What Do the iPhone Weather Symbols Mean?

Don't have just a hazy understanding of the icons

The default iOS Weather app has 23 icons that forecast the subtle shifts in the conditions ahead. You should be able to take one glance at the weather icons and tell how the day ahead will turn out.

A Symbol for Every Weather on Your iPhone

The iPhone Weather app doesn’t include descriptions of the weather symbols. So, Apple has published a handy chart explaining the iPhone weather icons. It’s convenient as there are tiny differences in some of the weather icons while others are pretty easy to understand.

To use the Weather app, enter the name of a city, zip code, or airport location. The forecasts for the day and the following week are displayed. Scroll down the screen to see more, like the weekly overview, the chance of rain, air quality, sunrise and sunset times, and other details. 

Weather icons as explained by Apple on iOS


Apple has covered all weather conditions. But the weather icons displayed on the screen will depend on the local weather conditions and the other locations selected. For instance, many places around the world don’t experience hurricanes or tornadoes. Severe weather information is available for the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, and most countries and regions in Europe. 

  • Sunrise and sunset icons are apparent. The arrow is the subtle sign representing the direction of the sun.
  • The icon for Haze is also a sun that appears to be peeking on the horizon, but the multiple horizontal lines stand for particulate matter layers. 
  • There are subtle differences between the types of snowy weather. Two symbols are mashed to display the differences between scattered snow, sleet, and blowing snow.
  • The icon that features a crescent moon with two visible stars suggests a clear and starry night. The icon for a cloudy night takes the moon behind a cloud with smaller stars. 
  • The weather symbols for showers and heavy showers are not so obvious. Longer lines on the cloud icon are a mark for more severe storms. 
  • The iPhone Weather app even has an icon for dust that’s not obvious to understand at first glance.

An Alternate Way to Find What the iPhone Weather Symbols Mean

The Weather Channel provides the 10-Day weather forecast to the Weather app. Tap the tiny logo of The Weather Channel on the app to open the site and use the search bar to go to your city’s weather. The Weather Channel icons are in color and have text descriptions. But if it has a symbol that’s like the one on your iPhone, then you will know what that symbol means. 

The Weather Channel with weather in New York


Weather apps are decision-making tools. They become even more critical with real-time alerts for dire climate emergencies. If the default Weather app on iOS isn't enough, pick one from these excellent weather apps for your phone instead.

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