What are the Brains Behind Your Weather App?

August 18, 2020

There’s no shortage of weather apps on the market. Some are veritable works of art with colorful, state-of-the-art graphics, while others cut to the chase, providing hard weather information in a more direct way.

All purport to give you the essential information you need, but which ones are most accurate? The answer to that question depends on which weather provider data is used to produce the forecasts that are “packaged” into each app.

Some weather apps, such as AccuWeather and the The Weather Channel, actually produce weather information based on their own proprietary forecasts. However, the majority of apps rely on weather forecasts produced by one of the major weather providers. Therefore, the accuracy of those apps is only as good as the accuracy of the underlying weather provider that sources the forecasts.

With a bit of research, you can find out which weather provider your favorite weather app uses. Here are some of the more popular weather apps and the providers whose information their forecasts actually come from:

  • 1Weather: DTN
  • WeatherMate: The Weather Channel
  • Funny Weather: Dark Sky* and AerisWeather
  • Fitbit: AccuWeather
  • What The Forecast?!!: AerisWeather
  • Today Weather: Weatherbit.io, Dark Sky*, AccuWeather, YR.no, weather.gov, OpenWeatherMap, Foreca (user specifies provider)

If accuracy is what’s most important to you in an app, it’s important that you determine where the forecasts actually come from and research the historical accuracy of each weather provider. You can also consult a site such as ForecastAdvisor, where you can compare accuracy among several major providers across numerous locations.

*Dark Sky was purchased by Apple in March 2020.

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Think Forecast Busts Are Common? Think again.

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