Weather Network app claims it can tell you when it is going to rain


Back to the Future Part II weather network app
The Weather Network's latest app update might make this a reality.
Photo: Universal Pictures

We’re not quite through 2015 yet, so app developers still have time to make the prophecies foretold by director Robert Zemeckis’ documentary Back to the Future: Part II come true. And to that end, The Weather Network’s latest app update uses radar and algorithms to predict when, exactly, it is going to start and stop raining.

The new feature, appropriately called “Rain Start Stop,” claims to give you a few hours to finalize the details on your outdoor activities.

“Rain Start Stop will tell you when precipitation is expected to start and stop in the next 3 hours with a precision of 15 minutes,” says Weather Network meteorologist Elena Lappo in a press release. “It will also provide the type of precipitation (rain, sleet or snow) that is expected as well as how heavy it will be.”

TWN says that the new feature will appear both on its website and in its iOS app, which also works with the Apple Watch and will be available in the United Kingdom, Canada, the U.S., and Ireland, but as of this writing, I’ve only seen it in U.K. and Irish locations on the TWN site, and the app hasn’t been updated since July.

Rain Start Stop fuels its predictions with radar and “automated processing” which are somehow different from how the website derives its hourly forecasts. TWN doesn’t really get into it, but it prefers to focus on how cool it will be to be able to check your Apple Watch to know when it’s safe to set up the badminton net.

“The feature empowers the user to plan ahead and carry through with outdoor activities that may have otherwise been cancelled due to the threat of rain,” the press release says.

That is provided that you’re making these plans within three hours of actually doing them, give or take 15 minutes. But still, the ability to Doc Brown it up could be a fun bar trick assuming that Rain Stop Start is available in your area.

And, you know, assuming it actually works.


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