Where you get your weather forecast can make a difference. Although most weather websites start with the same data from the US National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), they differ in the additional analysis they do and how accurate they are. (For track records on the accuracy of various sites, go to ForecastAdvisor.com.)
The best sites…
Best for a quick summary: Yahoo Weather (Weather.Yahoo.com) includes on its first page a quick five-day local forecast including current high and low temperatures for the day…a graph of monthly trends for the year…visibility…humidity…a graph of the rising and setting sun and moon…wind speed…and barometric pressure. The app is free for Apple and Android mobile devices.
Best all-around: AccuWeather (AccuWeather.com), drawing on more than 100 staff meteorologists, is indeed very accurate as well as easy to navigate and packed with a big variety of data and useful graphics, such as various radar maps…hourly forecasts for three days…extended forecasts for up to 45 days…and enhanced satellite images. The app is free for Apple and Android mobile devices.
Best for local accuracy across the US: Weather Underground (Wunderground.com) incorporates constantly updated reports provided by more than 140,000 weather stations run by amateur weather observers located in homes and schools around the US. This can be very valuable if, for example, you are planning an outdoor event or snow is on the way. However, unless you are a weather enthusiast, the site can overwhelm you with information, including highly technical data that you probably don’t need, such as buoy-based surface-water temperature readings. The app is free for Apple and Android mobile devices.
Best for up-to-the minute forecasts about precipitation at your precise location: Dark Sky (DarkSkyApp.com), available through an app for Apple mobile devices, features “Nowcasting” that incorporates data from barometers on hundreds of thousands of individuals’ iPhones. It pinpoints the forecast to where your phone’s GPS indicates you are to tell you, for instance, that a light rain will start in six minutes on the corner where you are. Dark Sky’s largely short-term focus might make it impractical to use as your only source for weather, but golfers and dog walkers will love it. There is a onetime $3.99 fee.