If you read this blog then you already lean towards the geeky side of life. Not only am I a geek, but I’m a weather nut as well. Even if you aren’t a weather nut like I am, I guarantee you will love playing around with these three totally geeky weather apps! Warning, these apps are all iOS only.
Dark Sky (iOS):
I don’t dare leave the house without this app. I live in Florida, and it is quite probable for me to get totally soaked just by walking from my front door to my car door (which is maybe 15 feet). We can get some pretty serious rain showers in Florida, and they are extremely isolated. This is where Dark Sky saves my bacon. Dark Sky sends me an iOS notification when rain is approaching my location, so I know I need to quickly finish my shopping trip or run outside and close up my car windows. Dark Sky will also give you a visual rain forecast for the next hour. I use this all the time to determine whether I can go out for a quick run or a bike ride without having to take along a boat. If this wasn’t enough of a reason to absolutely love this app, Dark Sky gives you the opportunity to REPORT on the weather. Nothing thrills a weather geek more than to be able carry around a little weather station in his or her pocket. With the latest version of the iPhone you now carry around a barometer, and with Dark Sky you can opt into allowing the app to periodically use barometric pressure readings from your phone to increase the accuracy of its forecasts. This is totally optional and you have to opt in, so, if you are really worried about privacy, worry not. The second way to contribute to weather is to manually send in sky conditions. Click on the “Report” button in the lower right-hand corner of the main screen and you can send in the sky conditions as well as indicate if there is lightning or fog in the area. Below is a screenshot showing both the option to send barometric pressure and manual sky/weather conditions.
Like a little (or a lot) of snark with your weather forecast? If so, then CARROT Weather – Talking Forecast Robot is for you. Today is a really hot day, and CARROT’s snarky weather forecast for me was…”It’s so hot, you might as well throw caution to the wind and run through the streets naked.” This app will totally scratch your geek itch. Navigate into the “About” section of the app and you will find a different “About” description each time you go in. One of my favorites so far has been:
“CARROT employs an elite band of attack ostriches to hunt down lazy humans”
The entire app is centered around an “artificial intelligence” named CARROT that claims she has the ability to not only predict but also create the weather. So don’t get her mad. CARROT’s “eye” is the circular object in the upper left-hand part of the screen. If you tap her eye she gets pretty angry. No seriously, don’t irritate her… she will totally send a Sharknado after you:
CARROT is powered by the same weather source as Dark Sky (which is Forecast.io). CARROT has a similar 1-hour look ahead to tell you the probability of rain as well as daily and weekly forecasts. But let’s face it, the real value in CARROT is the abuse she hands out. There are secret locations (like Mount Doom, Lars Homestead, and the Moon–a total of 28) you can unlock these locations just by using the app in various locations and times. Oh, and she really doesn’t like the Star Wars prequels…
Weather Nerd (iOS):
Now we get really nerdy! This is my go-to weather app that I use everyday. What this app has that almost every app out there doesn’t is an amazing number of weather data sources. Weather Nerd takes 18 different weather data sources and, using statistical analysis, combines them to provide one really accurate weather prediction. I used this app last month when I was cycling across the State of Kansas. Wind speed and direction become really important when are having to potentially pedal into a 20+ mph headwind or get pushed along by a 30 mpg tailwind. Weather Nerd not only tells you wind speed and direction but it shows you the profile of the wind during the entire day. The way Weather Nerd displays so much weather data all in one graphic on a single screen is impressive. Wind speed, today’s temperature profile (with a 2nd line showing yesterday’s temperature profile as a comparison), as well as probability of rain all in one easy to ready graphic.
The bottom of the app lets you choose between the forecast for the next “Hour,” “Today,” “Tomorrow,” and the entire “Week.” If you select “Hour” and scroll to the bottom of the page you will get a daily “Nerd Facts,” like today’s which explained the origins of the term “Dog Days of Summer.” You can get just about every piece of weather data you could ever want, and now comes the really nerdy part… Press the “Nerd Out” button in the lower right-hand corner of the “Today” screen, and it takes you to an hour-by-hour scrolling data table that lists out just about every conceivable weather parameter. This app has replaced all my other weather apps for super accurate weather forecasts. It even has a gorgeous weather radar in the “Hour” view. Just press the small radar graphic window and it will expand into a glorious screen-filling all-you-can-eat radar complete with play/pause controls and options to turn on and off various visuals with the radar image.
So these are my favorite geeky weather apps. I try out just about every “shiny new” weather app that comes to market, but these three apps have stuck for a while as my favorites. I think you will “geek out” them just as much as I do.