitation forecast based on your location, humidity, wind, dew point, pressure and button for easy access to radar maps and hourly and daily forecasts.
Best forecast for rural locations: Weather Underground
Weather Underground provides a nice balance of weather news and weather forecasts. Weather Underground puts local weather front and center, with the forecast dominating their front page and a big button that links you to a detailed forecast.
On their forecast page, you’ll find today’s forecast, with current conditions, temperature, Feels Like temperature, wind, and the local radar map. You can scroll down for more information, pollen, air quality, UV index, precipitation, pressure, visibility, humidity, rainfall, snow, dew point, wind, the day’s historical data and data from nearby weather stations. That’s a lot of info!
The Weather Underground app for iOS and Android ($2.99 per year to go ad free) provides a streamlined view of current weather conditions, local radar and easy access to hourly and daily forecasts.
Cleanest Display: Dark Sky
Dark Sky provides all the information you need about your current location up front. There’s no news or videos to clutter up the page. You’ll find the forecast, temperature, feels like temperature, high, low, hour by hour precipitation (with entertaining graphics if it’s raining), UV index, visibility, pressure, wind, dew point, humidity and radar map. The radar map has arrows to show how the clouds are moving, though no time lapse like AccuWeather. You can also access maps for UV index, wind speed, temperature, cloud cover and more. When you scroll down the page, you’ll find the weekly forecast with detailed information.
The Dark Sky app for iOS ($3.99, includes all premium features) and Android ($2.99 per year for premium features) has a beautiful, clean design, which makes it simple to access the information you need, including the forecast, temperature trend, sunset time and more. But what’s unique about the Dark Sky app is that you can set up custom alerts. You can be notified if it’s going to rain, if the temperature will fall below freezing or if the UV Index is high enough to warrant sunscreen. Notifications and minute by minute forecasts are part of the premium offering.
Best allergy forecasts: Pollen.com
A lot of weather apps include allergy forecasts, but Pollen.com goes a step further, identifying the most prevalent allergens in the air. View yesterday, today and tomorrow’s forecast at a glance. And there are tabs for the 5-day forecast and 30-day historical data. You’ll also find an allergen and plant database, with detailed information about where they are found, when they flower and what the pollen looks like, and basic information about allergies. You can also create an allergy diary to track symptoms.
The Pollen.com app for iOS and Android is bare bones. You’ll find the 5-day allergy forecast, the predominant allergen for today’s forecast (and information on the allergen), the weather forecast and the ability to track symptoms in an allergy diary.
Updated on 5/18/2018 with new picks
[Image credit: dog with umbrella via BigStockPhoto]