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Tech: Gear up to beat the erratic rain with these alternative weather apps

When netizens were rejoicing the arrival of the Dark Sky weather app on Android earlier this month, Indian fans felt a pinch of disappointment. We aren’t saying this because Cyclone Roanu is stirring in the Bay of Bengal but because India is one of few nations where the popular weather app is not available, yet. It adds to the paucity of reliable weather apps for the Indian subcontinent. But all is not lost. Here is a list of alternative weather apps to help you navigate through the tumultuous weather that’s about to arrive.

For weather news, try: SkymetWeather.com (Android and desktop) offers news, analysis and alerts on the latest developments on Indian weather. You can either download the app from Google Play Store, which also offers daily forecast or log on to the portal.

Amber Weather
Android & IOS
Our top favourite among weather apps, we say, follow Amber Weather without thinking twice.
What we like
Not only does it offer hourly and daily forecasts but also monthly and yearly ones. There’s also a Long Range Forecast, which comes handy while making travel plans. The daily weather forecast tells current temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity, atmospheric pressure, dew point and visibility. It also informs  you whether or not it’s safe to travel outside by offering Air Quality Index (AQI) and UV levels. The app also comes with a set of widgets, which are customisable.
What we don’t
Alert system is not supported in India. It does, however, have a global earthquake alert. There is no news section on weather or map support, but it doesn’t hinder the experience.

Weather&Radar
Android & iOS
It is one of the few apps that actually delivers on the promise of regular weather updates for India.
What we like
It comes with a Weather Radar that allows you to track weather conditions in your region with satellite images of temperature and cloud movements. It also offers eight-day forecasts of weather with details like rainfall, sunny or cloudy as well as wind speed (needs to be activated in settings) along with informative maps. You can also add and track the weather in multiple locations.  
What we don’t
On several occasions, satellite images were more than an hour old, and not exactly real time. Several features including Wetter Ticker and News, Rainfall Radar are unavailable in India. Also, there’s no option to check or activate important weather alerts in your area.

MSN Weather
Android, IOS and Windows
A well-designed app, MSN Weather is your go-to app to stay updated on the weather without the technical jargon.
What we like
It has a simple, interactive layout with forecasts of temperature, cloud cover, rain and wind speed. It offers 10-day forecasts for any Indian city. There’s a Map section too that offers you temperature, precipitation, satellite and cloud maps.
What we don’t
There are no weather alerts or news sections to keep you updated on the latest developments. A section like this would be useful, especially since Cyclone Roanu is in the Bay of Bengal. We would have also loved maps from Indian INSAT satellites.

WeatherBug
Android & iOS
A popular app, WeatherBug is created especially for the weather geek.
What we like
Lifestyle based forecasts such as Outdoor Nature and Gardening gives you an idea on whether it’s safe to venture out on a day, either for treks or for gardening.
What we don’t
Several interesting features like Game Day, Pollen and Cold and Flu forecasts don’t work in India. The Cold and Flu forecast showed US data even though our location was set to India. The app is also very  slow in gathering data even though we were on a 10 MBPS connection.

For Indian satellite images on weather, try
Weather of
India — Satellite

Android only
A very simple and easy-to-use app, Weather of India — Satellite, developed by Psycho Technology, allows you to access the latest INSAT images related to weather forecasts, right from Infrared images that show cloud formation, colour composites to heat maps as well as wind direction and rain forecasts. Alternatively, you can log on to Indiaweather.gov.in or Imd.gov.in for latest weather forecast data and maps from the Indian Meteorological Department.

For your desktop
Forecast.io
All Desktop browsers



Even though the Dark Sky app is not available in India, you can enjoy its benefits on your desktop browser by visiting the website Forecast.io. The portal is powered by the same algorithm used in the  app. Therefore, you get similar sets of animated cloud maps, hourly, daily and weekly weather forecasts as well as detailed weather charts (on wind speed, precipitation, temperature, humidity and pressure). Forecast.io takes the cake when it comes to an imaginative weather forecast display.

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