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The best weather apps
3rd June, 2021 |
With the UK’s weather always so changeable it’s no wonder that as a nation we’re so obsessed by it. And with our ever-helpful smartphones always at the ready, there’s never been a better time to stay ahead of all that Mother Nature has in store. But with so many weather apps out there it can be tricky working out which one to download. That’s why we’ve put together this list of our favourites. So, whether you’re an Android aficionado or you’re insane about iOS, there’s bound to be one for you.
While you can't control the sun, the rain, or the wind, you can keep your trusty mobile phone safe from breakdown, theft, damage and loss. Simply call our team at Gadget Cover and ask what mobile phone insurance would be right for your needs and budget.
Now let’s take a look at those apps.
Launched in 2013 the BBC Weather App is undoubtedly the most popular in the UK. Wherever you are in the country and whatever your plans, this simple app lets you get all the information you need at a glance. It’s got all the usual weather app features, including hourly data up to 14 days ahead for UK locations and major international cities. The ‘Chance of Precipitation’ tool gives you a heads up about rain, hail or snow. While it also gives a ‘Feels like’ temperature taking into account wind speed and humidity.
As well as personalised weather warnings you can also continue the weather chat online with your friends through easily shareable forecasts to Facebook, Twitter and email. It’s almost as though they want us to complain about the weather! There’s also a handy text-to-speech accessibility tool.
Price: Free/Ad-free £2.99
There are few more authoritative places to get your weather news than from the UK’s very own National Weather Service. Founded way back in 1854, the Met Office has been dispensing weather wisdom for many years. Moving into the 21st Century this venerable institution’s app offers all the key features you’d want and much more.
You can quickly view weather forecasts from just one hour all the way up to seven days ahead. Key features include an interactive rainfall map, text forecast for the next 24 hours and severe weather warning alerts. So, you need never be surprised by snow, strong winds, ice, fog and rain ever again!
The app also provides plenty of personalised, accurate forecasts including a surface pressure map, probability of precipitation, actual and ‘Feels like’ temperature, and wind speed, direction and gusts.
You can even check air pollution forecasts and pollen push notifications so you’ve plenty of warning before heading out. Finally, there’s also a UV index, visibility, humidity and pressure indicators. From sailors to mountain bikers this is a great app for anyone who loves the great outdoors and needs to be well prepared. Indeed, its world-leading national weather warning system recently won it an award from the World Meteorological Organisation.
If you’re an iPhone user with a device running iOS 14 then you can also download the Met Office weather widget so you can effortlessly stay up to date from your home screen.
Price: Free/Premium ad-free £0.99 (monthly), £8.99 (yearly)
Accuweather is a brilliant app that’s been one of the top apps for UK weather-obsessives for a few years now. With a beautiful, streamlined user interface and a wealth of different data representations it’s no wonder it’s so popular. Providing accurate hourly, daily and 15-day weather forecasts it’s easy to use the app to help you plan all manner of outdoor activities. For weather news buffs there’s also plenty of articles and video content from their dedicated weather news team.
If you need a hyper-local, minute-by-minute forecast (perhaps you’re planning an outdoor party) then the amazing MinuteCast feature is invaluable. Just be sure to use it whilst linked to Wi-Fi, it’ll soon eat its way through your monthly data allowance if you don’t!
Just like many other apps on the list, you can get real and ‘Feels like’ temperatures and alerts for severe weather events. Other vital stats you can look through include live radar, cloud cover, UV index, visibility, allergy, precipitation and air quality reports. If you’re a globetrotter then you’ll also be pleased to hear that Accuweather isn’t UK-centric, it has forecast data for more than 3 million locations worldwide!
Recent developments include a satellite map, which displays the latest and most realistic view of Earth from space.
Price: Free/Ad-free subscription £0.99 (monthly), £9.99 (yearly)
A great all-rounder, users of Weather by Weatherbug have lots of positive things to say about it. Using data from its network of 10,000 professional weather stations you can view accurate rainfall radar and real-time weather for every city across the UK, as well as for over 90 countries and 2.6 million cities worldwide.
If you’re an outdoorsy type then you’ll be more than happy with some of their specialised forecasts and mapping data. Winter sports enthusiasts can stay prepared with the app’s 10-day snow depth forecast and real-time snow storm alerts. If you need to keep an eye on summer storms then its Storm Tracker map layer combines Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts with the wonderful animated lightning map. You can even receive alerts when lighting strikes within 10 miles of your location! No more worrying about thunderstorms when out horse-riding.
As well as over a dozen interactive weather map layers to choose from, you can also add current traffic conditions and a satellite view. Keeping you always one step ahead of the weather and road conditions.
A weather widget by WeatherBug is also available for both iOS and Android so you can stay aware of weather conditions with just a glance at your home screen.
If you are planning on venturing out in extreme weather, then make sure you have mobile phone insurance to protect your tech.
Price: Free/Premium £0.99 (monthly), £9.49 (yearly)/Premium Pro £4.99 (monthly), £29.49 (yearly)
Yet another slick and capable contender when it comes to replacing your smartphone's inbuilt weather app. As you would expect the market-leading Weather Channel app constantly updates to give you the most accurate and up-to-the-minute live weather reports for your location. It offers the current forecast alongside hourly and daily weather updates to let you plan up to 15 days in advance. Severe weather, daily temperature and wind speed updates let you know whether you’ll need a raincoat or your sunglasses, or both!
It also boasts cold and flu reports in your area, radar reports, high risk allergy reports and medical advice to help you beat them. If you’re a runner then there’s the Running Index which helps you find the best running conditions nearby. By analysing the temperature and detailed wind speed updates planning the perfect run has never been more scientific.
And if you live or are visiting a location that’s subject to extreme weather events then the app will not only send you live radar alerts but also expert safety advice. From wildfires to floods, this could be a real lifesaver!
The Weather Channel app also lets you use social sharing features to upload images, tweets, videos and photos. So, if you’ve grabbed an atmospheric picture of an approaching storm then you’ve got a place to post it.
Price: Free/Premium £4.99 (monthly), £19.49 (yearly)
Billed as crazy-powerful but also hilariously twisted, there really is no other weather app quite like Carrot Weather. Start off by choosing which one of Carrot’s five ‘personalities’ will be delivering your weather news and updates. You can choose from:
- Professional: No sarcasm, just calmly announcing the daily weather conditions.
- Friendly: A perfectly well-adjusted Carrot will certainly behave itself. You could easily introduce Carrot to your parents and there would be no problems.
- Snarky: Generally more cheeky and sarcastic, kind of like a best friend who loves banter. Doesn't ever try to kill you, lulling you into a false sense of security.
- Homicidal: Why would you ever choose Homicidal? You really only have yourself to blame. Don't come crying to us if Carrot convinces you to stand on the roof during a lightning storm.
- Overkill: Like Homicidal, but with far more swearing. Be warned, Overkill is NSFW.
In addition to personality types, you can also elect whether to have Carrot’s voice and sounds turned on or off. A wise choice if you’re taking Carrot Overkill to church or to a Buckingham Palace engagement. Whatever personality you choose, expect lots of colourful scenery and characters that react in unexpected ways to the weather. You’ll soon have your fingers crossed for extreme weather – just to see how Carrot reacts!
Carrot also boasts a Time Travel feature so you can see the weather for any location up to 70 years in the past or 10 years in the future! It also likes to have fun with its so-called Secret Locations. These are little challenges that the app gives you - find ‘famous’ landmarks, such as Chernobyl, the Pyramids, Nakatomi Plaza and even Mount Doom! You can even use augmented reality to bring Carrot into your living room – if you dare.
Alongside this you have super accurate weather data and beautifully minimalist design. Bad weather has never looked so good and been so much fun!
While the app is free to download there are a whole host of subscription levels you can sign up to that provide a range of features.
If you’re looking for something that’s cheap and cheerful and does exactly what you expect then look no further than Yahoo’s beautifully designed weather app. It’s got an informative and striking user interface that includes all the essential weather information and alerts the everyday user needs.
It also boasts interactive radar, satellite, heat, and wind maps, and a range of forecasts to choose from, including a detailed 5-day forecast. The app uses Flickr to show gorgeous images of your location with matching time of day and weather conditions.
If you’re looking for serious weather details and more whizz-bang features then there are better apps out there. But Yahoo Weather's clean and simple presentation makes it a user-friendly, everyday app. If only there was a paid-for option to get rid of those pesky advertisements!
In terms of what’s new, Yahoo has recently added a new pollen forecast so you can check the levels of allergens in your area.
Free/Ad-free £0.59 - £7.99
This truly magical weather app combines fabulous style with lots of practical weather data. It provides a range of forecasts based on data from high precision, local weather stations, radar and satellite images. It also offers ‘Feels like’ temperature, water temperature, chance of rain and a UV index.
So far, so normal. But what makes this app stand out from the crowd are its amazing weather widgets and animated live wallpapers. The look of the app is always changing according to the season, time of day and of course the weather. So, if it’s raining outside, it’s raining in the app, and people open their umbrellas! The sun even sets at the same time as in the real world, while the phases of the moon are also accurate. You can even wake up to the sounds of nature, thanks to the app’s alarm clock!
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