Knowing the local weather is key to staying safe, whether it’s your morning commute or a weekend getaway. One of the ways you can do this is by downloading weather apps that can help you with severe weather alerts, radar maps, storm reports, hourly temperature forecasts, and more.
Here, we’ll round up some of the best free weather apps for your iPhone or Android device. However, note that while most of the core features are free, you’ll always have the option to upgrade. Now, let’s get started
1. The Weather Channel
The Weather Channel is one of the most comprehensive weather apps out there. It features detailed radar maps, live updates on breaking weather events, and push notifications for severe weather.
You can find a “Radar” section for seeing conditions in various views, including storm tracks and weather graphics. Some of the highlights of the app are as follows:
- Current conditions: On the home screen, you can view current conditions such as rain amount, pollutants, UV index, cloud cover, and temperature and humidity levels.
- Forecasts: Detailed hourly and daily forecasts (up to fifteen days).
- Seasonal Hub: A panel that shows you various types of information about —dry skin index, umbrella index, chill index, and more.
- Severe weather alerts: To set up this feature for your location, tap the bell icon in the search bar and customize your notification settings.
- Health recommendations, air pollution, and information about allergies (pollen, etc.)
- Sunrise and sunset times.
- Air quality index (AQI) with pollution levels.
- Real-time radar maps (24-hr future radar, Driving Difficulty index, changes in precipitation levels).
The free version already comes with a good many features. For a completely ad-free experience, however, you’ll need to sign up for a monthly or annual subscription. Regardless, it’s one of the best weather apps you can get, whether you’re an iPhone or Android user.
Windy is a full-featured app with a gorgeous interface, an array of settings to allow customization, and accurate maps. If you’re planning a trip, the app gives you detailed 24/7, up-to-the-minute local forecasts, weather conditions, and radar maps—all in one place.
It uses highly advanced forecast models, including NOAA and ECMWF, CAPE index, as well as satellite and Doppler radars, along with 51 weather maps, to deliver accurate forecasts for locations across the globe.
With its meteogram and airgram features, you can see your local weather conditions at a glance. This comes in the form of interactive radar maps that provide detailed precipitation, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, dew point temperatures, and more—all in one place. You can also use digital wind speed meters in conjunction with these weather apps for accurate readings.
If you find yourself looking to keep track of weather across several locations (such as airports) as part of your travel routine, or are an outdoor sports enthusiast who likes to know about wind speeds in different locales, then this might be the best free weather app to get.
The free version provides standard weather data. You can sign up for a premium subscription to access extremely accurate, high-resolution radar maps with an ad-free experience.
3. IQAir AirVisual
With the Air Visual app, you can see what the air quality is like in your surroundings and get weekly forecasts for your desired locations across the globe.
Powered by AirIQ, the app is a unique tool for measuring and forecasting air quality. It goes beyond simply monitoring one’s indoor or outdoor air quality—it takes you a step further by offering helpful features such as a city/country level of emissions, an easy-to-read particulate matter chart over a 24-hour period, and resources to protect yourself from increased pollution levels.
It uses data from government agencies along with satellite imagery. The app also shows the average air quality index by the hour and includes helpful recommendations to reduce exposure to PM 2.5. You can even purchase air quality monitors within the app.
Once you add a location, the app displays an air quality index prediction for your location. You can also set up alerts for high levels of particulate matter in the atmosphere.
4. Carrot Weather
Carrot Weather has all the features of a traditional weather app, plus a few extras. It considers the user’s personality, location, and preferences to create a personalized weather forecast. With its unique, dry, and sarcastic humor (and sound effects!), Carrot Weather delivers its information in a light-hearted way.
You can see detailed hour-by-hour forecasts, and the app’s interface is sleek and minimalist, offering more details and options without overwhelming you with too many choices. Although this is one of the best free weather apps, it offers a premium upgrade to remove ads, enable widgets, and view weather data spanning a couple of decades well into the past.
WeatherBug is an app that blends animation, top-notch features, and a massive community to inform you of the latest weather with weather images, recordings, and more. The app’s background reflects the weather conditions at your location at any given time.
The home screen has several tabs that display current conditions, hourly forecasts, multiple-day forecasts, and more. You can customize your weather alerts based on specific regions and set up different visual modes, such as dark and light modes.
You can head over to the Maps tab for a more detailed map of your location and nearby areas. There’s also a forecast for ten days in advance that show temperatures, wind speeds, probability of rainfall/snow, humidity levels, and more.
The app allows you to add various layers of customization to get more information on storms, temperature, precipitation, and more. Plus, you can set up weather alerts to notify you when there’s a storm or lightning strike near your area.
6. Weather Underground
This easy-to-use weather app has a sleek interface packed with valuable features. It displays current conditions, hourly forecasts, multiple-day forecasts, and more.
The app helps you stay safe with weather alerts powered by NOAA and Doppler radar technology. Simply set up your favorite locations to receive real-time updates so you can keep up with fast-approaching storms or severe weather easily.
A middle tab allows quick access to features such as setting up smart weather forecasts—a premium feature—and a daily/hourly forecast. You can get extended forecasts for up to fifteen days with an upgrade.
Scroll down the home page to get access to a news feed showing the latest weather updates, videos, and a complete catalog of available radar maps.
The AccuWeather app is your one-stop source for the most accurate, hyperlocal weather forecasts and news. The app provides hourly, daily, and weekly forecasts and up-to-the-minute radar and satellite maps.
AccuWeather provides easy access to the most accurate and insightful current conditions, customized alerts, and personal insights. Their proprietary forecast models, such as “Real Feel” and “Real Shade” let you know what it feels like at any time of the day.
With a plethora of interactive radar maps and an impressive amount of weather data, you can view important weather information. Apart from the radar imagery, you can also add personalized layers right from satellite images of water vapor to wind gusts and precipitation outlook for the upcoming week.
8. What the Forecast
What The Forecast stands out from the other best free weather apps on this list in several ways. Its quirky humor alone is enough to make it worth a look, and the app’s design and clean layout are exceptionally well done.
While it doesn’t offer anything groundbreaking, you can expect most of the core features from the other free weather apps we discussed before. So, if you’re in the market for something a little different, give this weather app a try.
The Best Free Weather Apps You Should Try
No matter your mood, having some solid weather apps makes it much easier to receive real-time updates and get the forecast for your location.
If you’re traveling, we recommend downloading some of these free weather apps to get accurate weather forecasts before arriving at your destination.
They’re invaluable when planning your day, whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure. With these weather apps, you’ll be able to stay ahead of any inclement weather.