Weather is arguably one of the most important factors that impact trucking routes. So, it’s important for drivers to have the most up-to-date forecast at their fingertips. But finding the best weather app can be tricky since so many are available. Based on industry experts and driver feedback from an informal FreightWaves social media survey, these are perhaps the five best publicly available weather apps on the market, in no particular order.
The Weather Channel
The Weather Channel’s (TWC) app is free and available on Android, iOS and Windows Phone. It provides drivers with an array of weather data, such as temperature, humidity, wind speed, UV index, sunrise, sunset and visibility. The app offers hourly, 36-hour and 10-day forecasts.
The data is displayed in a sleek format that is easy to read. Interactive weather maps display the latest Doppler radar data, showing current and future weather events such as rain and snowfall. Drivers can also set up automated severe weather alerts regarding high winds, tornadoes, lightning strikes, blizzards and more. The app also includes social sharing features for drivers to upload images, tweets, videos and photos.
Storm Shield is available in iOS and Android. Its primary focus is on providing users with up-to-date local alerts for extreme weather such as thunderstorms, hurricanes and tornadoes. Using GPS, Storm Shield updates users with relevant National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) alerts via voice and push notifications. Storm Shield is different from most apps in that its alerts are based on the user’s precise GPS location.
“Storm-based alerts help reduce false alarms by alerting you to severe weather based on your exact location within a county,” according to Storm Shield’s developers. “Conversely, traditional county-based alerts can result in false alarms, warning you when your location in the county is not within the threatened area.”
A detailed weather map comes with radar and numerous other overlays to keep drivers up to date. The base Storm Shield app is free, but there is a fee for additional features.
Weather Underground is unique in that it gets data from a network of more than 40,000 local professional and amateur weather stations. This crowd reporting feature creates a collaborative and interactive experience.
Drivers can configure the app to send them severe weather alerts. Hourly, daily and 10-day forecasts are available.
This app was voted as one of the most accurate weather apps for rural areas. If drivers’ routes take them into the countryside, this might be the best app for them. Weather Underground also includes weather cameras to view conditions in specific areas. The app is free and available in iOS and Android platforms. Drivers can pay a $1.99 yearly fee to disable ads.
AccuWeather is a great, easy-to-use app that offers hourly, daily and 15-day weather forecasts that can be integrated with a driver’s calendar. MinuteCast is a feature that provides local, minute-by-minute forecasts for the next two hours, based on GPS location. The app — offered in iOS, Android and Windows — includes alerts for thunderstorms, tornadoes, heavy snowfall and other extreme weather. AccuWeather is best for forecasting the weather in your exact location, but drivers can also receive alerts and forecasts from other cities they choose to save in their settings. Ads can be disabled via an in-app purchase of $3.99.
Trucking Weather & Traffic
This app — available in iOS and Windows — was designed specifically for truck drivers, and it’s one of the only apps to combine traffic and weather.
Launched by My Driver Tools around early 2020, drivers can set up multiple custom locations to track forecasts, alerts and radar, including “follow me” to track weather precisely along a driver’s route. Drivers can also set up notifications for severe weather alerts and add the app as a widget on their phone home screens.
The app shows drivers the traffic flow for wherever they’re traveling, with real-time information regarding construction and accident delays.