How to Watch Weather Live Streams

Stuck in a storm? Try these on your mobile (or other) device

Image of live weather stream on notebook computer.

 Igor Ustynskyy

Watching weather live streams online is the best way to make sure you have all the latest information, whether you're a meteorology enthusiast, worried about potentially severe weather, or stuck right in the heart of a devastating storm.

Weather live streams are available from both national and local sources, and you can even stream your local National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather station through a number of unofficial sites and apps.

If your power goes out, you can continue watching weather live streams on your phone. But if your cellular data connection goes down, you also lose access to weather radio apps and streams.

Some phones come with built-in radios that don't rely on a cellular data connection, but they're limited to the FM band. So unless your local FM radio station that you're willing to bet your life on in an emergency, consider purchasing a battery-operated NOAA weather radio.

How to Find Weather Live Streams

Before you go looking for a weather live stream, you need to think about the type of stream that you need. There are three main types of weather live streams:

  1. National weather live streams – These are great if you just want to get a bigger picture about what's happening with the weather, or you're really in to meteorology and want to see if there's anything interesting going on.
  2. Local weather live streams – If you're primarily interested in your local weather forecast, or you're experiencing the threat of severe weather, then this is the best place to look. Meteorology enthusiasts will also want to check out local weather live streams from areas where interesting or severe weather is happening.
  3. NOAA weather radio live streams – This is an invaluable source of information if you're experiencing a threat of severe weather. While these apps don't directly replace the need for a NOAA weather radio, they can get you some extremely vital information in an emergency situation.

Stuck in a Storm? Stream NOAA Weather Radio On Your Phone

There's no real replacement for a good NOAA weather radio, but if you find yourself in a pinch, then you can download the next best thing on your phone. If you think ahead, you can even download one of these apps on your phone ahead of time, make sure it actually works, and be ready if disaster strikes.

These instructions show how to live stream NOAA weather radio.

NOAA doesn't provide any official weather radio streams, and you won't find an official NOAA app that includes weather radio streams. Every weather radio app out there is unofficial, so keep that in mind when deciding which one to download.

Some of these apps cost money, but all they really do is provide you with easy access to live streams of local NOAA weather radio stations that other people broadcast on the internet.

Since there is no official NOAA weather radio app, you can actually get by with a general radio scanner app. This is actually the best option, since these apps often include access to local emergency services transmissions, disaster information, and more, in addition to weather radio.

Here's how you can use one of these apps, Scanner Radio, to access your local NOAA weather radio station:

  1. Launch the Scanner Radio app.
  2. Tap the (three vertical lines) icon.
  3. Tap Browse Directory.
  4. Tap Browse by Genre.
  5. If you are experiencing a disaster, tap Disaster Event and look for a local broadcast. Otherwise, scroll down and tap Weather.
  6. Tap Nearby Weather Scanners.
    1. Note: You must allow the app to know your location for this to work.
  7. Tap the NOAA weather radio station that's closest to your location, and listen for weather alerts and information.

Scanner Radio is available as a free app for both Android and iOS, but there are dozens of other apps that do the same basic thing. Here's where you can download Scanner Radio if you're in an emergency and don't have time to check out all the other options:

Radio On Your Phone Without a Data Connection

You can only stream NOAA weather radio on your phone if you have a working data connection. If a storm knocks out your local cell towers, you'll lose both the ability to send and receive calls and the ability to stream weather radio.

Some phones have built-in FM radio receivers. This isn't a well advertised feature, so your phone may actually have it even if you've never heard of it before.

To listen to FM radio on a phone, without a data connection, you need a compatible phone and an app like NextRadio.

NextRadio allows you to listen to live streaming radio over the internet if you have a data connection. If you want to conserve your monthly bandwidth, or your data connection goes down in an emergency, you can also use it to listen to local FM broadcasts on compatible phones.

Here's where to download NextRadio:

Important: Even if your phone can receive FM radio with the NextRadio app, you still won't be able to listen to NOAA weather radio without a data connection. This is why it's so useful to have an emergency weather radio ready to go.

Live Streaming NOAA Weather Radio Online

NOAA does not provide an official live stream of any weather stations, but there are a lot of sites that aggregate unofficial streams. Some of these sites offer pretty decent coverage, but they aren't official, so there's always a chance that you won't be able to find your local station.

In that case, you will need to use a search engine to find the name of your local NOAA office, and then search for a live stream of the weather radio station associated with that specific office.

Here are some sites where you can stream NOAA weather radio:

  • Weather Underground - This site has good coverage, but the built-in streaming player doesn't work. Most of the stations include a link to the source, so you may still be able to find your local station.
  • weatherUSA - This site also has decent coverage, includes links to stations, and has a functioning streaming player.
  • NOAA Weather Radio - This site includes a live stream from the National Hurricane Center during hurricane season and some Canadian weather stations in addition to NOAA weather radio stations.

How to Watch National Weather Live Streams

National Weather live streams are the best place to get a handle on the big picture and locate interesting weather. If you're more interested in your local weather, and especially if you're currently in danger from a severe weather event, then national streams are too broad, and you should look for something more local.

These instructions show how to live stream the weather channel.

The Weather Channel is a cable channel that broadcasts weather forecasts, weather news, and other weather-related content. If you're away from your television, or your cable is out, then you can watch a live stream of The Weather Channel on your computer or mobile device.

Note: The Weather Channel live stream is only available if you subscribe to a qualifying television provider. Most cable and satellite providers qualify, but there are exceptions.

To watch a live stream of The Weather Channel on your computer:

  1. Navigate to weather.com/live.
  2. Click on Choose Provider.
  3. Click on your television provider. If you don't see your provider, click on the link that says Click here.
  4. Enter your username and password for your television provider and click Continue. This step may be automated if your television provider and internet provider are the same.
  5. Return to weather.com/live to watch a live stream of The Weather Channel.

Other Ways to Live Stream The Weather Channel

If you're a cord-cutter, you can still live stream The Weather Channel through a television streaming service. Here are your options:

  • DirecTV Now - Includes The Weather Channel in the Just Right, Go Big, and Gotta Have It plans.
  • fuboTV - Includes The Weather Channel in the fubo Premier plan.

The Weather Channel also has a YouTube Channel, but it does not use it for live streaming.

How to Watch Local Weather Live Streams

If you need to find out if it's going to rain this weekend, or you find yourself stuck in some dangerous weather, then the first place to turn is your local news and weather station. Local stations are also the best place for meteorology enthusiasts to get information about interesting weather.

Local weather live streams are available in many areas.

Local stations don't have live weather streams available all day every day, but most of them do provide a live stream of each weather forecast, as it happens, throughout the day. In situations where an area is in danger from severe weather, most news and weather stations will provide additional live streams whenever new information is available.

To watch a live stream of your local weather:

  1. Using your favorite search engine, search for the call letters of your local news and weather station.
  2. Locate and click on the official website for your local station.
  3. Look for a Watch or Live link, and click it.
  4. If a live stream is in progress, it will typically play automatically. Otherwise, most stations will provide you with a list of the most recent news and weather streams.

Watching Live Weather Streams on Social Media

Many local news and weather stations have social media profiles that they use for live streaming. If you aren't sure whether or not your local station live streams on social media, check out Facebook Live, and look for a pin in your area that represents a local news and weather station.

Facebook Live is a service that allows anyone, including weather stations, to live stream. In some cases, you may also find weather live streams on other social media sources like Instagram and Twitter. Some stations also live stream through YouTube.

Does Your Local News and Weather Channel Have an App?

Most local news and weather stations have smartphone apps where you can watch news and weather live streams as they happen. In some cases, a station will have both a news app and a weather app.

Weather live streams are available on smartphone apps.

To watch local weather live streams on your phone with an app, you need to find the appropriate app for your device and install it. The easiest way to do this is to navigate to the app store on your device and search for the call letters of your local news and weather station.

If you aren't sure what the call letters are for your local news and weather station, then you'll need to open up your favorite search engine, and perform a search for the channel you want and the city you live in.

For example, if you were trying to remember the call letters for the ABC affiliate in Seattle, you would search for: Channel 4 Seattle.

Performing this search would quickly reveal that you were looking for KOMO News, and entering this into the app store for your device would then turn up the app you need.

Other Ways to Stay On Top of Dangerous Weather

Severe weather can get out of hand really fast, so if you live in an area that's prone to damaging storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, or any other kind of devastating weather, it pays to stay on top of the situation.

One of the best tools to have in your toolbox is a weather radio that's capable of picking up your local NOAA station. While you can listen in with a variety of phone apps and online live streams, a battery-operated weather radio will continue to work even if you lose your data connection.

Another great resource is Reddit, where you will find communities for severe winter weather, tropical weather like hurricanes, and more. Community-driven sources of information like these shouldn't be trusted over official sources like NOAA, but the insight provided by weather enthusiasts and professional meteorologists can be useful if you're just trying to figure out how a storm might impact your area.