Weather apps help with day-to-day load planning

Weather apps are by far the most commonly used by owner-operators who have smart phones. Among respondents to Overdrive’s 2015 Connectivity Report, 90 percent say they use weather apps regularly.

As weather apps have proliferated, more of them offer functions particularly useful to professional drivers. Most notable are those involving current conditions, alerts or forecasts for drivers’ current location or locations along their route. Some apps offer high levels of precision regarding precipitation and alerts.

Below is a list of some weather apps Overdrive reviewed. All are free and available on Android and iOS platforms unless otherwise noted.

Weather ChannelThe Weather Channel: The app provides hourly, 36-hour, 10-day and weekend forecasts. It also breaks down current information, giving you the “feels like” temperature, humidity, dew point, sunrise, sunset, wind speed, UV index, visibility and barometric pressure.

The Weather Channel’s map is customizable, allowing users to choose what they want to see, including standard radar, radar with clouds, temperature, 24-hour rainfall and more. Users also can set the app to send alerts for severe weather, real-time rain and pollen.


WeatherBugWeatherBug: Its forecast system provides a seven-day hourly look, as well as a 10-day forecast with descriptions of each day’s predictions. The app also can alert you when lightning becomes dangerous within a 30-mile radius of your current location. WeatherBug has access to more than 2,000 weather cameras, allowing you to see local conditions along your route.


AccuweatherAccuWeather: The unique MinuteCast system gives precipitation forecasts for the next two hours for your exact location, including precipitation type and intensity, as well as start and end times. AccuWeather updates its weather conditions every 15 minutes and offers an extended forecast up to 15 days. The app also allows users to report hazards such as damaging winds, slippery roads, flooding and reduced visibility.


Weather UndergroundWeather Underground: This app integrates different channels of information to enhance its forecasts and existing conditions. If condition report is incorrect, users in the area can submit new information, and other users can see both what the app says and what the other users have been saying. Weather Underground also allows users to submit hazard reports to update road conditions.

The app allows users to switch between its BestForecast or Forecast on Demand and the National Weather Service forecast. The BestForecast is updated more often than the NWS forecast and offers more information such as the “feels like” temperature and pressure. It also uses radar and satellite data to determine current sky conditions, whereas the NWS uses only government station reports. Users will see a prominent banner when a major event is imminent.


Yahoo WeatherYahoo Weather: Users can enable notifications that will send a daily forecast at designated times of day for the current location. The app allows users to add up to 20 cities for easy access to each forecast, which can help on dedicated routes. The app offers a 24-hour hourly forecast and the choice of a five- or 10-day forecast.


MyRadarMyRadar: This app allows users to see a classic radar view, a high-definition radar view or a temperature map. All three are customizable to show wind, temperatures, cloud cover, aviation layers and earthquake information. Users also can see a five-day forecast, a 24-hour hourly forecast and details about the day’s weather. For $1.99, users can upgrade the app to add NWS warnings and a hurricane tracker.


Baron Critical WeatherBaron Critical Weather: In addition to basic forecasts, Baron Critical Weather prides itself on specialized alerts: eight for hurricanes and tropical storms, and eight for other severe weather such as tornados, flash flooding and lightning. Users choose which ones to activate.

The company behind Baron was expected to launch early this month its ThreatNet Web-based program for the trucking industry at The subscription-based program will provide real-time road conditions and a 90-hour graphical forecast for wind, precipitation and more.


Storm ShieldStorm Shield: This app offers alerts relevant to the user’s precise location instead of using county-based forecasts or alerts. In addition to the user’s current location, five additional locations can be set for monitoring. In addition to basic forecasts, many types of alerts can be selected. Storm Shield costs $2.99.


Dark SkyDark Sky: This iOS-exclusive app offers radar forecasts up to seven days that can be changed between temperature and precipitation. Dark Sky provides detailed next-hour forecasts that show how lighter or heavier precipitation will be in the next hour and where the nearest precipitation is occurring. Users can set the app for down-to-the-minute precipitation alerts within the next hour, designating light, medium or heavy precipitation.

A daily summary alert can be scheduled for any time of day, as well as notifications for government-issued severe weather alerts. A do-not-disturb feature allows a user to block notifications between certain times. Another custom alerts feature allows users to be notified of certain weather conditions within a 24-hour period. Dark Sky costs $3.99.


1Weather1Weather: This Android-exclusive app allows users to add up to 12 locations to track current conditions and forecasts. The app’s map can show radar, clouds, surface temperature, precipitation, dew point, relative humidity, wind speed and UV index with layers that can show for tornados, fire, floods, fog, freezing and hurricane/tropical storm tracks. Exclusive to the 1Weather app is a 12-week forecast with 75 percent accuracy, according to the app.