Whether you’re on vacation, enjoying a road trip, or your daily evening jog around the neighborhood, many things can ruin your day, but unexpected weather is right up the top of the list.
Heavy rain can leave you soaked for hours, sudden cold snaps make traveling miserable, and excessive heat makes exploring new towns a chore.
While there isn’t much you can do to change or prevent bad weather outside your home, knowing when it’s coming helps you know what Mother Nature will throw at you.
Here are the best animated weather apps for Android or iPhone to help you prepare for certain conditions and avoid cruddy weather.
1. AccuWeather (Android, iOS)
AccuWeather offers detailed information in a pleasing and well laid out user interface. The app delivers thorough weather reports in graphs, charts and video forecasts with spot on accuracy.
You also get timely updates and alerts that let you know conditions, dew points and wind speeds by the hour for your location, and a RealFeel index that considers humidity and wind. The index gives you a feel of what the weather will look like compared to the numbers you find on a thermometer.
If you already have a good compass app, AccuWeather is a handy companion as it helps you plan what to wear for walks, spur-of-the-moment hikes or upcoming trips.
The app’s animated radar map also lets you track looming severe weather, and you can check out local or global forecasts for a specific period of time. Plus, there’s a feature that predicts precipitation so you can carry your protective rain gear.
2. NOAA Weather Radar Live (Android, iOS)
If you like tracking multiple locations at once to track weather conditions where you are and how loved ones are doing the NOAA Weather Radar Live is worth considering.
The app allows you to highlight key places using bookmarks, look up a particular location by name or pinpoint the location on a map to find more details about it.
On top of that, the free version of the app uses real-time animated radar images, showing precipitation, rain and cloud cover while the premium version adds lightning and hurricane trackers. You also get basic numbers about the weather forecast such as visibility, wind speed, humidity, pressure, dew point, sunset and sunrise.
The app sends notifications whenever a weather alert is issued for snow storms, tornadoes, harsh weather and flood warnings for your current location. This way, you’re never caught unaware by such dangerous conditions.
3. Weather Live° (iOS)
Apple’s native animated weather app is a great option with nice animations, graphics and hourly forecasting. If the built-in weather app on your iPhone doesn’t give you the data or simplicity you need, you can use the Weather Live° app to plan your day-to-day activities.
The free app is designed to display local forecast and rain alerts, but you can select the layout and weather parameters you want to track, and view your customized forecast. In addition, the app displays breathtaking weather backgrounds that look and feel as visual as nature itself.
Weather Live° provides animated weather scenes that reflect weather conditions, and accurate 24-hour and 7-day forecasts for multiple locations across the globe. Plus, it displays local time and sends you bad weather alerts and warnings to give you a heads up about severe weather in your locality.
You also get insightful details such as pressure, precipitation, humidity, wind speed and direction, UV and visibility, wind chill, and temperature levels. The app also displays details about sunrise or sunset and moonrise or moonset, which is especially helpful if you like capturing moon shots at night.
Weather Live° is compatible with Apple Watch so you can view weather conditions and forecasts right on your watch face and be prepared for any weather.
The premium version offers advanced features and details including lightning and hurricane tracker, air quality, and an ad-free experience.
4. Weather Underground (Android, iOS)
Weather Underground displays accurate local weather forecasts with interactive satellite and radar maps.
The app aggregates crowdsourced data about your specific location from a network of 250,000+ weather stations to deliver severe weather alerts and hourly updates for up to 10 days. Each of these stations has instruments that gauge data on pressure, humidity, rainfall, temperature, wind speed and direction.
You can receive hyper-accurate statistics about your location, and you can confirm weather conditions or post your own updates on the app.
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, the app displays details about sunrise and sunset but also notifications for first and last light. This information helps you know if you’ll have enough visibility for bike riding or hiking.
5. Animated 3D Weather (Android)
If the Google weather app keeps disappearing off of your phone or you need something more detailed and animated, you can try Animated 3D Weather app.
Whether it’s snowing, raining, hail or sleet, the app displays weather conditions in animated format including trees shaking by wind strength. You can also see the sun and moon positions in real time.
The app also displays multiple locations for weather, hour by hour forecasts, five- or seven-day weather forecasts, customizable graphic features such as widgets, more than 10 different weather and notification icons.
6. WeatherBug (Android, iOS)
WeatherBug is a free and easy to use animated weather app that delivers reliable real-time forecasts using localized GPS data.
The app can help you track developing weather situations including spark lightning alerts and hurricane forecasts. On top of the typical weather fare, you get pollen count data, heat index, barometric pressure, UV index and air quality information.
WeatherBug relies on data from satellites, weather services and tracking stations to display data that’ll help you plan your trips accordingly. The app also provides hyperlocal real-time conditions with 10-day, hourly or current forecasts.
There are 18 different interactive maps to help you visualize the weather including lightning, Doppler radar, temperature, humidity, pressure and even traffic information.
If you live in an area affected by lightning, severe winter or hurricanes, WeatherBug will send storm alerts in real-time, and inform you how the weather may influence your workouts, sports, pain or allergies.
Check the Weather With a Glance
While most smartphones come with a built-in weather app, it’s always worth checking out third-party apps to see if they offer better information for your needs.
The best animated weather apps not only display interactive weather information, but they also deliver everything you need including the latest forecasts and severe weather warnings any time of year.
Having one of these six animated weather apps can tip you off to the conditions outdoors. Play around with any of them to get an idea of what kind of weather information you need and which of the apps best provides it.
What’s your go to animated weather app? Tell us about it in the comments.