If you’re anything like me you ride often, whether weekend day trips, daily commuting or extended multi-day trips. I commute in southeastern Pennsylvania throughout the year which means I ride in all types of weather, rain, occasionally snow, fog, high winds. Now on weekend rides or day trips that’s fine; but one thing I don’t do is commute in bad weather. My work occasionally involves being outside and I prefer not to have to deal with inclement weather on work days and the requisite clothing considerations that entails. With that in mind I’ve been using the WeatherBug weather app for a while now and with good results.
The widget on my Galaxy S5 (which I refer to often without ever needing to open the app) is unobtrusive and shows current weather conditions and any alerts at a glance. WeatherBug’s main page shows the weather for your currently saved location (you can save multiple locations and flip through them as you like), displayed on four customizable tabs: Now, Details, Hourly, and 10 Day which you simply scroll through by swiping left. Each tab presents different information in different formats. The Now tab contains links to weather news, photos, live cameras and the Spark map (see below). Each tabs information can be re-ordered to put the information you’re most interested in at the top whether that is wind speed, pollen count, UV index or whatever your concerns are for your trip. As an allergy sufferer and someone who’s been treated for melanoma I appreciate that WeatherBug has those details available for me without having to dig to find them.
Spark is WeatherBug’s nearby lightning feature, unique to the app, which shows the nearest lightning strike to your current location along with advice for what to do in the area. You can access the Spark map (shown) from the Now tab or by clicking the WeatherBug icon at the top left of the main screen. By using the interactive map you can actually see lightning strikes all over the world. It is even possible to share the Spark map with others. While I feel Spark is of little use to most travelers, as a motorcyclist I could see the feature being of use in deciding whether or not to continue or change your accommodations for the night.
WeatherBug is free and it is not necessary to sign up for an account; but if you do you can login from any device to check the weather conditions and alerts in your saved locations. The app does include ads but in my opinion they are not overly annoying and don’t need to be “clicked through” to access the information. If you’re a motorcyclist who rides often or far and are looking for a free app that gives you all the information you need at a glance WeatherBug may work for you. I recommend you check it out. Ride safe.