Technology

Best Weather Apps for 2023


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Clime: NOAA Weather Radar

In-depth weather maps

There’s nothing worse than leaving the house with the sun shining bright, your hair done and favorite outfit on only for rain to start pouring minutes later. Just like that, the only thought running through your brain is, “I wish I’d checked the weather.”

Mobile weather apps provide easy access to forecasts whenever you need them. Many apps tell you the high temperature for the day, and they give you an hour-by-hour breakdown of temperatures, precipitation levels, air quality and more to keep you informed and safe. These apps can be helpful, but many also collect and distribute your data, which could pose a danger to your privacy. That’s why it’s important to understand their privacy policies, too.

If you use an iPhone or Android, your device already comes with a built-in weather app, but if you’re not happy with those apps, or they aren’t working properly, there are other apps to try. 

Here’s a roundup of our favorite weather apps.

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The Weather Channel

Calling The Weather Channel app a weather app feels like a disservice. You can watch videos of news stories from The Weather Channel in the app. Most of the stories are related to the weather, the environment and wildlife, but you’ll also see health- and lifestyle-related stories.

accuweather

Jason Cipriani/CNET

AccuWeather offers users what it calls MinuteCast, which breaks down forecasts by the minute. This forecast shows you a detailed outlook for the next four hours, including when rain will start and stop and what the temperature will be at specific times. This is helpful if you are about to leave a building and want to wait for the rain to stop. No more dashing through the pouring rain just for it to let up as soon as you get inside.

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Carrot Weather/Screenshot by CNET

Carrot Weather gives you the weather with a little personality. Here’s the twist: You can pick what kind of personality you want the app to have, from Professional, which disables banter, to Overkill — expect some heavy profanity. You can even select which politics the app personifies, from apolitical to anarchist.

The WeatherBug logo

WeatherBug

The WeatherBug app is a good weather app for people who spend a lot of time outside hiking, bike riding or just enjoying the outdoors. One section on the app’s homepage is called Outdoor Sports Index. This section shows you, on a scale of 1 to 10, how favorable the weather is for outdoor activities throughout the day. If a day has a score of 1 to 2, you’re in the clear for a great day outside, but if a day has a score of 9 or 10 the app recommends canceling outdoor plans.

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Jason Cipriani/CNET

Weather Underground’s privacy policy is unlike other weather apps — and many mobile apps. The app lets you know upfront that it will use your data for targeted ads. The app makes it easy to opt out of sharing your information and to delete the data the app has on you. It also shows you how to manage your iPhone and Android app permissions. You can even request a copy of the data the app has on you from the Data Rights menu in Settings.

The Clime: NOAA logo

Clime: NOAA

With a Clime paid subscription, you get one of the most comprehensive weather radars out of all the weather apps on this list. While other radars might show the temperature, rain and snow, Clime’s radar will show you cloud coverage, snow depths and even active fire and hotspots.

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