Find the best weather app for your needs

Your iPhone or Android smartphone will come with its own default weather app but, as with anything that claims to be a jack-of-all-trades, you may find that the information it provides doesn’t quite meet your needs.

A sailor, for example, needs different information than a gardener, and someone who likes city breaks will likely have a different set of priorities than someone who likes wild camping in the Scottish mountains.

So many people search the internet for a weather app to meet their needs – and there are a bewildering number of apps that claim to meet them. Here’s a look at some of the best. And what’s more, most of them are completely free.

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For outdoor enthusiasts

Met Office weather forecast

Anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors needs to know what’s happening now, what’s going to happen, and most importantly, how it will affect them.

The Metrological Office has a long-standing reputation for accuracy, so few are better qualified to reassure anyone who relies on accurate weather forecasts to stay safe and, in extreme weather conditions, alive.

The Met Office’s pedigree appears in its forecast presentation; it doesn’t just show the temperature, it also shows you what that temperature will be like taking into account factors like wind chill.

You can also set alerts for severe weather warnings, meaning you’ll never be caught off guard by heavy rain, snow or high winds again.

Cost: free

Available for: AppleiOS and android

For the sailor or fisherman

Windfinder: Wind and weather map

Windfinder doesn’t just show the prevailing wind strength and direction. It is also a fully functional weather app and tide finder that gives the avid sailor, kayaker, windsurfer or fisherman all the information they might need to stay safe and enjoy their vacation to the fullest. hobby.

Cost: free upgrade from pro version available at cost

Available for: AppleiOS and android

For the weather lover

Underground weather: local map

Crowd-sourced data is all the rage these days, so it was inevitable that an enterprising app developer would use the same principle to aggregate weather forecast data from a series of amateur weather stations to worldwide.

Weather Underground uses information from hundreds of thousands of personal weather stations, and users can even upload photos of the weather at their location so you can see for yourself how the weather affects roads and paths. You can even sign up to add your own weather station.

Cost: free

Available for: AppleiOS and android

For the gardener

dark sky weather

Dark Sky is presented as a hyper-local weather forecast that tells you the exact time it will start raining or snowing in your area.

You can set up notifications that will let you know when it’s going to rain, meaning you won’t even have to open the app to find out if you have time to mow the lawn quickly before the sky turns dark. open!

There’s also a fascinating graph that lets you scroll around the world to check the weather anywhere on the planet and there’s a version of the app that lets you use it on your Apple Watch.

Dark Sky was purchased by Apple and is therefore no longer available on Android, although you can still see weather details on their website.

Cost: £3.99

Available for: AppleiOS

For the hay fever sufferer

BBC Weather

Anyone who suffers from hay fever can rely on the good old BBC, whose weather app offers a pollen count on its ten-day forecast.

It also shows UV levels, which anyone with sensitive skin will appreciate.

Cost: free

Available for: AppleiOS and android

For the cloud watcher

cloud per day

Do you want to be able to distinguish your Cumulus from your Cavum? The Cloud Appreciation Ltd Cloud-a-Day app aims to teach you how to identify 40 cloud types and 18 optical effects. The app keeps a database of images and information about the different varieties of clouds, and every morning you’ll get an uplifting image from another app user. Identify the clouds you spot using the step-by-step wizard that uses a simple flowchart to help you identify what you see, or use your phone’s camera and CloudSpotter AI.

Cost: free

Available for: AppleiOS and android

For the storm chaser

My lightning tracking and alerts

Maybe you love thunderstorms and want to know when there’s one, maybe you hate them, or you have a nervous pet and want to know when to prepare for it. Maybe you’re even a photographer who wants to get the perfect shot of a dramatic lightning bolt falling from the clouds. Whatever your reason, My Lightning Tracker helps you track lightning in near real time, anywhere in the world, and receive notifications when it strikes in your area, as well as use weather radar to see what’s going on. happens.

Cost: free

Available for: AppleiOS and android

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