Handy weather apps for iOS

This week's collection of apps are all about checking the weather to see when you can get some relief.

Across the United States, people are experiencing some of the hottest weather of the year. Many cities are topping out in the hundreds, and some are even getting close to 110. Even a quick glance at the current weather map tells the story: It is hot just about everywhere and if you don't have air conditioning or a body of water nearby, you're probably not feeling too happy about the sunny weather.

This week's collection of apps are all about checking the weather to see when you can get some relief. The first gives the most weather information on one screen so you can know everything at a glance. The second is a fairly simple weather app, but offers one very useful feature. The third is the most complex, with both viewable weather data and national radio updates for weather in your area. Hopefully, with these apps in hand, you'll be able to see some light at the end of a very hot tunnel.

Get the most weather data on one screen along with nice-looking animated backgrounds. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Weather+ (99 cents) brings a wealth of weather information to your iPhone. On one screen, the app uses your GPS location to bring you local weather; a five-day forecast with highs, lows, and easy to read weather icons; and it even gives you a breakdown of weather changes over the course of a day. At the bottom of the screen you can check humidity, precipitation, barometric pressure, and visibility distance for your area. It also has animated backdrops like clouds moving through the sky, or in one case, petals falling from a tree.

Weather+ is great for getting all the weather information you need in one place, but you also have options for showing as much or as little information as you want by toggling the various panels in the settings. If you also want to track weather in other locations, just touch the information button and perform a search for city, then add it to your locations. Now, with a swipe of your finger, you can check other cities--perfect to see what the weather is like where other family members live, for example.

Overall, Weather+ is great for a quick glance at the weather forecast with a nicely laid-out interface.

Weather and Temperature on your Home Screen
This simple app gives you just the basics, but adds the temp on your home screen for quick access. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Weather and Temperature on your Home Screen (99 cents) is a simple app that offers a basic forecast for your area, but has one excellent bonus feature. To get basic local weather information, simply launch the app, touch My Location, and it will quickly grab the current temperature, wind direction and speed, and amount of humidity. Swipe to the left to see weather information for tomorrow or you can continue to swipe to see the forecast for the next three days. If you want to check the weather elsewhere, touch My Location, search for a city name, and the app will immediately show you the weather for that city.

Having a basic weather app with a colorful interface is great for checking weather on the go, but where this app really shines is with one small added feature. Weather and Temperature on your Home Screen shows the temperature on the icon so you don't even need to open the app. We've often wondered why Apple didn't make this standard on the iPhone weather app, but until it does, this app has this very convenient functionality.

Overall, there is really not much to Weather and Temperature on your Home Screen, but the name of the app says it all: if you want the quickest way to check the temperature, this app puts it right on your home screen.

NOAA Weather Radio
Get all the weather information while you listen to the local radio forecast. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

NOAA Weather Radio ($3.99) brings you the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather information to your iPhone, letting you listen to and look at weather info based on your location. Start by picking your state in the U.S., then pick a city to start listening to the local weather info. Onscreen, you get radio volume controls at the top, then a tabbed interface at the bottom where you can view maps, current weather in your area, a four-day forecast, and Doppler radar information for your area.

NOAA Weather Radio offers a few options for viewing and listening to weather from any location in the United States. A favorites tab lets you add as many cities as you want so you can quickly check them later. A severe weather tab gives you a preview for the latest national updates for tornados, hurricanes, and thunderstorms, and you can touch to read the full warnings. The app also lets you add custom weather radio streams: Simply enter the URL and feed location and you can listen to the forecast you like the best.

Overall, NOAA Weather Radio offers more than just the forecast. Anyone who wants an in-depth forecast of current local or national weather should pick up this app.

Got a better weather app you'd like to share with us? Let us know in the comments!

About Jason Parker

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.