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Ten Great Free Android Weather Apps

There are hundreds of great free Android weather apps that more than make up for the lack of paid weather apps in the Android market. The fact that there are more free Android weather apps is a great thing for those of us who like to thoroughly inspect an app before choosing to make it part of our permanent collection. This list is quite a diverse one with many different specialties. Here are ten of the best free Android weather apps around.

Weather

This aptly named free Android weather app, developed by Michael Bachman, is one I would recommend to those who just want a plain and simple, easy-to-use app. It’s fast and very reliable; this is an app to try if all you want is a simple forecast and not many other bells and whistles.

iMap Weather

This app provides radar images and forecasts. It can also give you detailed current weather conditions (for local and international locations). If you choose to check out this weather app, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the great visuals!

Moon Phase

A very simple free Android weather app developed by Udell Enterprises, Inc, it obviously shows you the particular phase of the moon for the given data. Although this app lacks some additional add-ons to make it truly spectacular, it does exactly what it promises quite efficiently.

Snowstorm weather widget

This is another very specific free Android weather app. Snowstorm gives you forecasts regarding snowstorms and beyond. If you’re like me and you live in snow country, this is definitely an app I would suggest for when you’re out and about during the snow season.

Radar Now!

If you want an app that will visually display the current weather through radar, Radar Now! Is your best free Android app option. Simple and fast, Radar Now! gives you what you need without any hassle.

AccuWeather.com

This is a GPS-based weather update app and is great for getting worldwide forecasts. As you might have guessed, this app was developed by the same people behind Accuweather.com, so you’ll be sure the information you get is accurate and reliable and that this app will only get better!

Weather Widget – Free

Although there is a paid version of this free Android weather app, this one remains to be quite adequate in giving quick and reliable weather updates. This is one of the weather apps that will do just about anything for you. Trust me, this app would be a great addition to your Android phone. To enhance this app, get the Weather Widget Forecast Addon, another free app that does just what it says. If you try the Weather Widget and like it, download the free Forecast Addon and you’ll have a winning combination!

WeatherBug

Another great free Android weather app that offers local weather updates as well as just about anything else you’d want to know about general weather. The updates are accurate and the add-ons (including maps and videos) are amazing. This is one of the very few free Android apps that are up there in a league of their own.

The Weather Channel

Easily the best free Android weather app available in the Android Market; it’s also the most popular Android app in the weather category. The official Weather Channel app provides weather updates straight from one of the most respected weather sources. You can set a default location to get regular updates without doing anything else. The last thing I’ll say about this app: you should download this app for your Android phone.

10 Great Weather Resources for Boaters

All the safety experts will tell you its always a good practice to check the weather before you go out on your boat. I’m no expert, but I’d have to agree with the premise; you just never know. Checking the weather in advance will at least give you a clue as to whether a late day squall or a heavy fog might be bearing down on you.

I’ve compiled a list, in no particular order, of some of the best weather tools online or in a smartphone app. Under each tool I’ve enumerated what can you can expect to find on each weather site. I hope this helps you in selecting one, two or more weather resources that are right for you and if you have some favorites now, perhaps a few more you might want consider.

Accuweather

Here you can get your current, hourly, weekend, extended and monthly forecast for your area. It also provides you with the chances for precipitation over a 24 hour period in blocks of 3 hours each. There are also Maps for:

  • U.S.radar feeds with zoom capabilities
  • U.S.satellite feeds with zoom capabilities showing cloud cover
  • U.S.severe weather reads with zoom capabilities and a legend. It also shows lightening strikes and their frequency.
  • news and videos of U.S. national interest
  • a hurricane center with a map and the latest tracking information.
  • current sea surface temperatures worldwide

Aside: AccuWeather is also a free app download for iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android featuring today’s local forecast, 15 day local forecast, satellite map, videos and more. This is an excellent weather resource for boaters who have a smartphone.

The Weather Channel

This site features daily and hourly

  • U.S. national, regional and local weather forecasts
  • Marine forecasts with temperature, wind speed and direction, wave height and direction, sea surface temperature, sea state (calm, choppy, etc), relative humidity, visibility, etc.
  • Maps showing U.S. current temperature, current weather, Doppler radar, infrared satellite and severe weather alerts. All maps are interactive and will bring you down to your local weather situation.

Aside: The Weather Channel app is free and available for iPhone, Blackberry and Android smartphones. It has current, hourly, 36 hour and 10 day forecasts, beach forecasts, a satellite weather map of you area, severe weather reports, national, local and “must see video” center. Another great weather app for boaters who have a smartphone.

Wunderground

Just type in a location and you can get current/basic local weather information.

A click on Maps and Radar will give you informational displays and data on:

  • U.S.weather fronts
  • severe weather alerts and warnings in your area
  • NEXRAD animated radar readings for the US, Canada and Australia with information on storm tracks, total precipitation and severe weather
  • satellite images of national and local cloud cover
  • marine forecasts worldwide, showing water temperatures, wave heights and wind speeds.

Aside: Wunderground has an free app for iPhone called Weather Quickie, but it’s not as comprehensive as the website and I wouldn’t rely on it for boating forecasts.

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

This is perhaps to most comprehensive weather site of them all. Here you can get your basic weekly weather forecast by the location you select. Scroll further down the page and you’ll find weather maps with Radar and Satellite Images. There’s a

  • regional radar map showing severe weather and flash flood warnings.
  • satellite images map of the continental U.S. (color enhanced)

Further down the page you’ll find the National Digital Forecast Database which has weather data displayed in graphic fashion showing:

  • an Hourly Weather Graph indicating 24 hours of temperature, wind, wind gusts, sky cover, heat index, potential thunderstorms and precipitation
  • a Hazardous Weather Report for the reported area

To the left of the National Digital Forecast Database you’ll find two maps, one of Temperature Forecast, the other a Forecast Database Map where you can look up local and regional graphical displays of today’s, tonight’s and tomorrow’s:

  • possibility of precipitation
  • temperature
  • dew point
  • wind speed and direction
  • wind gusts
  • sky cover
  • relative humidity
  • apparent temperature

Aside: There is an app for iPhone from NOAA called Weather Alert USA that has received favorable ratings. As of this writing it costs $3.99.

Marine Weather – NOAA

This site features zone forecasts of the:

  • North Atlantic
  • North and Southeast Pacific
  • Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and Tropical Atlantic
  • Alaska and North Pacific
  • Central Pacific

Within each zone you can view daily

  • wind, wave and surface charts,
  • typhoon, high wind and wave charts using satellite technology
  • upper air charts

National Hurricane = NOAA Center

If you’re tracking hurricanes, you’ll find a lot of information on this site:

  • a map showing active tropical storms, tracking information and analysis
  • hurricane awareness and information about hurricanes in general with a briefing on such topics as preparedness, storm surges, FAQs about hurricanes and tropical weather and forecast models

Passage Weather

This site provides 7 day wind and weather forecasts useful to offshore mariners. The forecast charts are for every zone of the world and feature maps illustrating:

  • surface winds 10 miles above sea level
  • surface pressure
  • visibility
  • cloud cover
  • precipitation
  • wave height and direction

Other Smartphone Weather Apps to Consider:

Weather Bug for iPhone, Blackberry and Android. It’s free and shows

  • current conditions of temperature, wind speed and direction, wind gusts, high and low temperatures for the day, wind chill, humidity, dew point and alerts
  • the weekly forecast
  • an infrared satellite map of the conditions in your area
  • videos on the national weather outlook

Aside: This is the most popular of the weather apps and the most versatile for the smartphone. And, you can’t beat the cost.

WeatherRadar for iPhone. Provides immediate base reflectivity radar, global weather radar and cloud cover over a choice of a streets only map, streets and satellites map or satellite only map. It shows radar only, no other weather information is available with this app, but it show real-time radar which is a big plus. Cost for the app is $2.99 as of this writing.

Boat Load for iPhone. Get real-time weather forecast in any of 42,000 U.S. cities with hourly, 36 hour, 7 day forecasts for any area you chose. It also has information a boater might be interested in such the location of marinas, port and supplies. Tidal information is also available as well as is the ability to file a float plan or send an emergency alert. Cost of the download is $4.99. as of this writing.

So there you have 10 reliable resources for coastal and marine weather. I think they’re some of the best you’ll find save weather on GPS which can cost upwards of $500 for a unit with radar and over $20/mo for the service. These 10 sites are free as are the weather apps for Accuweather, The Weather Channel, Weather Quickie and Weather Bug. If it works on your smartphone it can work for you; it’s certainly worth the time of a simple download. A check of any one of these weather resources might keep you and your passengers safe and save you from encountering some predictable, forecasted nasty weather which most assuredly would ruin an otherwise perfect day on the water.

5 Best Android Tablet Weather Apps

It is vital for every person to keep in touch with the latest weather news. It is quite helpful when you are able to check the recent weather forecast with your Android tablet, what with the success of the Android platform in making the lives of people a lot easier. Receiving weather updates will give you a good idea on what to expect in the coming days, so you are able to prepare how to get to work and what to wear. There are actually many weather apps available in the Android market that you can download, but if you want to have the best weather apps, you might as well check these out:

1. Beautiful Widgets

Simply amazing, simply beautiful! This is what best describes Beautiful Widgets. The user interface of this Android app is quite attractive, that is why it is considered as the top weather app for Android. It has two beautiful widgets, two skinned clocks and a general weather widget that includes an accurate forecast. All details are coupled with cool weather animations such as a sunny, rainy or stormy background. With its amazing features and functionality, you can toggle widgets for Waif and Bluetooth. It also has over 140 weather skins that you can download. The cost of Beautiful Widgets for Android is$2.87 only-not a bad price at all.

2. SPB Shell 3D

If you want to check the weather forecast in 3D style, the SPB Shell 3D app will show you fantastic 3D graphics on your screen. Considered as the next generation user interface, SPB Shell has eight home screens which are comprised of pre-configured panels such as clock, calendar, time and weather. What’s great about SPB is that it shows a customizable screen that allows you to spin the panels like a carousel. At the bottom, there is a dock for your applications. The cost of SPB is $14.95-a bit expensive compared with other Android apps, but you will have an awesome 3D experience with this useful program.

3. Go Weather

One of the Android apps that can provide you accurate information on the weather from any place at anytime is Go Weather. It is able to access to a great number of weather stations across the US and around the world. It also features a 7-day weather forecast with cool weather animations for the day, weather tracking in several locations, notifications for weather temperature and alerts, weather and clock skin widgets, and exceptional performance to check battery life which can disable weather updates at the moment battery level is low. Go Weather is a free app for Android.

4. Animated Weather Widget & Clock

Animated Weather Widget & Clock provides you with wonderfully animated backgrounds and weather effects. You can customize the background scenes according to your preferences. When swiping the screen, it will show you daytime, nighttime and temperature levels of the day. To check relevant weather information, just tap the screen and it will show you detailed information of the weather forecast on each particular day of the week. It will also show you cool effects of rain, lightning, clouds and snow. It also features weather forecast on more than 50,000 locations worldwide and GPS location. The Animated Weather Widget & clock costs $4.95.

5. Fancy Widget Pro

One of the best Android apps for weather forecasting is the Fancy Widget Pro app. It has 4 widgets: fancy clock, fancy weather, fancy home and fancy home small. It is a user-friendly Android app that allows you to personalize your clock, date, time and weather forecast with many options to choose for your home screen. To launch Fancy Weather Pro, simply tap on weather settings, and then tap weather provider. You can also change the temperature format in Celsius or Fahrenheit readings. There are also a number of weather skins available. Fancy Widget Pro only costs $1.99 in the Android Market.

Weather Instruments That You Can Use to Forecast the Weather

Most of us get our weather information from the evening TV weather news. Another good portion of the population actually watches and enjoys the Weather Channel.

Then there are those of us who would rather put it all together while making our own observations and forecasts using our own weather equipment and instruments. This portion of the population is known as “weather bugs, weather nuts, weather aficionados, weather hounds,” and a variety of other names. The point is, these people enjoy and are sometimes obsessed by watching weather instruments and attempting to predict weather changes.

Like enthusiastic sports fans, these weather bugs can usually tell you just about everything there is to know about weather. They read about it, they watch it on TV and they go to all the online forums and weather chat lines. Many of them go to yearly or even monthly weather hound conventions. One thing is certain: every one of them will have his or her own weather station. Most of these will be wireless, digital home weather stations and they’ll have sensors placed all over their own property and often throughout the entire neighborhood.

Though they don’t have the high sophistication that NOAA and NASA enjoy, because these agencies are funded by the government, they do have preferences and specific models of weather instruments that they acquire as often as they can afford it. Some amateur weather forecasters have an array of tools and instruments that TV meteorologists would envy. It’s all part of the fascination with weather and its various patterns and intricacies.

No self respecting weather buff would be caught dead without at least two of the following tools: anemometers, thermometers (indoor and outdoor), rain gauges, barometers, atomic clocks, weather maps of all kinds, including NASA and NOAA weather maps and even travel weather maps, hygrometers, psychrometers and any other weather instrument that they can get their hands on.

While most of these tools are found as separate components, each of them is represented in the home weather stations that are offered for sale. Depending on a person’s budget, some of the weather stations are more sophisticated than others. Some specific brand names and models are preferred by some weather enthusiasts more than others, such as the WLS-8000 Weather Station. This rather pricey model features industrial grade high-resolution/highly accurate sensors, a large digital display, and 128K non-volatile memory with an integral clock. This system is fully addressable by PC via the RS-232 and it logs 4000 data points to memory. Up to the second real-time data transfer to a Windows based PC with included Weather View 32 professional software. 12 hour uninterruptable power supply is standard. This model goes for around $3750 which is comparatively cheap when you consider what the National Weather Service pays for their equipment.

However, there are wireless weather stations available that are not nearly as expensive and have much the same instrumentation as the WLS-8000. One such item is the Honeywell TE653ELW Desktop Weather Forecaster. This station includes many popular components and the readout screen can be placed on a desktop or even hung on a wall and viewed very easily anytime the consumer desires. This product is more than just a Weather Forecaster. It’s a Wireless Indoor Outdoor Thermometer and Hygrometer, a Barometer, and an Atomic Clock with Dual Alarms, Calendar, and Moon Phase. The price is $79 online. This is quite a difference. To some, this is enough. To others, it’s just the beginning of a good home weather station.

There are also portable, hand-held weather stations that one can put in the care and carry along with them to any location. It is usually no larger than an indoor telephone and gives the user a plethora of weather information. The Kestrel 4000NV Weather Tracker is the next generation of weather monitoring. You can now measure EVERY major environmental condition, easily and accurately, right in the palm of your hand. Barometric Pressure, Altitude, Density Altitude, Temperature, Humidity, Wind Speed, Wind Chill, Dew Point, Wet Bulb, and Heat Index are all found in one pocket sized instrument. The cost? About $250.

These are exciting times for weather enthusiasts and the tools needed to forecast and observe the weather are very much available and at a cost that to most is easily affordable, to most folks. Nowadays, there’s no reason not to have your own wireless weather station right in your own home. It may not be long until you’re considered a “weather nut.”

Home Weather Stations

In this age of digital technology, with instant access to up-to-the-minute data, forecasts, and images from the National Weather Service (NWS) and innumerable other online sources; with timely reports from local broadcasters and cable television networks; with personalized forecasts and storm alerts sent directly to your email, pager, or cell phone; why would anyone need a home weather station?

The answer to that question lies right there in your backyard, where the weather conditions you experience at home are often not the same as any of those resources might suggest. We know that all too well living here in southwest Virginia, as weather conditions up on the mountain ridges can be completely different from those down in the valleys. Fortunately, keeping an eye on local weather conditions using your own state-of-the-art weather station has never been easier or more affordable. Whether simple or elaborate, home weather stations will provide you with information that cannot be obtained anywhere else. And having the ability to glance over at your weather station console from the comfort of your couch or armchair is not only convenient, but fascinating as well.

Depending on desired features and accessories, electronic weather station prices can range from as little as $30 to as much as $3,000 or more. Available in either wireless or cabled versions, these highly accurate weather instruments monitor a variety of weather conditions: temperature and humidity (both indoors and out), atmospheric pressure, precipitation, wind direction and speed, dew point, wind chill, and heat index – all displayed within the comfort of your home! More advanced weather stations offer enhanced features such as faster sampling rates, extensive data graphing and history, and additional sensors ranging from ultraviolet, solar radiation, and evapotranspiration to soil temperature/moisture and leaf wetness. All electronic weather stations include a clock and many of them are radio controlled, resetting themselves daily to the official U.S. government atomic clock located at Fort Collins, Colorado.

Cabled weather stations use a cable to connect their weather sensors to the indoor console. Drawbacks include the risk of lightning (must use lightning arrestors) and having to drill a hole in the wall to link the two, but cabled units are generally less expensive than wireless units. Wireless weather stations use radio signals (typically in the 433 MHz band) to transmit measurements from the weather sensors to the indoor console, eliminating the need to string cable and drill holes. The maximum “unobstructed” (or “line of sight”) range between the sensors and indoor console can vary between models, from 80 to 1000 feet. However, their “effective” range is determined by the building materials their signals must penetrate (walls, siding, roof structure, etc.) and by sources of radio interference. As a rule-of-thumb for a typical installation, the effective range is about a third of the rated unobstructed range.

Weather station sensors need to be placed or “sited” properly to provide accurate measurements. Once installed, sensors transmit their data to the indoor console, which updates the display and records the readings at an interval set by the manufacturer. This interval may vary depending on the type of measurement (temperature, wind speed, rainfall, etc.) or may be fixed at one interval rate regardless of the type (every minute, every three minutes, etc.).

Some home weather stations are capable of interfacing with a computer, either included as part of the package or available as an optional accessory. A computer-linked weather station offers not only real-time display of weather measurements on your computer monitor, but also provides for advanced data collection and graphical weather analysis. And with a dedicated internet connection, you can even post weather data to your own weather web page or become a part of the process by sharing your readings with the Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP), which forwards the information in a format that the National Weather Service can use. Even if your weather station isn’t connected to a computer, you can still participate as a volunteer Skywarn “spotter,” providing your local NWS weather forecast office with important weather measurements and severe weather reports.

Interest in weather is nearly universal and the information that home weather stations provide, combined with additional relevant study, can offer you an opportunity for a rewarding lifelong hobby. Most have discovered that their home weather station has given them a better understanding of weather, which has heightened their interest in other aspects of the natural world. After all, weather observation is not just confined to where you live.

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