Weather Apps for Photographers - Essential Guide

24 Mar 2024

Weather forecasting is not just a preoccupation but often an obsession for most landscape photographers! Having the right tools and forecasts can make all the difference between an exhilarating sunrise shoot with full memory cards and a grumpy breakfast.

Over the years, I’ve explored numerous apps to find the most reliable companions for predicting weather conditions to help me decide which locations are likely to have the greatest potential on any given day. Some have been firm favourites while others have been deleted. Here’s my rundown of the apps which I am currently using.

I've found that in my experience, cross-referencing forecasts from multiple weather apps, as listed below, has been incredibly helpful. It's something I often cover during my 1-2-1 sessions and workshops. By analyzing these forecasts, I aim to maximize my chances of a successful shoot while minimising the risk of heading out in unfavorable conditions. I've learnt that understanding these nuances not only improves productivity but also boosts morale.

I'm not suggesting that I avoid heading out with my camera in "bad" weather, as I often seek it out. For example, coastal landscapes can be enhanced by stormy skies and you only get rainbows when it rains. However, I find it beneficial to review forecasts to select the most suitable location for the expected conditions. 

Near home there is a road which has a high vantage point with a clear view in all directions and I often do a quick pit-stop on my way out to evaluate whether there is mist in the valley below, or a cloud bank over the bay, for example, so being prepared to react to a change of conditions is also a key strategy. 

Panorama of Corfe Castle in the mist

Weather Live 

Weather Live is by far my preferred weather app, and for good reason. Its standout feature lies in its customisable interface, allowing users to tailor the main screen with the metrics they find most essential. Here's why I find it exceptional:

Comprehensive Metrics: Weather Live boasts an extensive array of useful metrics, including but not limited to:

   - Today's Min, Max, and "Feels Like" temperatures

   - Precipitation and humidity information

   - Wind speed, direction, and wind chill

   - Sunrise, Sunset, Moonrise, and Moonset times

   - Golden hour and Blue hour times

   - UV index and Visibility details

   - Dew Point information

   - Tides, sea temperature, wave height, and sea state

Customisable Interface: I particularly appreciate the ability to configure the home screen appearance to my liking. For instance, I've set mine to a "hybrid" mode, displaying dew point, temperature, humidity, and wind speed side by side. This arrangement helps me quickly assess the probability of mist, especially when air temperature and dew point align closely with gentle breezes, high humidity, and relatively clear skies.

Forecasted Dew Point: Unlike many other weather apps, Weather Live forecasts the dew point, providing more comprehensive insights into atmospheric conditions.

Convenient Widgets: The inclusion of lock and home-screen widgets enhances convenience. Personally, I utilise the lock screen widget, which offers quick access to pertinent weather updates.

Reliable Apple Watch Integration: The Apple Watch app proves to be reliable, excelling in location updates compared to alternative apps I've experimented with.

In essence, Weather Live offers a superior user experience with its diverse features, customisable interface, and reliable performance across different devices.

WeatherLive Screenshot WeatherLive Screenshot

Weather Live on IOS App Store

Weather Pro

For those seeking a detailed forecast, Weather Pro is a solid choice and is one of my most-used forecast app especially for the long range forecast on the subscription version which gives an impressive 14 day forecast. I find it reasonable at giving an indicative forecast for a week ahead which is often surprisingly good.

I like the interface for saving favourite locations and it has all the data you would expect to find laid out in a very clear way. The maps with different overlays are very intuitive.

It has home-screen widgets but no lock screen ones at present.

Weather Pro App Screenshot

Weather Pro on IOS App Store


Although this is not one of my most used weather apps, I know a number of photographers who really like it, so I decided to include it on this list. It has all the metrics you would expect and as the name suggests it's visualisations for wind direction and speed are excellent.

A stand out feature of Windy is the ability to switch forecasting models. Weather models are computer simulations of the atmosphere, used for weather forecasting. Different models are used to predict different types of weather events, regions and timeframes, so some depth of knowledge is required to know which model is best suited to your requirements. Although it's an advanced feature it's potentially a useful one.

Windy has it's own Apple Watch face as well as complications which can be added to the modular faces.

Screenshot of Windy App

Windy on IOS App Store

Clear Outside

Clear Outside offers a grid view with essential indicators on separate rows, like fog, dew points, cloud cover by percentage and so on. Its simplicity makes it easy to use, and bonus features like tracking the International Space Station's passes add extra value.

This app is a little dated and doesn’t quite fit the iPhone screen on my iPhone 13pro and the location seems to always default to somewhere in Devon until I click the current location tab.

I use this as a cross reference if I think there may be a chance of mist and to double check dew point temperate against other apps.

Clear outside App Screenshot

Clear outside on IOS App Store

BlitzortungLive: Lightning Tracker

When storms are on the horizon, BlitzortungLive is my go-to for tracking lightning strikes. Its real-time updates and user-friendly interface provide valuable insights for navigating inclement weather safely.

Screenshot of Blitzortung Lightning Tracker App

BlitzortungLive on IOS App Store


Nautide goes beyond tide forecasts, offering sea queries and celestial event tracking. While still testing its accuracy, I'm excited about its potential for planning unique photo opportunities, especially during events like full moons and super low tides.

The premium version has tide forecasting for the year ahead, so it’s an invaluable tool for planing workshops.

I find the presentation of the current tide information exceptionally good. It details rising or falling tide clearly, also showing how a time from the last tide and until the next tide event, so you can gauge timings and safety at coastal locations.

My favourite feature of Nautide is SeaQuery which allows you to set criteria such as “falling” or “low tide” and “sunrise” or “golden hour” and see the dates on a calendar which match your query. From here you can add them to the calendar on your phone. This could be a total game changer for planning coastal or lunar photography an drastically cut down some of the desk research which goes into planning these types of images.

Screenshot of Nautide App Summary Screenshot of Nautide App Tides Screenshot of Nautide SeaQuery

Nautide on IOS App Store

What The Forecast?!!

No list of weather apps would be complete without WTF Forecast, which brings a touch of humour to weather tracking with its profanity slider. While it might not be for everyone, it is very entertaining - especially if it’s very cold or wet!

What the Forecast Screenshot

WTForecast on IOS App Store


Ventusky, a newcomer to my lineup, impressed me with its innovative features and webcam integration. Webcams are a great way to observe the actual real time weather in a particular location, rather than needing to interpret data, having webcams close to the location you are viewing a forecast for is a superb idea and not one I have seen on another weather app.

Its real-time weather data and intuitive interface make it a promising addition to my weather toolkit.

Ventusky App Screenshot Ventusky App Screenshot

Ventusky on IOS App Store

Alpenglow: Sunset Prediction

As the name suggest, this simple app siply give you a prediction for sunrise or sunset colour. It uses a basic scale from Poor to Great. There is also a map section which shows you the sunrise, sunset and current sun positions on a map. It's not as comprehensive as things like PhotoPills or TPE, but a nice feature to have access to whilst in the app, nevertheless.

It has an apple watch app withseveral complications which if the app is reasonable accurate will be useful to have on my watchface. 

Alpenglow is another app I have only been recently introduced to and have yet to establish how accurate it is in practical terms. 

Screenshot of Alpenview app

Alpenglow on IOS App Store


As we navigate the ever-changing weather landscape, having reliable tools at our disposal is essential. These weather apps provide vital insights to help us plan our shoots with confidence.

Panorama of Kimmeridge at a very low tide