As runners and cyclists we live the weather. We’re dialed into far more than ‘it’s going to be hot today’ so that we know whether to take a jacket to work or not. We need to an accurate mobile weather app to help us know if and when it is likely to rain; the direction of the wind (and, whether it will pick up, subside or change later) as well as the temperature and how that might change. All of that will influence a choice of route, gear and clothing. Here are a handful of our favourite mobile weather apps, all of which we’ve used extensively.
NOAA Weather Radar
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) radar app is a mobile weather app that provides access to radar images and weather information from the (American) National Weather Service, which is an agency of the NOAA. The app provides real-time weather radar images, weather forecasts, and sever weather alerts. The free version is not the most feature-rich or animated, to be fair, but we have used it extensively (on iOS) over the years and have found it accurate and easy-to-use for a quick overview of the next three (or 10) days’ charts for temperature, air pressure, precipitation and wind. As with most, it allows you to bookmark various locations and offers three different ways to view the maps: standard, hybrid, satellite. That being said, we usually don’t look at the radar view, but make most use of the ‘charts’ view – a three-day outlay of the most pertinent weather factors.
AccuWeather is a popular mobile weather app that provides current weather conditions, hourly and daily forecasts, and weather alerts to users. The app uses AccuWeather’s proprietary forecasting system, which incorporates data from multiple sources, to deliver accurate and up-to-date weather information. AccuWeather also offers features such as detailed weather maps, customisable weather widgets, and the ability to save multiple locations for quick access to weather information. The app is available on multiple platforms including iOS, Android, and the web.
This mobile weather app was designed specifically for outdoor activities and provides various real-time notifications. It features hyperlocal rain forecasts thanks to advanced algorithms that provide accurate and up-to-date information about the exact location and timing of rain so you know whether or not to pack that soft shell. You are able to customise notifications (and their frequency) about impending rain in your area.
In addition to the detailed precipitation forecasts,this mobile weather app also provides hourly and daily forecasts, giving users a comprehensive view of the weather. The app features interactive weather maps that display precipitation levels, temperature, and other weather-related information.
This mobile weather app is often one of the first people download. Offers a variety of weather information, including current conditions, hourly forecasts, and radar maps. WeatherBug is a weather forecasting app that provides local weather information such as current conditions, hourly and 10-day forecasts, as well as severe weather alerts. The app also provides access to live weather cameras, allergy forecasts, and various weather maps. Additionally, WeatherBug can track your location to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date weather information for your area. WeatherBug is available on various platforms such as Android, iOS, and web browsers.
This is a comprehensive, little tool, offering a detailed daily and hourly forecast, as well a five-day outlook. It has all the usual features you’d want to forecast for a day’s riding or running, including wind direction, cloud cover, precipitation and even moon phase. Plus a range of other little features that might impress weather nerds. You can also customise a ‘smart forecast’ for running, cycling (or star gazing, landscape photography and fishing) set on your parameters. We really like the first light/last light feature. Most apps have sunset and sunrise times, but only few show when it will actually get dark — which is great for safety as well as knowing if you should carry lights, or not. Apparently it was founded in 1995 and was one of the first weather websites on the internet. The app and website use data from a network of over 250,000 personal weather stations and weather sources to provide up-to-date and accurate weather information. Weather Underground also provides features such as customizable weather maps, historical weather data, and user-generated weather reports. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices.