Temperatures are set to plummet and the first snows of winter 2017 have already fallen so there’s no better time to check out the best weather apps for bikers on the market.
The weather is one of our favourite topics of conversation, bonding us with strangers as we tut at sudden rainstorms. For motorcyclists it can be especially important as it can mean the difference between a pleasant journey and an unpleasant – even unsafe – one.
You can just look out of the window and assess what the weather is like, but it’s probably better to have a little expert help and advice.
Bikesure, the free thinking motorcycle insurance broker, rounds up the best weather apps for bikers available for smartphones.
Weather Underground (free, iOS & Android)
Weather Underground gets its data in part from a community of enthusiasts reporting from weather stations in their own homes.
The information is presented nicely, and you can also learn about skiing conditions and hurricane tracking – not the most useful information in the UK but nice enough for the weather nerds.
Also for nerds are video forecasts (again, US-centric) and a blog with insight from a meteorologist but some features are only available in or applicable for America.
BBC Weather (free, iOS & Android)
A frills-free and basic yet still visually appealing app, BBC weather shows you the weather where you are right now, along with a seven day forecast, which makes it one of the most popular weathers apps for bikers.
No map, and while the icons will be instantly understandable to anybody the limited amount of information won’t be as useful when you’re out and about and trying to work out exactly when it might start or stop raining.
Yahoo Weather (free, iOS & Android)
However, in terms of design this is a winner, as far as the best weather apps for bikers is concerned.
A clean, modern interface (that is heavily “inspired by” the look of iOS7) which uses pictures from Flickr tailored to your location, this has a lot more information and statistics than the BBC weather app.
The information it uses comes from Weather Underground and the presentation is very nice.
Also includes integration with Flickr and other Yahoo services so if you’re in the tiny minority of people who still use Yahoo then this may be a deal-breaker. For everybody else, it comes down to personal preference.
Motorcycle Weather (free, iOS & Android)
This is a simple app that breaks down the weather forecast and presents it to you according to your preferences.
You can set what weather you consider to be good conditions for riding in according to temperature, rain and wind strength as well as time of day and the app will then tell you when it should be OK to ride or not. Obviously this succeeds or fails dependent on the accuracy of the forecasts.
Home and Dry (£1.49 iOS)
Ahh, now this is more like it! This is a simple idea executed very well. Displaying animated radar data from the previous two hours, with a 2-hour forecast the user reviews describe as “highly accurate”, this will enable you to work out whether you’re going to get rained on if you’re heading out on a journey.
Unlike many other apps it is specifically designed for the UK and has universally good reviews. If you’re only going to buy one app it should probably be this one.