Stay ahead of the storm with Dark Sky Weather [50 Essential iOS Apps #2]

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Dark Sky app on iPhone
The Dark Sky app provides a useful look at the next hour.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: Dark Sky Weather app Weather is something we all deal with, and an accurate idea of what’s coming can help inform your day-to-day decisions. With the Dark Sky Weather app, you can know exactly when to expect a change in weather conditions.

Unlike many of its competitors, Dark Sky goes deeper than a simple high-level summary of the day’s forecast. It offers hyperlocal forecasts for your exact address, with down-to-the-minute notifications about changing weather conditions. Uncannily accurate, it’s a shining ray of light in the storm of weather apps.

What the Dark Sky weather app does

Dark Sky Weather is a third-party weather app, aggregating weather data from a wide range of sources. This means that instead of relying on a single source for forecast and weather data, Dark Sky combines multiple weather sources to determine the most accurate weather prediction. It offers a handy “next hour” weather graph, a detailed 24-hour forecast, and a beautifully designed seven-day outlook.

Why Dark Sky is great

Based on its data, Dark Sky constantly updates the “next hour” forecast, highlighting when precipitation will start or stop. Additionally, its 24-hour tracker gives an easy-to-understand visual idea of when to expect clouds, rain, wind or snow. This makes planning your day a breeze.

An interactive map lets you spin the globe to see weather patterns behind precipitation and temperatures around the world. The smooth animation lets you scroll backward and forward in time, providing insight into current and upcoming weather conditions.

The next-hour forecast is also incredibly useful for knowing if it’s best to wait out a heavy rain by showing when it will start coming down harder or let up.

If you allow Dark Sky to send you notifications — and you really should — it will alert you when rain or snow is about to stop or start. This proves even more compelling if you wear an Apple Watch. Getting alerts like “Rain starting in 12 minutes” gives you an edge as weather conditions change in your exact location.

Dark Sky weather forecast app uses varying colors and a simple layout.
Dark Sky uses varying colors and a simple layout.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

The simple, gorgeous design of Dark Sky is another solid reason to love the app. Instead of flooding you with numerical information, it offers up visual data to make understanding the weather easier. You can see possible rain or snow on its way without focusing on percentages.

Who the Dark Sky weather app is for

Dark Sky is the best weather app for anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors, finds Apple’s own weather app to be less than accurate, or hates getting caught in the rain.

Bottom line: The best weather app

If you are looking for a better way to visualize the weather or want a more accurate forecast, Dark Sky Weather is worth checking out. It’s a simple application, and doesn’t do a lot. But what it does do, it does really well.

Price: $3.99

Download from: App Store

See more of our 50 Essential iOS Apps

Want more essential iOS app reviews? Check out our series, 50 Essential iOS Apps.