App Saturday: WeatherBug

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

We live in an age of extreme weather, according to Science Daily, "Globally... the number of floods and other hydrological events have quadrupled since 1980 and have doubled since 2004, highlighting the urgency of adaptation to climate change. Climatological events, such as extreme temperatures, droughts, and forest fires, have more than doubled since 1980. Meteorological events, such as storms, have doubled since 1980." As weather becomes increasingly unpredictable, we need an accurate weather app to report on today's forecast, both current and hourly, as well as an extended weather outlook that includes the severe weather forecast and alerts. Since so many of us travel, we need not only local radar, but also national and global weather data so we can receive updates no matter where we are. WeatherBug is a free weather app that offers all these features; let's get started learning about my favorite weather app now, so you can decide whether or not to give it a home on your Apple device.    

Related: How to Track Flights Using iPhone Search

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WeatherBug (Free)

weather app

What It Does

The WeatherBug app is everything you need in a weather app all rolled into one: real-time conditions, as well as hourly and ten-day forecasts; maps with features including radar, air quality, precipitation, and more; and up-to-the-minute alerts to warn of lightning, tornados, hurricanes, and other dangerous conditions. All you need to do to get started using WeatherBug is to download the free app, then enable Location Services for the app, so that it can deliver weather reports and alerts to wherever you carry your device. To turn on Location Services: 

  • Tap on the Settings app.
  • Scroll down to your list of apps and tap on WeatherBug.  

radar onlinewhat's the weather

  • Tap on Location.
  • Tap on Always so that WeatherBug knows the location of your device and can send any forecasts and alerts your way promptly.

what's the weather todaywhat's the weather tomorrow

Once you've allowed WeatherBug to access your location, you can get started using the app:

  • Tap the WeatherBug app on your Home Screen.
  • You'll be brought to the Now screen, which shows temperature, cloud coverage, wind direction, and other details about current weather conditions in your area.

what is the weather todaywhat is the weather

  • To the right of Now is Hourly; tap this to see how the weather will shape up for the rest of the day.
  • Tap 10 Day, and you'll see the ten-day forecast for your area; you can look at the summary or check a more detailed prediction for each day's weather by tapping Summary or Details at the bottom of your screen.

current weathertoday's forecast

  • Lastly, you can tap on Maps, which shows you a variety of current conditions. You can change the map display by tapping on the stack icon at the bottom of your screen.
  • From there, choose which map you'd like to view from the menu on the right; one of my favorites is the Pollen map, which helps me decide if I need an allergy pill that day.  

weather mapus weather radar

Another cool feature of the Maps page is that you can zoom out on your location by making a pinching gesture with thumb and forefinger on the map, or zoom back in by reversing that gesture.  

Why We Love It

weather app

The number one reason why I downloaded WeatherBug and appreciate it so much is the weather alert system that's included. Whether it's lightning nearby, a flash flood warning, a tornado or hurricane watch, or impending winter weather, WeatherBug keeps on top of developing conditions with data from over 10,000 weather stations. As long as you allow location access on your device like I showed you previously, WeatherBug can send alerts to your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch to help keep you and your family safe. WeatherBug has proved itself invaluable since I moved to Iowa by alerting me to tornado warnings and watches, and helped me quite a bit on my summer trip when I needed to decide if it was safe to stay on the road, or if an approaching storm was going to make driving too hazardous.

In addition to severe weather warnings, WeatherBug has become a comprehensive tool that I can use any time I have a weather-related question, which is often. As I mentioned previously, WeatherBug helps me plan when to take allergy medication, but it also helps me plan which chores I'll do and when, and even how to best care for my animals. Can I paint the shed today, or is it going to rain in the next 48 hours? Is today a good day to let the dogs stay in the yard while I'm at work, or will it get too hot for them? Do I need to keep the chickens in their coop and plug in their warmer, so their water doesn't freeze, or will they be fine outside? All these answers and more have been provided by the WeatherBug app. Give it a try and let me know what you think, and your favorite uses for the app. 

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    Leanne Hays's picture

    Leanne Hays is a Feature Web Writer at iPhone Life.  She loves reading and blogging, and is never without a book in her backpack or an audiobook on her phone. Short-term goals include finishing painting her house and starting an aquaponics farm, long-term goals include a bike tour of Italy and writing a novel.