Lonely Planet Writer

Don't get soaked! Minute-to-minute weather forecasts now available

In the sodden parts of Europe over the past month, it has been relatively easy to tell when it was raining … as it hardly ever stopped.

Avoid a soaking with up to the minute weather apps.
Avoid a soaking with up to the minute weather apps. Image by Ed Schipul / CC BY-SA 2.0

When the deluge ends however – or when traveling in less familiar climates – rain may not be quite so incessant and weather predictors can help you decide whether to bring a waterproof jacket or umbrella.

Almost every smartphone comes pre-installed with a weather app but they can be hit and miss and the level of detail available may not always be sufficient.

If the thoughts of an unexpected soaking continually occupy your mind, then incredibly detailed levels of forecasting are available through apps when travelling abroad.

For rain (and snow) forecasts that operate literally minute to minute, the Dark Sky weather app offers predictions based on your location, wherever you happen to be visiting.

For those with an amateur interest in meteorology, it also gives map simulations where you can watch weather patterns evolve in your country, locality, or your holiday location.

Promising to be “your own personal weather station”, it gives current conditions on exactly where you are standing including wind speed and direction, humidity, pressure, visibility and of course, the temperature and rain.

Dark Sky will also send automatically generated summaries to your phone at regular intervals if you do not want to keep checking the app.

AccuWeather offers a similar level of detail with minute by minute rain forecasts and also weather radars for tracking major events including storms.

With an Apple Watch, it will sends alerts if severe weather is headed your way with a tap sensation and a low beep.

WeatherBug is another option, which incorporates not just weather, but also traffic information for certain areas to help avoid getting stuck in a jam.

It will also try and help you find nearby cameras, which will give you a very clear picture of whether it is raining or not outside.