The 8 Best Tornado Alert Apps of 2019

Storm tracking tools to give you early warning

Woman sitting in car during a storm looking at weather alert on phone

Maskot / Getty Images

Tornados are one of nature's most dangerous disasters. To help protect yourself and your family, you need a dependable tornado app. We've compiled a list of our favorites here.

01
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Tornado: American Red Cross

Using the Tornado app to monitor weather alerts
What We Like
  • App created by the American Red Cross, so it can be trusted.

  • Even after the alert is over, it remains in your feed, assuring you it's over.

  • Helps you find area storm shelters using the Maps feature.

What We Don't Like
  • You must manually enter locations you wish to track outside of your current location.

  • You'll need another app for hurricanes or other disasters.

  • You'll also receive Red Cross Notifications that you must turn off manually.

Offered by the American Red Cross, Tornado is an easy to use app that focuses on alerts. When an alert is issued in your area, you'll receive a push notification on your device. You can also set the app to monitor multiple locations, perfect for those with family and friends in other places.

You'll receive any and all alerts provided by the National Weather Service, USGS, or FEMA. Once the alert is over, you'll still be able to view the alert from the app's feed.

02
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NOAA Weather Radar Live

Using the NOAA app to check weather alerts
What We Like
  • See active radar in your area.

  • Push notifications alert you to tornado watches and warnings as they're issued.

  • See forecasts for your area to stay abreast to weather changes.

What We Don't Like
  • Ads show often without premium.

  • You have to enter your location manually.

  • Without premium, the tools are few.

If you want a complete weather app that includes alerts as well as radar and forecasting, this is a great choice. You can easily track the weather in your location and beyond in real-time, and tornado alerts come straight to your device via push notifications.

It's important to note that many features such as map layers, lightning tracker, and advanced precipitation tracker require a premium subscription. You'll also need premium to see weather alerts for all of your saved locations. That said, there is a 7-day free trial to see if this is the app for you.

03
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Storm Shield

Using Storm Shield to check the weather radar
What We Like
  • See current and future radar right on screen.

  • Receive voice alerts for tornados, hurricanes, flooding, and more.

  • Customize the alerts to fit your specific needs.

What We Don't Like
  • Interface moves slow at times.

  • For lightning strike tracking or other features, you'll need to pay for premium.

  • The app takes some practice to use effectively.

Storm Shield is an app focused on delivering fast and accurate severe weather alerts to your device. You can customize the alerts you want to receive and even turn off alerts for locations you don't wish to see. Alerts come as voice alerts for tornados, hurricanes, flooding, and other disasters.

You can also see current and future radar right on your device's screen. The app does offer other features, such as lightning strike tracking, yet you'll need a premium subscription to use them.

04
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Weather by WeatherBug

Receiving weather alerts on Weather Bug
What We Like
  • In-app alerts are super easy to find thanks to bright red icon.

  • Hour-by-hour forecast to help track the weather in your area.

  • Spark Lightning tracker tool is available with your download.

What We Don't Like
  • There are ads without premium.

  • Weather cards take some getting used to.

  • App moves slow at times due to ads.

WeatherBug is known to be one of the best weather apps available on the market. The app offers millions of locations both national and international, and includes interactive radar and maps to help you track storms in real-time. Plus, in-app alerts are easy to find due to the bright red icon on-screen.

According to the company, you'll receive weather alerts 50% faster with their Dangerous Thunderstorm alert system, as well as receive all available alerts from the NOAA and NWS.

05
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TornadoFree

Receiving a tornado alert on the TornadoFree app
What We Like
  • Interactive map visibly shows the path you should take to make it to a safe place.

  • App runs in the background, always receiving weather updates.

  • Built-in timer shows you how long you have left until the tornado arrives.

What We Don't Like
  • There are no other tools inside this app.

  • Running in the background, the app may effect the battery life of your device.

  • Background app refresh must be on at all times.

TornadoFree is a simple app that does one thing: send you immediate alerts. The app runs in the background of your device, receiving live weather updates and alerts seamlessly.

Once the alert is received on your device, TornadoFree will show you a timer indicating how long until the threat reaches your location. Plus, the interactive map visibly shows you the path to take to make it to a safe place such as a storm shelter.

Although the constant background app refresh may affect your battery, the app is a great way to receive alerts during severe weather.

06
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Storm - Weather Radar & Maps

Using the Storm Radar app to track severe weather
What We Like
  • Real-time weather alerts straight to your device.

  • See live radar and forecasts for your locations.

  • Hazards and warnings are color-coded for easy alerting.

What We Don't Like
  • There are ads without premium.

  • The interface is busy.

  • Will need premium to view in-depth information such as nearby lightning strikes.

The Storm app focuses on delivering real-time alerts to your mobile device. Plus, the live radar is high resolution, making it easy to visualize threats. You can also view forecasts for the locations you choose.

To make it easier to visualize nearby threats, Storm uses color-coding to showcase different hazards such as flooding and tornado warnings. The interface is busy and will take some getting used to, yet it's easy to view severe weather alerts.

Storm is free to download and use, but to remove ads and unlock tools such as the lightning tracker, you'll need a premium subscription.

07
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My Hurricane Tracker - Tornado Alerts & Warnings

Viewing radar and tracking weather alerts on My Hurricane Tracker
What We Like
  • Weather alerts straight from the National Weather Service.

  • Push notifications for both warnings and new storm formations.

  • NOAA forecast map in-app.

What We Don't Like
  • Ads without premium.

  • This app runs in the background, which reduces battery life.

  • Must toggle to tornado section for information.

Don't let the name of the app fool you. My Hurricane Tracker also offers a tornado alert system. You'll receive alerts both in-app and as push notifications. The app uses the NOAA forecast map in-app and NWS weather alerts so you can trust what you see.

There are ads within the app and the app will run in the background, which may affect your device battery. And while you must toggle to the tornado section from the home screen, alerts are easy to view.

08
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Weather Underground

Viewing weather alerts on Weather Underground
What We Like
  • Weather alerts are customizable.

  • Hour-by-hour forecasts to track developing weather conditions.

  • Users have the ability to report weather conditions from inside the app, improving its accuracy.

What We Don't Like
  • Ads exist without purchasing premium.

  • The interface is a bit busy.

  • Must add each new location manually.

Rated #7 in the Apple App Store, Weather Underground is known as one of the best fully featured weather apps for both Android and iOS devices. The weather alert you receive are fully customizable to fit your needs.

Plus, hour-by-hour forecasts make it easy to plan your day and track current severe weather conditions in your area. One of the best features is the ability to report weather conditions in your area, giving you the ability to improve the app's accuracy for others.