Weather is an integral part of the day. It can affect what you wear, what you do and how you get to work in the morning. Forecasts, then, need to be accurate and easy-to-understand — if only to avoid having a Big Gulp thrown at your face. With the amount of data available, there's a lot of potential for beautiful and user-friendly apps.
We rounded up our top weather apps that combine accurate statistics with clean user interfaces. Take a look at the gallery up top. Any good ones we missed? Let us know your favorites in the comments section.
Weatherbug, available for free on Android and iOS devices, is a comprehensive app with easy-to-use slide-side navigation. The app includes real-time updates and an interactive map for detecting location. It also has photos and live cameras from specific locations.
The AccuWeather app is available for iPhone, iPad and most Android phones and tablets. It has easy-to-read displays, including side-by-side vertical displays of Now, Hourly and Daily conditions. Customize the app for information on specific health concerns and other personalized data. AccuWeather also stores multiple customized locations, with links to videos, news stories and satellite radar.
Yahoo!'s weather app, available on Android and iOS devices, is ideal for those who want something that's easy on the eyes. The app aggregates photos straight from Yahoo's Project Weather on Flickr, then matches current weather conditions with appropriate art. Aside from user-generated photos, it also features simple icons and design, such as its "Sun & Moon" feature that shows rise and set times.
Solar is a minimalist iOS app for those who value an aesthetically pleasing interface. The app shows simple data against colorscapes that correspond to the sky and temperature conditions. Slide down for an extended forecast, or slide up to see the colorscape and data change by the hour. Keep track of multiple locations as well.
Living Earth is a stunning app with impressive graphics. It's available for iPhone and iPad (though best viewed on the latter); it features a live 3D simulation of the world that you can interactively spin, pinch-and-zoom and keep stable. Tap for stats and numbers, or tap again to see the visual of the globe.
Switch between various views of the world, including Current Cloud, Temperature, Humidity and Wind conditions. Set the globe view to Forecasts to see predicted conditions on a world-scale and see which parts of the planet are currently illuminated by the sun.
Weathertron is an iOS app that visualizes a minute-to-minute forecast with interactive graphics. Swipe across the timeline to see temperatures and precipitation for different times of the day. View the week's forecast with a graph that visually compares temperatures of different days.
Similar to Dark Sky, Forecast.io features a fluid radar and an up-to-the-minute forecast. It's also a web-based app: view the radar by global, regional or local windows. Forecast.io also has many useful graphs to illustrate the forecast, allowing for visual comparisons of precipitation and temperature between days. Immediately see which day of the week will be the hottest and when it's supposed to rain, too.
Today has a combination of features for a full weather app experience. The overview panel has basic data from your list of saved cities, the week's forecast displays temperature and conditions in a colored graphic (based on NOAA temperature gradients.)
Weather 2x, available for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, features a full-screen retina display on all devices. The app has a smooth user interface: swipe right for your saved cities, and left for an hourly forecast. Pinch the center of the screen for a weekly forecast or tap to switch between stats.
Dark Sky, available for iPhone and iPad, features a fluid radar that won't glitch. The app also features up-to-the-minute forecasts -- perfect for those who need, like, now.
Weather Live, available for iOS and Android devices, animates current conditions in the background with real-time stats in the foreground. The app includes current temperatures as the home screen's icon. Customize the view and specific stats as you please. Weather Live also features radar maps -- cloud, satellite and rain.
Clear Day is available for iPad and iPhone. The app features weather videos and 3D weather maps; an additional iPhone app, Clear Day Pal, features an alien that gives you detailed weather reports. The former aims to sooth with fullscreen visuals, and displays weather conditions for multiple locations at one time. Clear Day is also available for Mac, and includes quick access to forecasts via a menu in the toolbar.
Swackett, available for Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android and the web, features simple stats: current temperatures and "feels-like" temperatures, plus cartoons of what you should wear outside in current conditions. Swackett V2 also has multiple editions, including UV index and dog-walking editions. There are also fun themes like the undergrad, 1950's and British Invasion editions.
Tilt your phone sideways for a weekly forecast; or, access more features, like a radar and suggested activities based on current conditions.