Best Free Weather Apps to Get the Forecast Right

By Kay FleuryUpdated on March 9, 2022

Knowing what the weather is like outside is key, as is knowing the forecast for the day, and what might change as you’re out and about. Since the popularization of apps, weather forecasting has made huge advancements, as many apps can actually target your local area, giving you an incredibly accurate assessment of your local weather. Apps can even send you notifications about rain or severe weather warnings, let you view the current weather, subscribe to updates in multiple cities, and much more.

If you need to know the weather on a daily basis, we’ve got a list here of 6 of the best weather apps that can get you the forecast fast. And best of all – they’re all free to download and use!

1. AccuWeather

AccuWeather logo

AccuWeather claims to serve more than 19 billion data requests for weather updates each day, worldwide, so it’s definitely one of the most popular weather apps out there. By being one of the first apps to take advantage of local prediction, and utilize the idea to send notifications to warn users of severe weather, AccuWeather has helped many people worldwide. You can set your app to your specific local area (by ZIP code), see the hourly forecast easily, and request notifications. The app is quite simple to use, and very visually appealing.

AccuWeather also takes pride in the fact that is has predicted many disastrous weather patterns such as tornadoes, floods, and hurricanes faster than any other weather-prediction service. In April 2016, AccuWeather issued a flash flood warning in Kansas more than an hour before the government, and saved many lives. Read about this, and other AccuWeather success stories here.

Best Feature: The Accuweather widget for your smartphone gives you real-time updates right on your home screen! You can see the current temperature and conditions outside without having to tap or click anywhere.
Download Now: Android | iOS

2. Wunderground

Wunderground logo

Wunderground, or “Weather Underground,” is a great real-time weather app that gives you information about any part of the weather you need to know, and has awesome tools including an interactive satellite, interactive radar, severe weather trackers, photos and video, and news and blogs about the weather. It also targets your weather based on ZIP code, which is now common practice for the best weather apps.

Wunderground is free to use, but offers a $10/year annual subscription option that gives you a few added benefits such as longer ranges on radar and no ads. If Wunderground sounds like the app for you, be sure to check out our course on how to use Wunderground.

Best Feature: Gives you such detailed information about any aspect of the weather you may be looking at.
Download Now: Android | iOS

3. 1Weather

1Weather logo

With 1Weather, you get more of the information you want right away, without having to navigate through many screens. You can also track up to 12 locations of interest, and immediately see:

  • Temperature
  • ‘Feels like’ temperature
  • Wind speed
  • Visibility
  • Humidity
  • U/V index
  • Barometric pressure
  • Dew point
  • POP (percentage chance of precipitation)

1Weather also gives you an hourly forecast for 2 days instead of 1, a detailed 1.5 day, an extended 10-day, and a 12-week forecast! You can check out graphs for temperature highs, terrain and satellite maps, and customize it to your liking, including choosing photos for your background. Be sure to set notifications up as well, for the current conditions and/or severe weather alerts.

Best Feature: The information you want is right in front of you, and much more detailed than the typical temperature and current conditions.
Download Now: Android | iOS

4. The Weather Network

Weather Network logo

The Weather Network is one of the most trusted weather-prediction services in the game, and has been tracking the weather since 1988. They didn’t fall behind in terms of providing apps for their users, and now provide apps for Android, iOS, and BlackBerry users, a desktop version, a website, and of course, their TV channel. Though it comes out of Canada, The Weather Network serves all of North America, and has so many weather balloons active, they can track weather to within a half mile of a Canadian or U.S. ZIP code.

With their app, which is available on more platforms than any other app, you can easily find the current temperature, precipitation, humidity, and much more. You can also track as many locations as you like, and receive notifications for severe weather, storm warnings, or anything else you’d like to customize.

Best Feature: Their weather-related content and stories; they are very captivating and interesting for those who are into weather.
Download Now: Android | iOS | BlackBerry | Windows Mobile or Desktop

5. Yahoo Weather

Yahoo Weather logo

With the Yahoo Weather app, you can get a great visualization of what the weather is like outside, to get a feel for it right away – without having to tap anywhere. When you do open the app however, you’ll immediately get a general 5-day forecast with conditions, and high-low temperature predictions. You can simply scroll down to get more details such as wind, pressure, and chance of precipitation.

You can also save up to 20 locations to track, and easily just swipe sideways to look through them! Yahoo Weather even has the interactive maps that help you track weather, but in addition to the standard radar and satellite maps for tracking storms, they also track heat and snow.

Best Feature: A visual representation (images taken from Flickr) of your location, time of day, and current weather conditions each time you check your mobile device.
Download Now: Android | iOS

6. RainAware Weather Timer

RainAware Weather Timer

This app isn’t quite as complex as the others we’ve listed above, as it focuses on just one thing: the rain. But let’s be real, whether it’s going to rain or not probably makes up the bulk of the reason for why you check the weather before going outside. RainAware uses your location, and then counts down the minutes until it’s going to rain. It also updates every minute to give you the most accurate predictions it can. You can also set points of interest such as your local airport of golf course to see what’s going on there before you head out.

This app also only works in the U.S, Guam, and Puerto Rico currently, and doesn’t work very well in mountainous regions. But if you live in a major U.S. city (or outlying city), and the rain is all you care about, this app can predict when and where it will rain better than most.

Best Feature: Can tell you down to the minute what time it will rain in your area.
Download Now: Android | iOS

Hopefully one of these apps can help you know the weather anywhere on the go. There are also two great weather apps we’d recommend, though they’re paid. Dark Sky (Android | iOS) is an amazing local app that can give you down-to-the-minute forecasts and tell you exactly when rain will start and stop in your area; it costs $3.99. And there’s also Radar Scope (Android | iOS), which is a great app for storm chasers, and shows you professional, up-to-date storm radar, though it costs $9.99.

These apps may be worth paying for if you’re really into tracking weather, but if not, one of the six we mentioned above should work out great for you. And if you’re into real-time updates on what’s going on in the world around you, be sure to check out our article on the best news apps too. Stay dry out there!