Keeping up to date with the weather is arguably as important as keeping up to date with the news. Most of us will have a weather app or website saved on phones or computers. Whether these sites are accurate or useful is up for debate but, most of the time they will get the weather right, kind of.
There are lots of websites out there, and all can differ slightly in terms of what they say the weather will be like each day. To try and help you pick the best site and avoid being caught in surprise rainfall or heatwave, we have investigated the finer details of the sites and apps and ranked the best ones to use.
What you need to know about weather websites
The most important thing we all want to know is how accurate are the websites?
Well, to answer this quickly, they are accurate over short periods. A seven-day forecast, for example, is 80% accurate, and a five-day forecast is 90% accurate. When you look at longer periods, anything over ten days, the accuracy goes down to less than 50%. This explains why TV weather shows only show weekly or daily forecasts to ensure they are as accurate as possible.
The process of predicting what the weather will be like isn’t as overcomplicated as you’d think:
- Understanding the current weather
- Calculating how this will change in future
- Using meteorological experts to refine the details
Of course, the above is a simple explanation of how the weather is predicted.
With modern technology, predicting weather has become easier. Supercomputers work to predict what will happen; meteorologists continuously check the data to find out what weather is expected.
What are the benefits of using weather websites?
Knowing what to expect from the weather each day is handy, the websites might not always be right but, having some idea whether to take a coat out with you is useful.
For the public, weather websites can help you plan out your day or week. Though, we have all been caught out by a surprise burst of rain when the website said glorious sunshine all day.
For businesses, it is also useful to use weather websites to their advantage. Places like pubs, cafés or restaurants can benefit from checking weather updates throughout the day to prepare outdoor areas with covers, heaters or maybe some shade in the warmer days. This sort of preparation can be crucial when it comes to gaining that extra edge over business rivals.
The Best Weather Forecast Sites
The BBC weather website is regarded as one of the best and most trustworthy websites on the web. The website has many helpful little widgets such as ‘Add Location’ which allows you to add locations that you would like to know the weather for. You can use it to put the location of where you live and where you work.
The website can also show you the coldest and hottest places in the UK, which can also be helpful if you’re planning to go out on that specific day. The website also provides weather warnings, allowing you to know how serious the weather is going to be.
The Met Office is regarded as the most reliable source for weather information in the UK. Although their site is less user-friendly than the BBC weather site. You click on the map and then select the region and location, and it shows the weather for that specific region. You can type in your postcode as a shortcut.
This website has a lot more information, however, it gives you the information for; weather warnings, cold/hot help, cold/hot weather alerts, surface pressure charts, mountain area forecasts, severe weather advice and severe weather impacts. You can also view a day-by-day write up of what the weather will be like in the morning, midday and night.
3: Weather Spark – weatherspark.com
Weather Spark is a brilliant website with some of the best information that goes into detail. However, all the information can be quite daunting at times. All the graphs and charts are fully interactive.
The website also provides many averages such as the highest/lowest temperatures over the year, the fraction of time spent in various temperature bands, daylight and twilight, clouds, cloud types, dew points, wind speeds, and many more, it’s very in-depth. If this all seems too much, you can view a normal forecast. None of this information will be brought up until you type in your location, which can be done in a variety of ways.
4: Accuweather – www.accuweather.com
Accuweather is a website that has information in a short and easy to see table with the titles Today, Tonight and Tomorrow. The table has a great design to it, with the pictures of the weather is illustrated well. You can also view a weather forecast video that is made for your specific area. You can also view an interactive map of your area. However, it can be hard to navigate due to the constant ads that pop up on this web page.
This website also allows you to search for your postcode to get the weather you want to know. You can also create an account that will allow you to log in, all the details you need will be there to view.
5: UK Weather – uk.weather.com
This website, just like the rest, allows you to search with your postcode to get the weather that you care about the most. Once on the page for your area, you can see a daily forecast, an hourly forecast and a monthly forecast. You can also view an interactive map with colours dotted all over showing what will fall on the UK today. With a helpful colour chart beneath showing what the colours mean. The climate can also be viewed on this webpage, along with the travel and health tips concurrent with the weather.
A little weather box will also be saved at the top of the page showing a picture of the weather, such as a cloud with a sun behind it, the temperature and where this weather is forecast.
The best parting advice we can offer is to ensure that you keep up to date with the weather forecasts. They can change daily, so be prepared for the ups and downs. Maybe keep an item of clothing for each weather condition ready in your car just in case.