The 6 Best Weather Apps For Your Phone in 2018

Don't just get the weather — get the right weather for you

Illustration of a woman holding a phone with a weather background

Designed by Freepik (Phone and Weather)

Weather apps are useful in many situations, but not all of them are made for the same purpose. Where one app might be best for alerting you about nearby hurricanes or tornadoes, another might specialize in tracking the weather for pilots, surfers, hikers, or bike riders.

Below are the best weather apps for a variety of situations and weather conditions. Some of these apps are also multi-functional, showing not only rain or snow maps, for example, but also hourly and daily forecasts, wind speeds, allergy information, detailed radar maps, and more.

We also keep updated lists of the best iPhone weather apps, the best weather apps for Android, and the best completely free weather apps which has some options for Windows, macOS, and Linux!

Screenshots of the AccuWeather iPhone weather app
AccuWeather iPhone App.

AccuWeather is a beast of a weather app and is often a Top 10 most downloaded weather app in app stores. It’s perfect for anyone planning to travel soon, work outside, go running, have a picnic, etc. There are two reasons for this: it shows a long, 15-day forecast plus a 2-hour, minute-by-minute forecast.

You’ll know exactly when it will rain, snow, sleet, and hail before you head out. Plus, the map displays radar from an hour ago to up to two hours in the future, so planning ahead is simple.

What We Like:

  • Long-term forecast includes as much detail as today’s

  • Shows allergy information for a week in advance

  • Includes weather alerts

What We Don’t Like:

  • Easy to become overwhelmed by all the detail

  • Additional features (like no ads) require a Platinum account

Works With: Android and iOS

Price: Free, with a one-time fee for more features

The primary screen in AccuWeather shows everything you need to know right now: the temperature, what it feels like, the high and low for today, and whether there will be any precipitation in the next two hours.

The first screen also has buttons for the radar, hourly, and daily forecast. Some weather apps have you scroll all over to find these things, so it’s nice that this app puts them right there at the top. Plus, just a quick scroll later and you can see what will happen later today, with the hourly and daily forecasts built-in to one long scrollable list, with a graph of the highs and lows for a way to quickly glance at how the temperature will change over time.

AccuWeather also shows when the sun will rise and set; displays whether allergies like tree pollen, dust and dander, grass pollen, and mold are of a high risk; lets you submit a weather condition; lets you track multiple locations around the world; and has trending weather-related news built-in to the app.

However, if that’s just too much to handle at once, you can always edit the way things appear, removing or adding elements to the app that you do or don’t want to see.

To get more features like no ads and a 25-day forecast, you have to upgrade AccuWeather Platinum, which is $3.99.

Screenshots of the Wunderground iPhone weather app
Wunderground iPhone App.

While Wunderground is a great weather app all around, its Smart Forecasts are what sets it apart. Choose multiple weather conditions — like rain, wind, temperature, and air pollution — that you consider ideal for a specific outdoor task, and this app will show you when is the best  time to go outside and do it.

This is the perfect app if you're in need of knowing when, exactly, you can do things like ride your bike, go running, star gaze, walk, take outdoor pictures, hike, fly a kite, etc.

For example, if you like to ride your bike but want to avoid heavy winds, rain, and 80+ temperatures, you can create your own forecast recipe with those specific conditions. You'll know the exact hours of the day, and which incoming days, that are best for bike riding.

What We Like:

  • Every Smart Forecast is customizable
  • Includes a wealth of other weather details
  • Really simple to understand

What We Don't Like:

  • Includes ads

Works WithAndroid and ​iOS

Price: Free, $2 /year to remove ads

Wunderground is touted as the "world's most accurate weather service," and gathers its data from hundreds of thousands of personal weather stations all around the world. It includes an interactive map with different views for displaying temperature, radar, satellite, severe weather alerts, heat maps, webcams, hurricanes, and more.

At the very top of this weather app is the current location with a preview of the radar and an outlook on today's weather — the current high and low and "feels like" temperature.

As you scroll down through the app you see the 10-day daily and hourly forecast, a temperature graph for a quick glance at how the day will go, followed by today's air quality index, Smart Forecasts, weather videos, health information (UV index and flu risk), webcams, and then finally hurricane and tropical cyclone information.

You can edit any of those tiles to hide what doesn't interest you. Wunderground also lets you move the tiles around to position them however you want, like to have more important ones closer to the top.

Screenshots of the Storm Radar iPhone weather app
Storm Radar iPhone App.

It's important to have a great quality app for tracking minute details about strong storms, and Storm Radar is just the app for it. Its maps are very detailed and show exactly where a storm is projected to go, and when.

Even if you aren't watching the map live, Storm Radar will send you push notifications at the right time to alert you about upcoming dangerous storms. 

What We Like:

  • Extensive details about storms
  • Lots of layer options on the interactive map
  • Runs smoothly

What We Don't Like:

  • Shows advertisements

Works With: Android and iOS

Price: Free, ads can be removed for $1 /month

The weather map included in Storm Radar is extremely customizable, letting you choose exactly which elements to display. You can pick from radar, satellite, severe weather alerts, temperature, local storm reports, lightning, storm tracks, temperature change, hurricane/tropical storm, earthquakes, and/or road weather.

If you tap on a storm track you get a full analysis that includes lots of information not normally seen in a weather app. You can see the hot storm index, tornado impact, hail impact, wind impact, lightning impact, flooding impact, mixed-layer CAPE, mixed-layer CIN, mixed-layer lifted index, change in wind velocity, freezing level height, reflectivity, probability of hail, and several other specific details.

The map in Storm Radar can not only show you the storm from a couple hours ago, and how it moved to where it's at now, it even shows its projected path over the next six hours.

This weather app is all around very easy to use, despite its massive amount of detail. Just tap anywhere on the map and you'll instantly get a pop-up box showing the weather information there; tap the star and it'll be added to your list of favorite locations where you can get severe weather alerts and/or notifications for precipitation warnings and lightning alerts.

Screenshots of the Tides Near Me iPhone weather app
Tides Near Me iPhone App.

Whether you like to boat, surf, or just hang out at the beach, Tides Near Me is the best app for knowing ahead of time when there will be high and low tides.

Pick a country, city, and tide station, and you'll be given current information about the last tide and the next tide, plus a look at tides during the rest of the week, and a map of tide stations around the city to compare information between them.

What We Like:

  • Really simple to use yet still informative
  • Supports dozens of countries

What We Don't Like:

  • The free version includes ads

Works WithAndroid and iOS

Price: Free

Unlike some weather apps that have multiple purposes, this one is really only ideal for checking on high and low tides. Beyond that, you can see the sunset and moonrise time for each day of the week.

Tides Near Me is also available as an ad-free app on both the iOS App Store and Play Store for a few dollars.

Screenshots of the ForeFlight weather app
ForeFlight iPhone App.

ForeFlight is the perfect weather app to have if you’re a pilot because the whole app is centered around flights. Plan a route and you’ll immediately see if the flight will be affected by weather threats or temporary flight restrictions.

What We Like:

  • Very comprehensive

  • Not hard to use

  • Free for one month

What We Don’t Like:

  • Requires lots of storage space

  • Subscriptions are expensive

  • Doesn't work with Android phones

Works WithiOS

Price: 30-day free trial, followed by three subscription options

For accurate results, you can describe the exact aircraft used for your flights. When you do that, the app will automatically download weight and balance information from the FAA, which is helpful if you need to know about weight limits.

You can also import custom KML files into this weather app to overlay on the map, plus create user waypoints, build a pre-flight checklist, and access a logbook for storing and sharing flights, currency information, hours, experience reports, and more.

The ForeFlight weather app also offers terminal procedure charts, a live moving map with many layer options, hazard awareness, Jeppesen charts, support for avionics and portable ADS-B and GPS receivers, and decoded METARs, TAFs, and MOS forecasts.

ForeFlight is free for 30 days but to keep using it, you have to subscribe to Performance Plus, Pro Plus, or Basic Plus, which cost $300 /year, $200 /year, and $100 /year, respectively. There’s also a 3-month Basic Plus option that’s $50.

Screenshots of the OpenSummit iPhone weather app
OpenSummit iPhone App.

OpenSummit is the perfect weather app if you're planning on hiking in Colorado. The app is free for the basic features, and shows weather for all 53 Colorado 14,000-ft peaks.

You can search for a peak by name or browse the map. Add peaks to your wishlist to keep a close eye on weather conditions. 

The OpenSummit app includes precipitation (rain and snow), lightning (low, medium, or high chance), temperature, and wind conditions (sustained, gust, or > 30 mph) for the current day and the next day.

What We Like:

  • Shows hourly weather information
  • Includes every 14,000-ft peak in Colorado

What We Don't Like:

  • Only has information on Colorado peaks
  • Some features can only be accessed if you pay
  • Works with iPhone only

Works With: iOS

Price: Free, with the option to upgrade for more features

Another option in this app is to connect it to your Instagram account so that it can show recent photos taken near every location. There are also safety tips you can read in the app to learn more about hiking best practices, nutrition, and more.

For more features like hourly forecast for five days and free upgrades, you can get OpenSummit All-Access Pass for $20 /year.