Do we really need winter weather survival apps? I mean, if winter continues to go on the way it's been going (e.g. temperatures in the mid-40s in New York City), is there really a demand? Well, depending on where you are in the U.S., your experience with winter thus far may vary. In some parts of the country, people have already experienced several feet of snow, while many others have been looking forward to some much-needed precipitation. As we creep closer to Christmas, though, I gather that many of us (especially those of us on the East Coast) are impatiently awaiting when those pretty, white flakes will start falling on our dreamy, little heads. But once those dancing pretties transform into a menacing storm, we're all definitely going to be searching for some winter weather survival apps.
There are certainly a lot of apps out on the market right now that can help people either avoid or lessen the effects from potentially egregious winter weather disasters. From apps that monitor the current weather conditions to guides for basic survival, there's a plethora of winter weather survival apps available for all smartphone users. Keep in mind, though, that many (if not most) of these apps won't mean much when and if you're left with no power or no cell reception; so, my suggestion: learn to read a map, buy an actual flashlight, consider investing in a generator, get some snow chains for those tires, and stock up on food and water. Godspeed.
Here are 18 winter weather survival apps you can use to make life a little easier for you this winter:
**There are several apps that source data from the NOAA, but I've chosen a handful with the highest ratings. There are specific pros to each kind that may not be available on others, so you may actually end up downloading more than just one. Many on this list are weather forecast-type apps, but certainly not all of them – check them out.
NOAA Snow Forecast
Shows you how much it's going to snow in your neighborhood (or other neighborhoods – such as the location you plan to visit) in the upcoming days, as opposed to the forecast in larger areas, such as entire cities. The app shows you detailed and hourly updated snowfall forecast projections. It costs $1.99 and is available on both iOS and Android.
NOAA Hi-Def Radar
Lets you track and follow upcoming hurricanes and storms through real-time hi-definition weather radar images from the NOAA. It will even show you the direction of storms in an active map. Right now it's going for $1.99 on iOS (it's currently on selling at a limited discount on iOS, hence the cheaper price) and $2.99 on Android.
NOAA Radar Pro – Severe Weather
Features animated precipitation forecast images for the ranged of the next 24 hours on a terrain map. It also includes radar images, storm and hurricane tracking, and National Weather Service warnings/advisories. It's only available on iOS for $1.99.
NOAA Doppler Radar
What's cool about this is that it allows you to have a live wallpaper for your phone – giving you a constant update on the weather conditions. It also features a stand-alone mode if you go for the pro version. Get it for free on Android.
NOAA Weather Radar
The app gives you one-tap access to every single NOAA weather website available, with push notifications for anything potentially life-threatening. You can get for $1.99 on iOS.
NOAA Radar and Satellite
Provides high-resolution weather radar and satellite cloud images around your curent location. Maps are zoomable and highlights rain, snow, tornadoes, and hail. You get live weather condition updates and can track the location and motion of storms. Get it for $0.99 on iOS.
Presents the latest news and emergency updates from the NOAA, including ocean storms and mainland storms. It's available for iOS and Android, but the iOS experience is terrible, so just download it for free on Android.
RadarCast – NOAA HD FutureCast
From real-time lightning strikes and hurricane tracking, to radar images on snowfall and storms, this app has it all. It shows predicted start/stop times for precipitation and automatically augments land-based radar images from the NOAA. Get it for $2.99 for Android.
NOAA Weather Unofficial – Pro
Provides point forecasts based on your GPS location. The interface offers an animated, hourly forecast. You can get it for $1.99 on Android.
Has a great, streamlined design and provides accurate hyper-local weather forecasts. What's unique about Weather Underground is that its data is sourced from a community of weather enthusiasts who report live from weather stations in their own backyards. Download it for free on iOS.
My Radar Pro Weather Radar
Displays an animated weather radar per your current location. There's a function that allows you to see the overlay of flight plans of aircrafts onto the map – super useful, obviously, for winter weather survival. You can grab it now for $1.99 on iOS.
Dark Sky – Weather Radar
For people who want to know exactly what's up with the weather at any point in the day. The app utilizes available data to predict rainfall and snow for your exact area every hour – even predicting where maps will be. It's a gorgeous app, but it's only available on iOS.
More crowdsourced weather reports, which makes WeatherMob both informative and engaging. You share the current status of the weather around, how you're feeling, and what kinds of activities fit that weather condition. You also have the option to add photos or videos. Get it for free on iOS.
Road Trip Weather
A useful app for winter weather survival on the road. Road Trip Weather keeps you informed about changes to the weather along your planned route to some destination. It's available on iOS for $1.99.
Winter Survival Kit
An app that lets you store emergency numbers, as well as help you keep track of how much gas is left in your tank. It will also notify friends and family when you find yourself stranded in the middle of the road. It's very bare-bones, but a great winter survival app. Download it on iOS for free.
Because you never know where you'll find yourself. I mean, it's free and it's replete with essential survival tips – from starting a fire to finding food, it's a perfect winter survival app. Download it for free on either iOS or Android.
SAS Survival Guide
Based on the best-selling book on survival. It includes chapters from the book and is more comprehensive than the free Survival Guide. There are also picture galleries, videos, and even quizzes to test you on your survival skills. It's a pretty hefty $5.99, but it's great and it's available on iOS and Android.
First Aid by American Red Cross
Because when you're stranded somewhere while in the middle of snow storm, you need to know how to take care of someone choking on that extra large marshmallow from the hot chocolate. Download it for free on iOS or Android.