The local weatherperson is often the brunt of many jokes, their forecasting skills called into question, their names cursed when the weather isn't like they said. But with some recent advances in computing and the addition of social media the possibility of accurately reporting the weather where you are, in a time frame you actually need it, has become more practical. We've all seen a storm skim right by where we are without loosing a drop, where a mile down the road it's a soaker. These apps make the weather more accurate for where you are, and are thus more useful.
Dark Sky ($15 preorder)
Our day is made up of many short jaunts outside, at least that's the idea that drove Dark Sky's creators to make an app that gives you down to the minute weather forecasts for the next hour. This app is like those large moving weather maps you see on weather sites, but with a hyper-local focus and smooth animation. On top of the animation is a graph that gives you the length and severity of each burst of rain or snow and uses your location to make predictions. Dark Sky is still on Kickstarter, but is very close to its goal.
Metwit is a social weather app that makes its users into weather forecasters. Once you download the app you can tag the weather in your area for others to see and the collective weather tagging creates a more accurate picture of the weather nearby. This is especially useful for travel, where you can pass through other users' areas and see the upcoming weather.
The Weather Channel for iPad (Free)
This app from the weather channel combines its usual forecasting with social media to predict local weather. The Weather Channel (TWC) integrates local conversations and iWitnessWeather (local people taking weather photos, videos and reports) to give you a clearer picture of what's going on. While it isn't quite as accurate as the tagging of Metwit or the data of Dark Sky, it makes up for it by complementing the regular weather you already get from TWC. The visuals on this app are also excellent, with the radar you're used to.
More Weather on Unplggd
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· Get the Forecast at a Glance With These Apps
· Final Frame: The Animated Weather App
· Weather Devices: How Do You Check the Forecast?