Summer’s gone, not that there were many opportunities to get the barbecue out or do some sunbathing this time around. The Met Office has recently announced that 2012 saw the wettest summer in one hundred years, the second highest ever recorded.
Leaves are not the only things falling as temperatures drop with the onset of autumn and the weather becomes even more unpredictable. With this in mind, Dialaphone’s latest Top Five takes a look at the best weather apps available across all smartphone platforms, so you’ll know whether or not you need to take your brolly with you when you venture out.
5. Weather Bug
Weather Bug provides a straightforward, no frills interface that crams a great deal of information on to one single screen. Along with a simple icon to show the weather conditions at your current location, the app also gives the temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity, and strength of UV light.
A forecast for the next seven days can be brought up, with quite detailed descriptions of the upcoming conditions. There is also a weather map available (something that features on many of the apps on this article) onto which different layers of information can be superimposed to display cloud cover, temperature and other factors. Weather Bug also has a dedicated section for hay fever sufferers which gives information on the pollen count. Available for iOS.
4. Weather HD
The most visually impressive app in this rundown, Weather HD features full screen animations that depict the current weather conditions where you are. Stormy clouds are interspersed with images of grass gently swaying in the wind and star-studded night skies, alongside detailed weather statistics tucked-away at the bottom of the screen.
Whilst the information provided certainly isn’t exhaustive, Weather HD provides the basics such as temperature, wind speed and humidity, along with a seven day forecast. Other apps may well offer a greater breadth of information, but Weather HD provides a beautiful visual interface and just enough weather data for you to get by. Available for iOS and Android.
AccuWeather provides quite a straightforward interface, similar to that seen on Weather Bug. The app reads your current location and gives information on temperature, humidity, air pressure and other such meteorological facts, along with an hourly and daily forecast that covers the next two weeks.
While the long forecast is impressive, the app really comes into its own with a section that is hidden away in a sub menu at the end of its list of options. The section is titled ‘Lifestyle’ and details how the current conditions could affect the user’s health and how suitable the weather is for various activities.
Asthma and migraine sufferers are assigned coloured icons which tell them if they are likely to feel any worse due to the weather, and conditions are assessed in terms of how suitable they are for activities such as kite flying and dog walking, along with sports such as running, sailing and skiing. Also listed is the ‘Hair frizz risk’, a degree of information unmatched by any other app that we tested. Available for iOS and Android.
2. Weather Channel
The Weather Channel app is a recent release and has become one of the most popular apps of its kind across several mobile platforms, including iOS and Android. Providing a full screen visual representation of current weather conditions (like a static version of that seen on Weather HD), the app superimposes detailed information on the background to create a great-looking interface that is very useful indeed.
Along with the current weather there are four forecast options; hourly, next 36 hours and following ten days, offering long-range information that allows you to plan ahead. The map option can be overlaid with similar information to that seen on other apps but has an additional feature which presents forecasts as an animation, providing a very good impression of how the weather is going to pan out.
1. Met Office
The Met Office’s own app provides a vast amount of information about the weather, be it in your current location or elsewhere. Below beautifully shot photos that depict the current conditions is an information bar that can be easily swiped left and right to flick between different locations, with the most important information such as temperature and wind speed shown on the main screen.
Tapping on the lower part of the screen brings up a five-day forecast that breaks each day down into three-hour periods, with visibility and the strength of UV light provided alongside other information.
A map view can be opened up which shows cloud cover, temperature, wind speed, UV light and satellite images, with the option of scrolling this forward to see the forecast develop over the next 24 hours.
While many apps on this list provide the same information, the Met Office’s offering does it is such a simple, concise and yet detailed manner that we found it to be the best of the bunch. While the Weather Channel’s app comes a close second, the Met Office wins with a level of accessibility that can’t be matched. Available for iOS and Android.