Where Can I Get an Accurate Weather Prediction?

Have you ever stayed home rather than attend an event because of a bad weather forecast? Only to kick yourself later because it turned out to be a beautiful day? 

Or have you ever trusted a good weather report? Only to get soaked by a rainstorm? Or stranded by a blizzard? 

Weather forecasts are usually pretty accurate. But nobody’s perfect. And many factors go into changing weather patterns. Most are challenging to predict.

Adding to the uncertainty is inconsistency between weather reports. One might tell you skies will be clear. Another may predict clouds and precipitation. 

Today I want to talk about some of those challenges. And why weather apps differ from each other. As well as what your most reliable source is for incoming weather.  

Forecasts better, not perfect

Our ability to predict weather has improved through the years. They gather much more data than before.

Atmospheric data includes temperatures, humidity, and wind conditions. Past weather patterns combine with that data. 

There are many more information-gathering devices than before... And in many more locations, including satellites above the earth. 

Updated computers controlling these devices refresh data they gather and analyze. As a result, both long-range and short-term predictions are more accurate. Then again, forecasters make mistakes.

Predictions vary

If there is more weather data available than ever before, why do weather apps disagree so often? Derrick Ryall is head of public weather service at the Met Office of the BBC. He says differences are sometimes caused by interpretations. 

“One big difference between apps is what information they choose to show,” he said. “Some choose to simplify things. While others put in a lot of detail. A lot can come down to perception of accuracy.”

And sometimes there are differences of opinions. For example, one forecaster believes a storm will die out before it reaches a certain area. Another predicts it will become stronger. 

Other times, weather predictions vary due to forecasters themselves. Some err on the side of pessimism about weather. They’d rather face criticism for overestimating the possibility of inclement weather. Than for underestimating it.

On the opposite end of the spectrum? Sometimes the human element is completely removed. Artificial intelligence is sometimes the only source used. AI’s don’t seem to care about criticism.   

Cellphone alerts 

What are some of the best ways to gather info on weather that might affect you? Weather alerts on your cellphone are one. 

Most newer phones have the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) feature. It sends out a loud tone to warn you of an impending emergency. Last week, most of us received one of those alerts. Which was a test. 

Here are a few weather alert apps you can download on your phone. Storm Shield, iAlert, AccuWeather, and The Weather Channel. As well as weatherUSA, ping4alerts!, and The Emergency Email & Wireless Network. 

Storm Shield does not use GPS. So, it shouldn’t wear down your phone battery. iAlert provides weather warnings via text or email. You can select the alerts you want for any of 30,000-plus U.S. cities. 

Ping4alerts! delivers alerts about weather, traffic, and school closures. Plus natural disasters, power outages, and more.    

Nothing beats weather radios

Earlier I promised to reveal the most reliable way to receive weather alerts. It’s a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio. This is the best way to keep tabs on weather threats in your area.

These radios broadcast official National Weather Service warnings, watches, and forecasts 24/7. Plus other hazard information.

You can program your county’s six-digit code into this device. It will sound a loud alarm when dangerous weather is approaching.

Some of these weather radios allow you to choose which alerts you want to receive. And which you don’t.

There’s nothing wrong with gaining your weather information from a variety of places. But when there is conflicting information, a weather radio should be your authoritative source. 


  • Diane Vincent - October 16, 2023

    Thank you so much for the detailed info on various weather reports,apps, and stations. Very much appreciate the solar broad band radio! Am really impressed with the crank way to charge it up when there is no other option for charging the radio! Very impressed with all of your products and all of the teaching that goes along with them. We can definitely tell you all very much care for everyone in our precious country!

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