Plan ahead and stay up to date with the best weather apps for traveling. From air quality to storm or northern lights tracking, these apps cover it all…
What’s one of the first things you do when you start packing for a trip? That’s right, you check the weather at your destination. Is it going to be hot, cold, or rainy? What about cold in the morning but hot in the afternoon?
You need to know these details to pack and plan correctly and stay up-to-date with any forecast changes. And, let’s be real, there are always a lot of changes to forecasts.
The following apps help you do all of the above. They help travelers plan ahead and on the go, making the most of their trip. Plus, we’ve included a couple of niche apps that help you track air quality and discover the northern lights!
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7 Best Weather Apps for Travelers
Sometimes your phone’s default weather app just doesn’t cut it, especially as you travel from place to place and need more reliability.
Luckily, the following weather apps can help you plan your trip and stay prepared for any weather changes.
The Weather Channel
The Weather Channel has been the leader for weather on TV and also claims a top spot as the best weather app. The app has easy-to-understand visualizations and alerts, so you get a quick view of the weather without spending much time in the app.
Even quicker, the latest version offers new lock screen widgets on Android and iOS16 that display the forecast on your lock screen. So, you don’t even have to unlock your phone or open the app to see the day’s forecast.
An analysis by ForecastWatch determined The Weather Channel to be the overall most accurate provider globally.
However, be warned that the free version has become quite overloaded with ads. You can upgrade to The Weather Channel Premium for ad-free weather for $4.99 per month or $29.99 per year.
AccuWeather has ranked as the best weather app for many years, primarily because of its user-friendliness and MinuteCast® forecasts. The MinuteCast® forecasts for Minute by Minute® precipitation updates and the WinterCast™ gives you advanced warnings of snowfall probabilities and accumulation.
The World Meteorological Organization has awarded it “Best User Interface and Data Representation,” “Best Weather Warnings,” and “Best Design and Presentation of Information, User-Friendliness; Access and Customization.”
Unfortunately, the latest update for Accuweather has put two of those awards in jeopardy. New and long-time users are very unhappy with the new visuals and interface. However, they’ll very likely release another update soon, addressing the backlash they received from the latest update.
The app also has more ads than ever, which pressures users to invest in the premium. But who can blame them for wanting to profit from their highly-accurate product? The free version still works great if you overlook the ads. Or you can pay $0.99 to $1.99 per month for Premium or Premium+.
Clime is a sleek and straightforward weather app that provides real-time weather updates and forecasts for any location worldwide. It provides NOAA weather radar live, which is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (AKA the Big Cahuna of weather).
Clime Pro has a lot of great features, including customized weather alerts based on saved locations. Plus, a hurricane tracker, advanced precipitation forecast, lightning tracker, air quality index, wildfire tracking, and more. Oh, and no ads.
As such, it’s recognized as one of the best weather apps for severe weather tracking and warnings.
The Pro is a bit pricy, starting at $2.99 per week or $9.99 monthly on iOS. However, the weekly option is nice for travelers who may only need Pro features for a short time.
Weather on the Way (iOS only)
Weather on the Way is an iOS-only app that provides real-time weather updates and forecasts en route. You can set your driving route and it will forecast what lies ahead. So, it’s ideal for road trippers!
It is compatible with CarPlay, which is becoming more and more desirable these days. There’s room for improvement with its CarPlay usability, but it’s a relatively new app compared to others. So, improvements will surely soon follow.
The free version works well for occasional road trips. If you travel for work or pleasure often, it may be worth upgrading to Pro. You can get Pro Monthly for $4.99 or unlock all Pro features for life with Pro Lifetime at $84.99.
WeatherBug is widely considered the best FREE weather app. It’s a standard yet reliable weather app that offers real-time weather updates and forecasts for any location worldwide.
The app also provides useful features such as radar maps, live camera feeds, and severe weather alerts. Additionally, WeatherBug offers a unique feature called Spark, which provides lightning alerts and safety tips.
In exchange for all its features being free, WeatherBug does have ads but not overwhelmingly so. If you can’t tolerate any ads, you can get rid of them for $0.99 per monthly or $9.99 per year.
IQAir AirVisual Air Quality Forecast
This niche weather app provides real-time air quality updates and forecasts for any location worldwide. It covers 10,000+ locations from a global network of government monitoring stations and AirVisual’s own validated sensors.
The app also offers helpful features such as allergy and asthma risk assessments, customized alerts for air quality changes, and personalized health recommendations.
My Aurora Forecast
This is another niche weather app that is popular among travelers. As the name suggests, it helps you see the Aurora Borealis, whether you’re a tourist or a serious aurora watcher.
It’s a must-have travel weather app if you’re traveling in hopes of seeing the Northern Lights. It tells you everything you need to know, including how likely you are to see the lights at any given location and time.
BONUS APP: The Drive Weather App
We have found the best weather app for RV travel. It takes the National Weather Service’s weather forecast showing RVers the weather along their route at the time they reach each point. It allows comparison of different routes, creating stops, interactively changing departure time, and other features that help RVers plan trips around the weather. Drive Weather is a travel app worth the look, too!
7 Best GPS Apps for Your Travel Style
We’ve categorized the best GPS apps for your smartphone based on travel style. So, if you’re looking for the best GPS for a road trip, international travel, overlanding, RVing, and more, we have the best GPS app for you…
Do you prefer to travel by RV?
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