Best Weather Websites and Apps
No matter if you are simply driving to work, going camping for the weekend, or driving long distance across the country your going to want to check the weather. Thanks to the internet there are many services to choose from. Internet weather providers from more detailed internet maps and radar to mobile apps which can provide you with up to date weather on your journey. We scoured the internet to find the best websites and apps to provide you with the most up to date accurate weather and forecasting so that you can make the best choices about your travel plans.
The National Weather Service/ NOAA
When looking for a reliable weather service you can’t go wrong with the pros – the National Weather Service (NWS) which is a branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). What makes the NWS stand out is that other weather websites get their data right from them. The NWS gets their information from weather stations around the world, satellites and other public resources. In fact, the NWS is the organization responsible for weather alerts and warnings.
While the NWS provides great data on weather around the world, its also great for local weather too. All you need to do is type in you city and state or you zip code and get the most recent forecasts for your area. You can also access satellite maps, radar, precipitation chances, historical highs and lows, long-term forecasts, future predictions as well as the current weather conditions.
For those who are looking for an easy to use app check out the new NWS Widget which you can use on most devices if not all. IT spares you from having to play around with different layers. The only down side is that its relatively new so it may have have some issues. This widget provides all the same data as weather.gov but organized in a more simple format.
Another important point relating about the NWS is that half their staff consists of graduates with meterorology degrees which speaks to the quality of their sources. Also, the NWS provides all this information for free with no ads and loads rather quickly. All said and done, the NWS provides a great resource for weather patterns, climate conditions and additional resources for those who are interested make the NWS stand out from the rest.
Weather Underground has been a favorite weather service among your average person, storm chasers, meteorologists and weather hobbyists who are searching for a reliable resource for their weather information. Weather Underground collects their data from over 100,000 individual weather stations located in personal homes, schools, and many other locations around the country. There is also a blog which people regularly talk about local, regional, and global weather issues if you are so inclined to participate.
While the site has been overhauled several times, it still provides you with pertinent weather information, events, blog posts, and other member contributions. One of the most favorited services that Weather Underground provides is the Wundermap which is a customizable and very informative full screen weather map. You are able to toggle layers along with local details from the country, to the state, the county and down to your city. This enables the user to find out what is happening in your community with only the push of a button.
If you are looking for a mobile app check out Wundergrounds Storm app. Its a free radar imagery map that allows you to see the most important aspects of a storm. You can also overlay different layers for a custom view. It is also capable of showing satellite images, surface observations, upper-level data, winds, and temperatures.
Among the best aspects of Weather Underground is the full-screen weather maps and that they provide even more raw data for the weather enthusiast for a small fee. Many users comment on the high level of accuracy due to not only the reliable weather forecasts but also the real-time weather data taken from the 100,000 weather stations around the country. Whether you like to make your own weather models, are professional meteorologist, or just love looking at the weather, this is a great service for you.
Forecast.io is another weather service that is a lot newer than Wunderground or the NWS but still provides great details on the weather data you desire. It provides much of the same data as the aforementioned services without all the complex data. If you are searching for more basic weather without all the extraneous information forecast.io is a good option. Another great aspect about forecast.io is that it has an open AP and adapts great to mobile devices.
For those who are looking for the best radar app for apple and android smartphones you can’t do much better than RadarScope. It costs $9.99 for the app and $29.99 for the mac desktop version. While it is expensive for a weather app, it is for a reason. You get “super-resolution” Level II radar to provde the most accurate data on local and national weather patterns.