With the storm season upon us, and not always having access to a television, we felt like it was a good time to test out some of the current weather applications available for both Android and iOS. Each of the apps tested had some pros and cons, but all the ones listed below did function properly and none required you to create an account. Below I will give some details about each specific app and highlight some of the features I liked about each one in particular.
Yahoo Weather –What this app lacks in options it makes up for in ease of use. Simply scroll down to see the hourly and weekly forecast, current weather details, current radar, wind, and sunrise/sunset. It has a very clean interface that changes based on the current weather. You are required to turn on severe weather alerts with this app in order to get notifications about severe watches and warnings. One really nice feature is it allows you to set a cellular data limit per day, to avoid going over your allotted data.
Accuweather – This app sets pretty much everything up for you the first time you turn it on including alerts for severe weather. It offers a nice feature called minutecast that shows you by the minute the chances for rain over the next two hours. It also has a nice feature that lets you know when to expect thunderstorms over the next several days. This app has both a free and paid version. From my research it appears the paid version simply gets rid of the ads. I was only able to test the free version and the ads were not too intrusive. They show up at the bottom of the screen and thankfully everything scrolls left and right.
Weather Underground – Another easy to set up app it automatically does everything for you. It doesn’t allow you to change as much as the other apps, but it does allow you to customize its interface. On top of the basic features of daily and hourly forecasts, it has an up to the minute radar map and direct access to weather radio channels. It does send alerts for severe weather and is easy to refresh for the most up to date and accurate information. The version tested was the free version and the paid version carries an annual fee. An additional companion app Storm is available on iOS devices and offers even more in depth storm coverage.
The Weather Channel – This app is very customizable with up to the minute radar and alerts. It has all of the standard forecasts as well as some very nice additional features. Out of all the apps I tested this had the most customizable alerts. You can decide if your phone lights up, vibrates, or makes a noise to alert you about severe weather. You can also customize what you want to be alerted for weather, rain, snow, pollen, etc. It has a very clean interface and again sets everything up for automatically. This app does come with a healthy amount of ads on most screens.
Other Options for Keeping an Eye on Severe Weather
A few years ago I tested most of the local websites as well as several national websites and not all were created equally. I can say after testing them again over the past few days all of them have improved. All of the sites listed below give up to the minute radar updates and most will allow you to sign up for email notifications for severe weather alerts.
CodeRED is available to all Cass and Clay County Residents. This system can call and alert you for severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and floods. You can choose what alerts you receive when you sign up. The link to the signup page is listed below.
Stay safe and informed!
– Steve Erichsen, Technology and Facilities Coordinator