Whether you’re looking out for rainy days or enjoy a bit of amateur meteorology in your spare time, there are plenty of great weather apps for your iPhone. From free to feature-rich to futuristic, we have some great recommendations to share.
How We Picked the Best Weather Apps for iPhone
Best anything is always a subjective call, and in the case of the best weather apps for iOS, what makes one app a must-have download and turns you into a lifelong fan may not even be on the radar for another person.
For some people, that must-have feature might be an elegant or novel interface, a really polished weather radar, pollen or air quality alerts, or any number of things relevant to their health, hobbies, or job.
So in our descriptions below, we’ve aimed to highlight some key details about each app to save you from the hassle of downloading and testing them all out—though you might want grab the two that look the most appealing to give them a real-world test drive.
Best Free Weather App: Apple Weather
Historically, you wouldn’t find Apple Weather at the top of any best iOS weather app lists. Like many stock Apple apps, it was there, it was OK, but it wasn’t anything particularly exceptional.
The time in the doldrums ended for the Weather app when Apple acquired Dark Sky, a wildly popular weather app and service, and used the acquisition to improve Apple Weather and create the WeatherKit API.
Today Apple Weather is significantly more sophisticated than it was years ago. So if you tried it back when you first started using an iPhone and swore off it, it’s worth giving it a second look. The interface has more options, the weather data is more accurate, and many features you’d only find on premium third-party apps, like weather animations and hyper-local reporting, are now integrated into the app.
As far as recommendations go, we know recommending a stock iOS app as a best weather app candidate isn’t super sexy. But unless you uninstalled it, the app is already on your iPhone, has simple but polished weather widgets for both your home screen and lock screen, and is great for casual use.
Is it infinitely configurable and customizable? No. Is it free while covering all the basics like alerts, forecasting, air quality, and other expected weather app functions? Absolutely.
Best Weather App: Carrot Weather
If you’ve asked your friends what weather app they use or looked into weather apps for your iPhone at all, you’re bound to have come across Carrot Weather.
On the surface, Carrot Weather is a colorful and fun weather application with a simple art style. While distinctive, the art style is hardly the thing that stands out the most to people. Carrot Weather’s most distinctive trait is the ability to tweak the “personality” of the app to anything from a very professional and impartial weather reporter to a snarky anarchist and anything in between. That might sound ridiculous, and it’s fine if a weather app with a chatty off-cuff personality isn’t for you, but it’s garnered Carrot Weather a cult following.
Witty remarks about the weather are hardly enough to sell a weather app, though, so thankfully, Carrot Weather is also an extremely customizable app that offers a dizzying array of options for you to rearrange how weather data is displayed in the app and on the home screen and lock screen widgets.
After Apple’s acquisition of Dark Sky and the shuttering of the Dark Sky app, many Dark Sky users flocked to Carrot Weather to recreate the Dark Sky experience with a familiar interface—Dark Sky fans should check out the “Inline” layout option—and premium features like the weather time machine to look back at the weather.
Just like we suggested you not write off Apple Weather because it used to be a very lackluster app, we’d also encourage you not to write off Carrot Weather because you’ve heard it’s a snarky weather app. The snark part is optional, and the app and widgets are highly customizable.
Carrot Weather has a free version as well as three subscription tiers. The Premium tier, which is the best upgrade for most folks, is $4.99/month or $19.99/year. The upgrade unlocks notifications, customizations, widgets, and Apple Watch complications.
The Premium Ultra tier costs $9.99/month or $39.99/year. It includes the Premium tier features plus additional features like rain, lightning, and storm cell notifications, a weather map widget, and quick-switching for weather data sources.
And if you happen to have a whole family of weather nerds, the best value is Premium Family, $14.99/month or $59.99/year, which gives you and five family members the Ultra tier (via Apple’s Family Sharing).
Best Weather App for Notifications: Weather Underground
Long before other apps were talking about hyper-local weather (or, for that matter, long before there were even mobile apps, period), there was Weather Underground. Founded in 1995, the company has long specialized in very hyper-local weather reporting by aggregating data from the National Weather Service with data from over 250,000 personal weather stations.
One of the highlights of the Weather Underground app is the detailed weather map with multiple detailed overlays and the ability to easily drill down to specific data on different reporting zones in your area. It’s also notable that Weather Underground doesn’t paywall alerts or advanced weather data.
It’s also nice that there are two upgrade tiers. If you like the app as it is but would prefer no ads, you can remove ads for only $1.99 a year. They also have a Premium tier ($3.99/month or $19.99 a year) that removes the ads, extends the extended forecast from 10 to 15 days, and unlocks Smart Forecasts.
The Smart Forecasts feature lets you set parameters for the weather and then get automatic notifications based on the conditions. Need a clear windy day to fly a kite or go sailing? A day with an optimal temperature range and low humidity for a hike? Smart Forecasts can alert you that the conditions are perfect for your pursuits.
However, there is one missing feature that may be a deal breaker for some people. Unlike most of the apps in our roundup, Weather Underground doesn’t have home screen or lock screen widgets (in either the free or paid versions of the app).
Best Plain-English Weather App: Hello Weather
There are a lot of weather apps out there, and so many of them look like you’re accessing a decades-old web page, banner ads, and all, repackaged into an app. Hello Weather was created by a small team to get away from that kludgy and cluttered interface feeling and present weather data in a clean and easy-to-understand format.
It’s one thing to know what the humidity and dew point are, for example, but what does that actually mean for you and whether or not you go for a long walk? Is it comfortable? What about changes in barometric pressure? Hello Weather integrates that kind of information in plain English into the forecast data and widgets.
Best Non-traditional Weather App: (Not Boring) Weather
If you’re really into charts, tables, radar imagery, and the usual trappings of popular weather apps, (Not Boring) Weather probably isn’t for you.
On the other hand, if you’ve ever wished for a really slick weather app that feels like a slick iOS-only mobile game in the running for game of the year, then the (Not Boring) Weather app might just be for you.
The app throws traditional weather app design right out the window in favor of turning the interface into a sort of interactive weather fidget toy. The animated weather model and the large temperature readout are 3D modeled and interactive.
You can rotate and flip them about if you’re so inclined, tap on the model for additional information, or swipe through the interface at the bottom of the screen for forecast data. And if you slide your finger along the weather bar at the bottom, it’ll “play” the forecast for the day like you’re scrubbing through a 3D animation of the weather conditions.
It’s definitely not for everyone, and if you crave a weather-app-as-command-center experience, you’ll want to look elsewhere. But it’s a really fun and fresh take on the weather app category. The app will run you $14.99 a year, but that includes the weather app as well as the (Not Boring) take on Habits, Calculator, and Timer to expand the 3D-game-looking good vibes to other apps you use on your iPhone, too.