The iPhone’s built-in Weather app does a decent job on a daily basis, but you probably don’t want to rely on it when a hurricane is barreling towards your hometown. Fortunately there are several good weather apps that are much more useful during hurricane season.
Here is a list of some of the best hurricane apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod, and even Apple Watch. This way, as long as you’ve got internet access and a charged battery, you can keep an eye on the storm no matter where you are.
Hurricane Pro boasts of being the longest-running, still-maintained app in the app store, and given their seven-year track record, we’re not inclined to disagree. One feature we like in Hurricane Pro is the ability to listen to NOAA Weather Radio straight from within the app. Their hurricane trackers also make it easy to see the changing radius of a storm’s influence – so you’ll know how much inclement weather you’ll be experiencing as storms come ashore.
HP includes historical hurricane records and weather data, official NHC twitter accounts, and ties in to social media posts from local weather forecast offices that are close to the storm. In the words of the developers: “Because weather experts, mitigators, and amateur meteorologists love data.” Well, and who doesn’t?
Hurricane Tracker may not offer iPad or Apple Watch apps, but they do offer something that none of the other apps can boast – a web version. At Hurrtracker.com, you can access most if not all of the features of the iOS app, but on any of your devices – PC, Android, iPad, etc. The downside to the web version is that access isn’t included with the iOS purchase, and it does cost $5.99.
The iOS app does promise real-time weather tracking with no delays, and offers a number of ways to view the data – by temperature, barometric pressure, etc. They also have a function that lets you share screenshots of hurricane data with friends from within the app.
Hurricane, one of several apps produced by the American Red Cross, is the only free app included in our list. Like WeatherSphere’s app, Hurricane offers users an iPad version of the app, also for free, which allows for better viewing of the weather maps.
The ratings aren’t quite as high for this app, due in part (according to user reviews) to occasional delays in weather updates. We still recommend Hurricane, however, because of the other information it offers – as it’s part of the Red Cross’s digital offerings, the app tells users the difference between storm watches and storm warnings, offers suggestions for how to prepare and what supplies you might wish to stock up on, and a list (and map) of Red Cross shelters in your area should the worst happen and you need to leave your home.
One of my guilty pleasures is to load up NOAA’s CONUS radar screen and watch the weather patterns. It’s exciting to see how weather systems move across the country, and the bright colors against a stark black and white background add to the effect.
This app loads NOAA’s data, and combines it with weather tracking and prediction from other sources. It features hurricane traffic, severe weather warnings (with affected areas marked by discretely bounded regions on the map). This app is the highest rated one in our roundup, and the only one to offer an Apple Watch app – which could be a handy feature if you’re busy getting things together for hurricane preparation. It’s also one of only two that offer an iPad version; the tablet’s bigger screen is always nice to view maps on, especially if you’re sharing them in a group.