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Top 10 Options for a Driving Weather Planner

Planning a road trip or long drive? It's important to check the weather conditions along your route to ensure a safe and comfortable journey. Below, you will find some of the best free and paid options for a driving weather planner to help you prepare for any weather-related challenges.


How to Find Weather on my Driving Route


To find weather on your driving route, there are several options available. Many state transportation departments offer online resources for checking road conditions and weather-related closures. You may also check the forecast for multiple locations along your route via a reputable resource such as the National Weather Service. Know that weather patterns can move in many different directions, so it would help to have a more than basic understanding of weather patterns so that you are not caught by surprise. Remember that you will need to check the forecasts for different periods at each location as you will hit them at different times in your drive. Be careful not to check too few locations, because a lot of weather can happen in between!


Another option is to use a weather app or website that allows you to input your starting point and destination, and provides a detailed weather forecast for each location along the way. Some GPS devices include real-time weather updates and alerts. Most of these apps are designed without meteorologist insights, so they miss a lot of crucial data. They often rely on a computer model to make the forecast when in reality there are dozens of computer models, all of which have pros and cons and are prone to errors at different times. These apps are usually foolproof but not failsafe. It is only recommended that these apps be used for shorter routes or if you are certain there will not be dangerous weather.


Your best and safest course of action is to consult with a professional meteorologist about the best time and route to drive. A full service consulting meteorologist will be able to provide the safest route, departure times, weather forecasts for the entire drive, specific waypoints, and recommend any necessary precautions. A fair service will charge barely more than a paid, premium app. A person will identify risks to travel that are not caught by a pre-programmed app or bot.


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What if There is a Driving Advisory In My Area


If there is a driving advisory in your area, it’s important to take it seriously and adjust your travel plans accordingly. While most people consider the basic hazards like rain, snow and fog when planning travel, there are several weather related threats that are thought of less and sometimes even more dangerous.


Severe Weather: you could be driving into, or through an area at risk for severe weather. Even if the chances for steady or heavy rain are low, isolated thunderstorms that pop up on your route can quickly turn severe with gusty wind, hail or even tornadoes. A car is one of the most vulnerable places to be in any one of these hazards. Both wind and tornadoes can flip or roll a vehicle and its occupants while hail can shatter glass and pound anyone inside. All of these pose a threat for serious harm. While you may be familiar with weather watches that are issued just hours before these hazards may materialize, severe weather outlooks are also available that give a one-day, two-day, three-day, or even more advanced notice so that you can plan accordingly.


tornado damage to a car
2011: damage after a tornado in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Wind: Gusty winds can make driving extremely difficult for two primary reasons. First, the winds can make it hard to control a vehicle, especially a crosswind (coming from either side of the road). Higher profile vehicles like pickups, SUVs and 18-wheelers not only catch a higher wind further from the ground, but also have more surface area to take the force of the wind. The effects are magnified on elevated highways and bridges. Second, the wind can cause blowing dust and debris, dramatically reducing visibility. Dust storms, especially in the western United States can be just as dangerous to driving as rain, snow or fog. It is not uncommon for otherwise nice, sunny days to be quite windy. It may look nice to drive, but isn’t that safe. Wind advisories are often ignored, not even mentioned by some weather apps or broadcast outlets but should not be ignored by drivers.


Temperatures: You are probably wondering “how does temperature affect my car? I drive when it is hot and cold with no problem.” A mechanic can give better advice on how temperatures affect vehicles but a meteorologist will tell you both extremes are dangerous to drivers on road trips. Car trouble is unpredictable. It even happens to new cars sometimes, just the same as old junkers. Many long road trips go through vast stretches of desolate or scarcely populated parts of the country. Break down in a spot like this in extreme cold or extreme heat and if you are not stocked up, packed and prepared, you could be in the same amount of danger as if a tornado were barreling toward you.


road trip weather statistics

Even the obvious hazards like rain, snow and fog can set in quickly. There are certain weather patterns that an automated weather app will miss. Using a driving weather app that integrates such computer data could send you on a path straight into danger. You should check the weather forecast and road conditions frequently, preferably with a human meteorologist. Consider delaying your trip or finding an alternate route if conditions are unsafe. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to driving in hazardous weather conditions.


The Top 10 Options for a Driving Weather Planner


When it comes to finding the best driving weather planner, there are both free and paid options available. Some of the top choices include Weather Underground, AccuWeather, and The Weather Channel. These platforms offer detailed weather forecasts, road conditions, and even real-time traffic updates to help you plan your route and stay safe on the road. Consider your specific needs and budget when choosing the best option for you.


The following driving weather planner options are listed in order of appearance through Google search results as of May 2023. They ARE NOT ranked in order. The ARE in listed order of appearance in search rankings. The YourCast product review will accompany each so read on to see which products we do and do not recommend.

 

1. Morecast.com


Morecast is an Austrian based online weather service providing current weather conditions, radar and forecast information for point locations around the planet. There are also sections for weather news and a feed of weather pictures but neither has been updated in months, or in some cases, years. Since the conditions and forecasts are all computer automated, they are still functional. There is a “route weather” section that allows you to enter a start and end point as well as any additional stops. The site implies that you can select a future departure time but they are in one month increments making the application useless beyond present time. From there, Morecast plans your route. You can click on several points along the way that bring up an hourly forecast for those spots. Unfortunately, not every attempt to do this worked as the site appears to have a lot of pop-up ads and loading problems.


COST: Free


PROS:

- Free

- Multiple waypoints


CONS:

- “Best route” based on weather is not provided

- Dysfunctional adjusted start time function

- Website loading issues

- Not mobile friendly

- *Automated, prone to forecast errors and missed weather hazards


*See disclaimer at end of list


🗙 YourCast WOULD NOT recommend Morecast. You would be better off choosing your favorite route and looking at a national forecast map provided by the National Weather Service.

 

2. Navimeteo.info


This is not a good website. There are major functionality problems. Using the site almost makes you feel like your computer or mobile device is not working properly. We could barely get it to work to provide a review. There is actually no usable weather information. It is amazing that this still ranks on the first page since Google heavily penalizes poor website performance.


COST: Free


PROS:

- Free

- Adjust leave time 1-7 days


CONS:

- “Best route” based on weather is not provided

- Major website loading issues

- Not mobile friendly

- Clunky map result that requires zooming and moving

- Clicking on maps points does not bring up weather conditions

- Minimal weather information provided

- *Automated, prone to forecast errors and missed weather hazards


*See disclaimer at end of list


🗙 YourCast WOULD NOT recommend Navimeteo.info. You would be better off choosing your favorite route and looking at a national forecast map provided by the National Weather Service.

 

3. Drive Weather App


This is a solid option. It provides a quick weather forecast along your driving route for up to a week in advance. Weather conditions are provided at many locations along your route via the app interface. The forecast information provided adjusts to the time you are expected to reach each point on the route. You can adjust the departure time or route and check the forecast to determine the best time and locations to drive. Of course, this will require an understanding of basic weather concepts, watches, warnings and advisories to make that decision. Google maps also shows NWS watches/warnings on your route.


Cost: $11.99/year


PROS:

- Adjust leave time

- Multiple waypoints

- Mobile App

- Can change route and times along the way

- Can send routes to Waze, Apple, or Google Maps

- Temperature

- Precipitation

- Wind

- Alternate Route Selection

- Severe Weather Alerts

- Radar

- Free version


CONS:

- Free version doesn’t have every town

- User must determine own route

- *App creator is not a meteorologist

- *Automated, prone to forecast errors and missed weather hazards


*See disclaimer at end of list


YourCast WOULD recommend Drive Weather App.

 

4. Tripconditions.com


Like some of the previous options (Morecast, Navimeteo) this is a Application Programming Interface (API) based site that simply shows the weather on the default route between two locations. There is no weather forecast information. Only current conditions are provided which is useless for your road trip because, of course, the weather changes with time. There is no information provided about the site owners to check their meteorological credentials.


COST: Free


PROS:

- Free

- Multiple point weather conditions

- Traffic hazards


CONS:

- “Best route” based on weather is not provided

- No weather forecast information

- No adjusted start time function

- *Automated, prone to forecast errors and missed weather hazards


*See disclaimer at end of list


🗙 YourCast WOULD NOT recommend tripconditions.com. You would be better off choosing your favorite route and looking at a national forecast map provided by the National Weather Service.

 

5. Apps.apple.com


No review – list of app store search results

 

6. Weather.gov


No review – weather forecast information website

 

7. Weatherontheway.app


This is another good option. This mobile app provides a detailed weather forecast for your driving route. Thanks to combining forecasting and navigation, you get weather conditions precisely at a time you will be driving through. The app also offers the best time to leave for a given route or the option to select alternate routes to see if the waypoints offer better weather.


Cost: $4.99 monthly/$24.99 annually


PROS:

- Adjust leave time

- Multiple waypoints

- Mobile App

- Temperature

- Precipitation

- Wind

- Alternate Route Selection

- Severe Weather Alerts

- Radar

- Plan For Stops

- Notifications While Driving

- Sunrise and Sunset Time to Avoid Glare


CONS:

- User must determine own route

- *App creator is not a meteorologist

- *Forecast is computer generated, prone to errors and missed hazards


*See disclaimer at end of list


YourCast WOULD recommend weatherontheway.app

 

8. Play.google.com


No review – list of app store search results

 

9. Weather.com


No review – weather forecast information website

 

10. Weatherroute.io/Highway Weather App


The weather app, similar to competitors on this list, provides weather forecasts for the length of the road trip. You can view forecasts on a map view with a radar overlay to see what is going on near your route. Forecasts are tailored for the time period you are expected to hit each waypoint. Unlike the other mobile apps, weatherroute.io integrates live highway videos so you can see real life weather conditions, beyond radar. Users can drag a time slider to update departure time and see how changes affect expected weather. Finally, the app will suggest an ideal time to leave based on the weather forecast.


Cost: $1.99 monthly


PROS:

- Adjust leave time

- Multiple waypoints

- Mobile App

- Temperature

- Precipitation

- Wind

- Alternate Route Selection

- Severe Weather Alerts

- Radar

- Plan For Stops

- Cameras For Live Road Conditions

- Notifications While Driving

- No Ads (Paid)

- 7-Day Forecast


CONS:

- User must determine own route

- *App creator is not a meteorologist

- *Forecast is computer generated, prone to errors and missed hazards


*See disclaimer at end of list


YourCast WOULD recommend Highway Weather App

 

*DISCLAIMER


*While the best travel weather apps on this list are very high quality from a design and function standpoint, they do not have the added benefit of input from a certified and degreed meteorologist. Like any area of expertise, it is important to know that you are accepting guidance from somebody or something that does not specialize in this specific field. Sometimes, “bells and whistles” can mask flaws in information quality.


*Computer generated forecasts are freely available to anyone in the world. They are just one of dozens of tools that meteorologists use to assemble a forecast. All computer generated forecasts are designed to specialize in detecting certain patterns or types of weather. As a result, all computer models are prone to biases and errors which can dramatically compromise forecast accuracy. Computer models will not recognize real time changes in weather patterns the way a human meteorologist will in order to adjust for accuracy. In fact, most computer model forecasts only update every six to twelve hours. A human meteorologist will provide a real-time, up to date forecast with current information.


YourCast Chief Meteorologist, Dr. Josh Eachus is a certified sealholder of the National Weather Association and an active member of the American Meteorological Society.


National Weather Association logo


American Meteorological Society logo


YourCast travel weather forecast

YourCast


YourCast is the ultimate driving weather planner, offering a comprehensive and customizable weather report for your specific route. With a meteorologist on your route planning team, you have the option of a video consultation along with your forecast, at no extra charge. You are put ahead of any potential weather hazards and can plan your journey accordingly. YourCast also offers a range of features including all weather conditions, current alerts, expected alerts and how the weather will affect road conditions and vehicles. YourCast has the unrivaled advantage of a meteorologist providing each user a unique experience customized to their specific needs. Whether you're planning a long road trip or just a quick drive, YourCast has got you covered.


Pros of Our Automated Competitors


YourCast logo

Adjust Leave Time

Our forecast tells you the best leave time.

Multiple Waypoints

Stop planned? We’ll forecast for all of them.

Mobile App

Nope. People > Computers

Temperature

That one is easy...

Precipitation

Isn’t that why you came here?

Wind

What is this, amateur hour?

Alternate Route Selection

We’ll show you all possibilities!

Severe Weather Alerts

Current alerts, plus we anticipate expected alerts that the apps will miss!

Radar

We recommend your favorite local weather app.

Cameras For Live Road Conditions

Find these on each state's Dept. of Transportation site.

Notifications While Driving

Is that safe? Call us if you need us!

No Ads

Of course not!

7-Day Forecast

We’re your meteorologist, a forecast for tomorrow, next year or anything in between.

Sunrise & Sunset Times

Got ‘em if you need ‘em!

With YourCast, you receive a customized, personalized travel weather report for your road trip (SEE BELOW or CLICK HERE for an example). Ultimately, the drive is your choice. Even if you don’t want to use our recommended travel time or route, we will provide a detailed forecast for the conditions you may encounter along alternate routes as well as any helpful preparations and safety precautions you should take. Lastly, our chief meteorologist is available for a video chat, phone call, text or email to answer any questions.


YourCast WOULD recommend YourCast! 😉


YourCast | your weather planners
Pictured: The small, family-owned YourCast team (left to right) Jaimee, Josh, Cash, and Doug

 

Example Road Trip Planner

Example Road Trip Planner
.pdf
Download PDF • 544KB

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