What Are The Best Weather And Air Quality Apps?

Ah. Fall time is upon us; that means crisp air, falling leaves, and a refreshing drizzle. For those of us who live in the pacific northwest, fall means the weather changes hourly. It’s that time of year where whenever we think about stepping outside, we preface it with a routine “I wonder what it’s like out there” and open our trusty weather app. But what is your trusty weather app? With so many resources these days, finding the information for you can be a bit of a hunt. We’ve taken some of the guesswork out of it and pulled together a list of some of the highest recommended weather apps and websites so you can find the right one for you.

Weather Apps

National Weather Service (NOAA)
Government owned with access to the most research, this is a trustworthy source of information and the gold standard of accurate weather data. App Store Rating: 4.4 stars

Pros: Most accurate data. Goes beyond weather. Includes information like hazardous warnings, wildfires, droughts, etc.

Cons: Sometimes contains too much information and can be hard to navigate. Uses zip codes instead of latitude and longitude

The Weather Channel
Originally famous for its television channel, the Weather Channel has kept itself current. A great source for anyone who wants to know what to expect without all the extra tech talk behind it. App Store Rating: 4.7 stars.

Pros: Focuses on simplifying weather for the mass audience. Easy to navigate. A good source of national weather news, not just local.

Cons: Possibility of overhyping a storm. High amount of ads and sponsored content.

Popular with fans of sleek weather apps, it’s also worth an ad-free experience with the premium upgrade which includes specialized forecasts. App Store Rating: 4.6 stars.

Pros: Minimalist appearance. Minute-by-minute rain tracking. Focuses on forecast accuracy.

Cons: Controversial past in regard to their privacy policies.

Weather Bug
With an adorable mascot to guide you through this weather app, it’s features are designed for the consumer who likes to be frequently updated on developing weather. App Store Rating: 4.7 stars.

Pros: Great use of weather notifications. Accurate at-this-moment weather.

Cons: Very slow load times. Auto-play video ads.

Carrot Weather ($4.99)
This snarky and sarcastic app is just as entertaining as it is informative. App Store Rating: 4.7 stars.

Pros: Fun and full of humor. Worth the premium. Great content, accurate, and ad-free. Data comes from the reliable source of Dark Sky.

Cons: Not free to download. Notifications are not included without upgrading. Tiered subscription even after purchasing app.

Air Quality Apps

If checking the weather is a part of your daily schedule, you have most likely noticed the increase in air quality alerts. Wildfires and the small particle pollution that comes with them can cause a new need to check on what you might be walking into. As we struggle to find clean air, the frequency in which we use air quality apps is amplified and the importance of a reliable source can mean the difference between a breath of fresh air or the equivalent of smoking cigarettes to a non-smoker. Preventing hazardous health side effects are motivation to keep yourself informed as much as possible. Here are a few air quality apps that we’ve found helpful during the wildfire season.

AirVisual IQAir Quality
Filled with customizable notifications and features, this resource has no shortage of information. App Store Rating: 4.8 stars.

Pros: Provides health recommendations – steps to avoid getting sick. Lots of features.

Cons: Not all cities are available.

Plume Labs
Sleek and easy to use, this app is designed for those who are looking for insight on how to adjust their outdoor activities. App Store Rating: 4.6 stars.

Pros: Pairs specific activities with the best air quality so that user can plan accordingly. Very sleek interface. Hour by hour forecast.

Cons: Not all areas are available.

Air Quality – AirCare
A colorful approach to real-time air quality conditions. App Store Rating: 4.8 stars.

Pros: Clear and understandable. UV and pollen data. Cute mascot to educate children about the benefits of clean air.

Cons: Pop up advertisements.

With an impressive amount of air quality monitoring stations, this is a great resource for those looking to compare their air qualities to other places in the world. App Store Rating: 4.7 stars.

Pros: Custom alerts for air quality, weather, activity recommendations, and fire alerts. With more than 7000 official air quality monitoring stations worldwide, most locations are available even when air quality monitoring is not possible.

Cons: When air quality monitoring is unavailable, the app relies on an algorithm for its reading.

Purple Air (Browser Only)
This community map gets its data from many sensors that are installed, controlled, and maintained by members of this air quality monitoring community. App Store Rating: N/A.

Pros: Real time sensor readings are uploaded every 80 seconds. Option to purchase your own Purple Air sensor to get hyper-local air quality readings and contribute to the community map yourself.

Cons: Readings from these sensor can’t be used for official pollution statistics/data.

These days there are so many factors to consider when planning to leave your house. Whether you are considering an outing for the day, the week, or the month, we hope these resources will contribute to your health and safety.

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