Monday, August 12, 2019

The Latest NWS Forecast on Your Smartphone

It looks like an app, it sort of acts like an app, but it's not an app. If you are interested in the latest forecast, advisories, warnings and watches, then a link to the National Weather Service "mobile web" is something you should have on your smart phone. There are literally hundreds of weather apps of one kind or the other, and as usual with something like apps they run the range from just plain bad to very useful. Most of the forecast apps simply run algorithms to display model output data for a day or location, and there is little or no human input. This is my go-to "app" for weather info on my phone.

When you open NWS Mobile Weather, you have a well-organized display that shows the current conditions, the forecast, and other information for your chosen location.

The opening screen for NWS Mobile Weather (left), and the second half of the page seen by scrolling down (right).

In addition to the graphical forecast on the opening page, you can select Detailed Forecast which provides the complete 7-day forecast for the location selected.

The one feature I really like with this is that you can save multiple locations to a list. If you have regular (or non-regular) places you visit you can add them to the list. Tap on the location field and a drop down list of all of your locations is displayed. Select the one you want, and the latest forecast and other data will be displayed for that location. You can also edit this list, deleting locations you no longer want, or change the name of the location to something more descriptive to you, for example "Uncle Bob" instead of "Springfield, (pick your state)".

To install this link on your smartphone follow the instructions found at The instructions differ slightly between iOS and Android phones, but in either case it's just three steps.

As I was putting the finishing touches on this post today I came across a Forbes article written today by Dr. Marshall Shepherd, Director of the University of Georgia’s (UGA) Atmospheric Sciences Program, titled "Why Doesn't The National Weather Service Have A Weather App?"  This provides some explanation why the NWS doesn't have a full-blown app and instead developed this mobile web link. In the article he mentions an app called NWSNow that lists some very nice features, but it appears to be no longer available.


  1. Have you been able to use this web view to get a point forecast? The FAQ page linked from it says there's an option to click on a map to set a location but that doesn't seem to be available to me. There's also mention of geolocation support but that doesn't seem to be working either. These are both on the iOS version.

  2. It's much cheaper and easier to create a mobile website than a mobile app. I prefer mobile web apps since they don't use as much storage.

  3. NWS NOW app is an APK download and is available directly from you phone web browser at