How to choose the best weather app

There are thousands of weather apps vying for a spot on your phone but which should you trust?

A person in a blizzard with a weather app showing light rain.
(Illustration by Elena Lacey/The Washington Post)
9 min

States from coast to coast have been battered by a steady stream of extreme weather events, including historic cold in the Northeast, a crippling ice storm in Texas, a barrage of atmospheric rivers in California and over 50 inches of snow in Buffalo.

This week, authorities warned that extreme weather will probably return this week after severe thunderstorms in the South, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.

Some iPhone users were experiencing outages of the default weather app Tuesday with Apple acknowledging there was a system issue. Luckily, there are a large number of other options for anyone looking for a meteorological update.

More people are relying on weather apps to prepare for extreme weather. With 82 percent of the global digital audience accessing weather information exclusively on mobile devices and 85 percent or more of all mobile minutes spent on apps, according to the 2020 report by ComScore, it’s no wonder there are more than 10,000 mobile weather apps.

The rise of the smartphone weather forecast is taking place amid a decline in the number of people who get their news and weather from TV. But with too many apps, it’s often difficult to choose the best weather app. Not to worry — the Help Desk and Capital Weather Gang are here to help cut through the noise.

There are over 10,000 weather apps to choose from. Tech reporter Heather Kelly breaks down a few of her favorites. (Video: Monica Rodman/The Washington Post)