Installing one of the best weather apps on your phone is one of the smartest things you can do, even though there's already a default app on there for checking current conditions. Your phone's built-in weather app may be all right for the basics, but if you want to dig into more extensive details, a dedicated weather app can give you insight into everything from extended forecasts to severe weather alerts.
The best weather apps tend to specialize on specific aspects of forecasts, whether that's incredibly detailed forecasts at a hyper-local level, radar images, severe weather warnings and even information about air quality. You can even track phases of the moon in some apps or find out the forecast at upcoming travel destinations.
With climate change making weather harder to predict, you'll want to check out some of the best weather app options out there. And if you are convinced that the built-in weather app on your phone offers enough for you, at least check out the iPhone's hidden interactive weather map to get more out of that particular offering.
The best weather apps you can download today
1. Carrot Weather (Android, iOS: Free)
Formerly an iOS exclusive you couldn't get on Android, Carrot Weather has long since bridged the platform divide; now the malevolent AI overlord Carrot can bring Android users the weather forecast along with a big side helping of snark and sarcasm. iOS users still enjoy features like being able to add a Carrot Weather widget to their lock screens as well as support for Live Activities in iOS 16.1. But periodic updates add other features and bonuses for premium subscribers such as tide data or forecasts for up to five locations.
The app provides current, hourly, and 7-day forecasts leavened with sarcastic humor to cushion even the gloomiest outlook. Infographics put useful information in quick reach, with more detailed meteorological data available as you tap and swipe. You can even configure Carrot's sense of humor to be friendly, snarky, or murderous, with the ability to set how political the AI's jokes can get. (A recent update even lets you interact with the deranged AI through a series of "bonding activities.")
Carrot Weather offers different subscription tiers if you're not satisfied with the basics in the free app. The Premium tier starts at $4.99 a month and adds weather data sources, notifications, customization capabilities and widgets. There are also other tiers that unlock more capabilities or let you add multiple users to a Carrot Weather account.
Download Carrot Weather: Android (opens in new tab), iOS (opens in new tab)
2. The Weather Channel (Android; iOS: Free)
The free, ad-supported version of the Weather Channel app is available on Android and iOS. The TWC app provides you with a wealth of meteorological data such as temperature, wind and visibility on an hourly or daily basis, with an extended 10-day forecast available. Interactive maps can display the latest Doppler radar data to show rainfall and weather events and severe weather alerts.
The Weather Channel also includes social sharing features for users to upload images, tweets, videos and photos. A Premium Pro tier costing $4.99/month removes ads and unlocks features like 15-minute forecasts and 72-hour radar info.
Download The Weather Channel: Android (opens in new tab), iOS (opens in new tab)
3. Emergency: Alerts (Android; iOS)
It's an app you hope you never have to use, but when disaster strikes, you'll be glad you have Emergency: Alerts from the American Red Cross on your iPhone or Android device.
Because it keeps tabs on everything from hurricanes and floods to extreme heat and winter storms, Emergency: Alerts is good to keep installed on your phone at all times, and not just during hurricane season. Not only will Emergency monitor where you live, you can also enter cities and people that are important to you. To reflect the realities of climate change, the app's been retooled to include 40 different kinds of customized alerts and step-by-step guides to make sure you're prepared for potential weather-related emergencies.
Download Emergency: Alerts: Android (opens in new tab), iOS (opens in new tab)
4. Clime: NOAA Weather Radar Live (Android, iOS: Free)
Now known as Clime, the app formerly known as NOAA Radar Pro continues to stand out from the crowd with real-time radar delivered straight to your phone that shows you changing weather conditions around you. iOS users can now take advantage of lock screen widgets from the app as well.
You'll get the standard 24-hour and 7-day forecasts with severe weather alerts included. But the reason to turn to Clime is for the satellite weather imagery that gives you the full picture of precipitation, temperature and other weather details.
A premium subscription unlocks the best features on Clime, including severe weather alerts for all saved locations, trackers for hurricanes, lightning and wildfires and a temperature map. Subscribers get rid of ads, too.
Download Clime: NOAA Weather Radar Live: Android (opens in new tab), iOS (opens in new tab)
5. RadarScope (Android, iOS: $9.99)
Serious weather watchers will want to turn to RadarScope for detailed satellite views that include NEXRAD Level 3 and Super-Resolution radar data. With RadarScope installed, you can trck everything from tornados and severe thunderstorms to flash floods and marine warnings. The app also helps you track the paths of storms using data from the U.S,. National Weather Service.
RadarScope's makers say the imagery in this app uses native radar data rendered in its original radial format. That gives RadarScope a lot more detail than your typical weather apps.
In addition to the $9.99 download, RadarScope offers subscription tiers that offer more data. At Tier One (?$9.99/year), you get real-time animated lighting data and up to 30 frames of radar data, among other features. The $14.99/year Tier Two subscription brings 50-frame loops, SPC outlooks, special weather statements, hail size and even more advanced features.
Download RadarScope: Android (opens in new tab), iOS (opens in new tab)
6. 1Weather (Android, iOS: Free)
1Weather has all the features you'd expect from one of the best weather apps, including a 10-day forecast, live radar maps, severe weather warnings and more. But it also really takes advantage of widgets so that key weather day can be visible on your phone's home screen, whether you're using Android or iOS.
We also like 1Weather's minute-by-minute and hourly forecasts for temperature and rain. Because these forecasts extend for up to 48 hours, you can really use the app to plan ahead.
The app's a free download, and a $1.99/monthly subscription removes ads while enabling other features like 10 days of daily forecasts, an AQI card and more.
Download 1Weather: Android (opens in new tab), iOS (opens in new tab)
7. WeatherBug (Android, iOS: Free)
If there's a developing weather situation you need to track, WeatherBug can help you out. The free download not only offers Doppler radar for North America, but can provide hurricane forecasts with the help of an improved hurricane tracker. Other features include Spark lightning alerts which use GPS data to alert you to how close lightning strikes are hitting. The app also features air quality info and pollen count data on top of the usual array of weather information.
Since it pulls data from weather services, satellites and tracking stations, WeatherBug can provide hyperlocal real-time conditions with current, hourly and 10-day forecasts. Pay 99 cents a month or $9.99 a year, and you can remove ads from the app; a free 24-hour trial lets you take the paid version out for a spin.
Note that the app is just listed as WeatherBug in the iOS App Store. (iOS users also can add WeatherBug widgets to their lock screen if they're running iOS 16.) In Google's Play Store, the app goes by the name Weather by WeatherBug.
Download WeatherBug: Android (opens in new tab), iOS (opens in new tab)
8. IQAir AirVisual Air Quality Forecast (Android, iOS: Free)
In a time of increasing pollution and severe wild fires, knowing the quality of the air you breathe is even more important than knowing if it's going to rain. We like the IQAir AirVisual Air Quality Forecast app for the eye-catching way it presents vital data about air quality wherever your are as well as around the world.
The app promises detailed info on pollutants and the air quality index for 10,000-plus locations in more than 100 countries. You have a choice of maps for viewing air quality — either a color-coded 2D map or a Google Earth-like 3D version. AirVisual also works in 7-day forecasts so that you can plan ahead on your outdoor activities to make sure you're going out in healthy air. And if you've got on of iQAir's air quality monitors in your home, you can sync them with the app to get a mobile reading on your indoor air quality, too.
Download IQAir AirVisual Air Quality Forecast: Android (opens in new tab), iOS (opens in new tab)
9. Weather on the Way (iOS: Free)
The name of the app has fluctuated between Weather on the Way and just On the Way, but the basic principle remains the same regardless of what you call the app: weather can change dramatically on a road trip, so having that information on your phone can help your journey be a safe one.
Download Weather on the Way for free, and you get navigation features combined with severe weather alerts so you can know whether to expect rain, snow or other potentially hazardous conditions during your drive from Point A to Point B.
The free version works just fine, but Weather on the Way is an even better app once you commit to a Pro subscription ($4.99 a month or $24.99 annually). Pro users get more sophisticated features like alternate routes suggestions, road visibility and expanded data about conditions such as precipitation and wind speed. Pro users also get the ability to run Weather on the Way on CarPlay screens, bringing that information to their vehicles for safer road trips.
Download Weather On the Way: iOS (opens in new tab)
10. Windy (Android, iOS: Free)
Sometimes, the best way to understand the weather around you is to see it visualized on your phone screen. That's what Windy offers with detailed maps that let you watch the weather forecast unfold in front of you.
Windy excels at wind patterns, of course, but the app has 40-plus maps available showing temperature, humidity and more. You've also got satellite and Doppler info at your fingertips, plus a hurricane tracking feature that comes in handy during storm season.
Windy provides an impressive amount of features in its free app, but an $18.99 annual subscription provides you with more frequent forecast updates.
Download Windy: Android (opens in new tab), iOS (opens in new tab)
11. Yahoo Weather (Android, iOS: Free)
The beautiful Yahoo Weather app boasts a gorgeous interface that is both informative and striking. The app displays images of your location with matching time of day and weather conditions, with the option to view detailed five-day forecasts, as well as interactive radar, heat and satellite maps. Updates have brought the Android app in line with the iOS design for a unified experience across both platforms.
Other apps provide more details and features, but Yahoo Weather's clean, concise presentation makes it an eminently user-friendly, everyday app, marred only by a fairly large advertisement as you swipe up to get to the detailed forecast.
Download Yahoo Weather: Android (opens in new tab), iOS (opens in new tab)
12. My Moon Phase Pro (Android: $1.99; iOS: $2.99)
If your interest in the best weather apps extends to the lunar calendar, then My Moon Phase Pro is a must-download. The app can help you pinpoint moonrise time as well as phases of the moon with an extensive calendar for tracking the cycles of the moon. You can even get notifications for when the moon is about to enter a particular phase.
Photographers will appreciate the clear interface of My Moon Phase, as it includes information about the golden hour and the blue hour — when the moon will be in a particular position of the sky best suited for taking specific photos. On the weather front, you can also see how cloudy it will be, so that you'll know if you have a clear view of the moon.
Download My Moon Phase: Android (opens in new tab), iOS (opens in new tab)
13. AccuWeather (Android, iOS: Free)
AccuWeather is the app to turn to for hyperlocal forecasts that help you drill down to get the informations you need. The app's daily forecasts pack in everything from rain probability to air quality, wind, cloud coverage and UV index. Live radar lets you track storms, snow, ice and temperature changes.
Detail-oriented users will appreciate AccuWeather's MinuteCast and its minute-by-minute precipitation updates. A WinterCast feature gives you a heads up on snowfall probabilities, and an update has added an ice forecast map layer.
AccuWeather is a free download, but there are now multiple paid tiers. For 99 cents a month, you can remove ads; Premium Plus costs $1.99 per month and adds an alerts feature.
Download AccuWeather: Android (opens in new tab), iOS (opens in new tab)
14. Flowx (Android: Free)
If geeking out over maps, graphs, and predictions is your thing, check out Flowx. Formerly known as Weatherbomb, the app provides users with a rich array of charts, forecasts, and weather maps presented in a scrolling animated forecast timeline. Users can have the app center on their location automatically, or set custom locations.
Flowx can display a variety of data overlays, such as precipitation, clouds and wind direction arrows, with data sourced from the NWS/NOAA and Environment Canada. The app is ad-supported, with an optional subscription that removes ads and rewards the developer.
Flowx remains an Android-only app, but the app's website (opens in new tab) appears to be soliciting feedback for a version that works with Apple's devices.
Download Flowx: Android (opens in new tab)
15. Weather Underground (Android, iOS: Free)
Weather Underground relies upon a network of more than 30,000 personal and amateur weather stations to deliver truly local weather forecasts. Crowd reporting features allow you to verify reported forecasts and post their own sky and hazard reports. A detailed weather map allows you to apply a variety of information overlays. You can receive severe weather alerts, meteorological data in your notification tray and receive hourly forecasts up to 10 days.
Removing ads for a full year costs $1.99, while a monthly $3.99 subscription promises smart forecasts that can tell you when it's ideal to head outside based on your preferred weather conditions. A subscription also gets you 15 days of extended hourly forecasts.
Download Weather Underground: Android (opens in new tab), iOS (opens in new tab)
How we pick the best weather apps
When we research the best weather apps, we're looking for features that go above and beyond what the default apps on the iPhone phone and Android devices offer. Those include extended forecasts, radar, location tracking, alerts and other collected weather data. We try to present a wide variety of options so that you can pick the app best suited for what your needs are.
We largely base our selections on customer reviews, though we do try out some of the free features available on the different weather apps.
Most weather apps offer some kind of free tier. When possible we list what paid options cost and what they provide in return for a recurring free or one-time payment. Be aware that pricing can change, and while we do update this story to reflect new pricing, it may be different from our last update.
We tend to highlight apps that work on both Android and iOS, though in some cases, we'll include platform-specific recommendations.
Now that you've got one of the best weather apps on your phone, it's time to check out more of the best iPhone apps and best Android apps. If you use weather apps to find out what the forecast is for where you're traveling, you'll also want to take a look at our picks for the best travel apps.
I bought the paid app and tried it for a month. Couldn't stand it. The gui is clunky at best. There's no humidity in the extended forecast nor future radar. Previous radar is only 2 hours and you can't change the speed. You can't see hurricanes unless you subscribe but you can see the surface of Mars and Star Citizen planets ?????
I don't know why everyone raves about this so much; there's so many better options out there.
You open it up and it just works and shows you the radar, how could that be clunky? The humidity is right there in the details (I'm looking at it). You can change the speed of the radar in the settings, you can see hurricanes for free, its the extended tracker that is part of the premium package and it has global radar.
Where's future radar?
Yes, I see the humidity for current weather but where's humidity for the extended forecast? Is it going to be 70 and nice or 70 and a swamp outside tomorrow?
Only 5 days extended forecast?
Basic but important stuff that most every other weather app has.
These may be things YOU don't like, but overall the app is the highest rated in the weather category, over and above every one of the other ones listed here. It was an oversight to leave it out.
The winner for the most improved weather app is Apple's own 'Weather' app. They bought out Dark Sky and have combined it with their tech and I see a bright star in weather forecasting.