6 weather apps you may not know about

Earlier this year, we offered our list of the Top 8 Weather Apps, from high resolution radar tools to Skew-t diagrams. These eight apps remain the standouts for pilots, but there are literally thousands of other weather apps in the App Store. Here’s our list of 6 more weather apps to consider, some of them hidden gems.

1. AeroWeather Pro. This was the last app cut from our top 8 list, and it’s a popular tool among pilots everywhere. AeroWeather presents an easy-to-use list of nearby airports (or search for one anywhere) and the current weather conditions, complete with decoded METAR, runway wind components and AWOS/ATIS phone numbers. There are even links to nearby webcams for a live look at the weather. The app is available in a Lite version for free, or a Pro version for just $3.99. Get the app here.

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2. Wundermap. This free app, from the immensely popular website Weather Underground, goes beyond airports to include over 30,000 neighborhood weather stations. While these are not FAA-approved installations, many offer ceiling, visibility and wind information, making them valuable tools for cross country planning in marginal weather–especially for VFR pilots and helicopter operators. You can even view webcams, which are displayed on the map. There’s a lot here, especially for a free app. Get the app here.

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3. Chart Explorer. This $4.99 app is from the makers of MyRadar, our top pick last year for a simple and fast NEXRAD radar app. Chart Explorer has most of the same features, including the ability to view looping radar, but adds some great aviation features like AIRMETs and sectional charts. It’s no frills, but sometimes you just need to see the latest radar on a chart. Note that the maps are not stored for offline use, so you’ll need an internet connection.  Get the app here.

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4. Turbulate. If you fly with passengers, finding a smooth ride is often one of your top concerns. This free app goes beyond just AIRMETs and pilot reports, allowing app users to submit their own reports of turbulence–including passengers on airliners connected to in-flight WiFi. This usually means there are a lot more reports in Turbulate than you’ll find just by looking at PIREPs. True, one person’s moderate chop may be another’s occasional light, but it’s still a helpful tool. Get the app here.

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5. AeroWX. Sometimes you need a quick weather briefing and you don’t have a very good wireless connection (say, in the Bahamas or camping in the mountains). This simple app is a nice solution, as it downloads a single PDF that includes radar, lightning, winds aloft, turbulence forecasts and text weather reports. All you need is about 30 seconds of good cell coverage; the app stores the weather briefing for offline viewing. It has worldwide coverage, and you can set the app to auto-update every hour. Get the app here.

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6. WeatherGeek Pro 2. If you get excited about SkewT diagrams, you’re probably a weather geek, which means this app ($4.99) is for you. It includes visual presentations of all the popular computer weather models, like the RAP, SREF and GFS. With some training, these are powerful tools for forecasting, like the GFS LAMP forecasts, which show forecast ceiling, visibility, temperature and dewpoint 24 hours into the future for individual airports. But our favorite feature is the option to view simulated reflectivity (sometimes called predictive radar). It’s not perfect, but watching the animation of the next 6 hours of radar can be a very helpful tool for long range planning. There’s a lot to learn here, and some features require an additional in app purchase, but WeatherGeek Pro 2 is a fun app to experiment with. Get the app here.

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Did we leave your favorite off the list? Add a comment below and share your hidden gems.

2 replies
  1. Derek
    Derek says:

    Disappointed not to see Takeoff Aviation Weather here! Available on iOS and Android, Takeoff provides nearly everything from all the apps above, with a focus on ease of use. Also, Takeoff allows you to save reports offline (in fact, it does it automatically for you). Even more, Takeoff is the only app that lets you enter your personal minimums, and tells if you the current weather is within them at a glance using a red/yellow/green system! Give it a look!

  2. Jon Brown
    Jon Brown says:

    Intellicast should be added to this list. Especially with the 1.99 upgrade enabling visible surface fronts and sweeping radar. Very handy…The radar returns can sometimes be slightly on the pessimistic side but it is accurate enough for $1.99

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