There is no perfect weather app, free or otherwise. For all the apps we’ve tried over the years (and we’ve tried a LOT), nothing quite covers everything one would need. There are great specialty apps for hurricanes, wind forecast, marine weather and radar only, but a basic, quality app that covers weather comprehensively? We couldn’t find one that was perfect, so we went with two.
Both Accuweather and Wunderground have loads of features, but the key elements we all want — forecast, current conditions, forecast, etc. — are delivered differently.
The clear winner here is Wunderground because of the hyperlocal nature of the app. Wunderground pulls information from thousands and thousands of weather stations, with dozens in the Houston area alone. There are a handful of gaps, particularly on the near northeast side of town, but otherwise they cover nearly every major neighborhood. The massive amount of data available makes it much easier to see what is happening right now very close to home (or work, or whatever). And since many of the stations have live images or even video, you can see it too.
Wunderground’s radar is chock full of features and loaded with layer after layer of options. We personally really enjoy the layer showing frontal boundaries. In the fall and winter, it makes for interesting watching seeing the temps just behind the front well below those ahead. That alone makes this radar superior.
Despite all the data in Wunderground, the Accuweather forecast tool is fantastic. You can scroll through the days of the week or tap one of them to see an extremely detailed forecast for that day including hour-by-hour and even minute-by-minute forecasting. Sure, it’s probably not perfect, but it’s super handy if you need to know how rainy it will be outside in 20 minutes. Most importantly, it has a full 15-day outlook instead of just 10. While forecasts out more than about a week are super iffy, just getting a hint about what is to come is great.
Ease of Use
There is a bit of a learning curve with Accuweather, but once you have the hang of it, using the app is very easy. The biggest advantage is the lack of advertising. It’s still there (though you can upgrade to the $4 version to remove ads and increase forecasts to 25 days!), but it is far less obtrusive than Wunderground, which forces the viewing a full-screen ad when closing the map (and, unlike Accuweather, provides no upgrade options). That is probably the biggest drawback of Wunderground overall.
Both apps provide a wealth of additional weather data including allergy forecasts, sunrise/sunset, precipitation accumulations and video forecasts (though all of them…