Now that spring has arrived and winter has passed for a good six or seven months, road trip season has officially started. Although you’re most likely in the clear from dangerous winter weather like snow and ice, spring brings more than its share of potentially hazardous and unpredictable weather from fog, rain, and thunderstorms. Since spring weather can go from good to bad in a short amount of time and without little warning, it’s important to stay in the loop while on the go.
There’s no need to delay your epic road trip, but you’ll definitely want to consider the following apps to keep you in the know while you’re on the road:
If you’re traveling from state to state, the road conditions can change drastically due to weather, construction, and traffic re-routing. For instance, it may be sunny and warm in the Midwest, but if you’re heading West and are scheduled to drive through the mountains, you may encounter some areas of snow and ice. Some of the best road weather/condition apps are available if you check out a state’s Department of Transportation (DOT). For instance, if you visit the Colorado DOT page, you have the option to download an app for your phone and stay up-to-date on seasonal road closures, weather related conditions, and any construction that may re-route, congest, or delay traffic.
Weather on Wheels
If you’re a tech savvy traveler, you probably keep a paper map in your glove box for back up (just to be safe), but otherwise you rely on your smartphone for the best and most reliable directions to your destination. While a little spontaneity is fun for every road trip, planning your trip is an integral to making the most of your trip. The Weather on Wheels app is a simple way to check out weather predictions before you hit the road. All you need to do is enter your destination, as well as your start time, and the app will display the weather forecasts along your route. Getting a look at the big picture can allow you to adjust your start time if needed and will help you decide if you might need to stop for the night or pass on stopping at a roadside attraction.
This free and popular weather app provides up to 15-day weather forecasts, as well as has hourly and daily, so you can get a good idea of what to expect during longer road trips. The MinuteCast feature provides local and minute-by-minute forecasts for up to 2 hours, which can help you decide if you should keep driving or pull over some place safe. You’ll also receive alerts for not-so-road friendly weather such as thunderstorms, high winds, and tornadoes.
Before you rely on one weather app for all your on-the-go needs, make sure you do some research and see which app will be most beneficial to your traveling needs. It may even be a good idea to download a few apps, just in case one is unable to provide accurate information.