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RadarCast for iOS review: A great app for tracking weather conditions

This new weather app from the makers of NOAA Hi-Def Radar gives you a colorful interface to view current and future weather anywhere in the continental U.S.

Jason Parker Senior Editor / Reviews - Software
Jason Parker has been at CNET for nearly 15 years. He is the senior editor in charge of iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.
Jason Parker
2 min read

RadarCast is the newest weather app from the people who developed the popular NOAA Hi-Def Radar, but this app brings you future weather predictions along with several other features.


RadarCast for iOS

The Good

<b>RadarCast</b> gives you animated radar forecasts so you can see current weather anywhere in the continental U.S. and predicts how weather patterns will evolve an hour in advance.

The Bad

Though the app is solid, the price seems a bit high when you factor in that there are several other weather apps in the App Store that are free.

The Bottom Line

If you want current weather forecasts with radar, severe weather warnings, and weather predictions for the near future, this is a great app to have handy.

Built for checking the weather around you or at another specific location, RadarCast gives you the latest data from local radar sites using real-time animated weather overlays. There's a lot of room for customization as well. You have the option to look at map, satellite, and hybrid views, and you also can control the weather pattern loop speed, the interval between individual frames, and change the number of frames in weather animations.

Watch the storm in real time (pictures)

See all photos

What separates RadarCast from the pack is that it also gives you future weather radar up to an hour past the moment you're looking at the app. Though it's obviously a speculative forecast, this means that you'll have a rough idea how the weather will probably behave an hour in advance. A bookmarking feature lets you set up areas that you're in frequently so you can quickly check the future weather for your destination. The app will also show you predicted rain start and stop times for any point on the map.

In addition to the radar maps, you also can see a weather forecast from any point on the map; severe weather warning boxes so you know areas to avoid; hurricane forecast tracks, wildfires, and current drought severity information, all in one view on the map. You can even view where lightening strikes occur. You have the option to show as much or as little as you want using switches in the settings to turn each overlay on or off.

The app has a couple of sharing features as well. You can send radar screenshots via e-mail or over Facebook and Twitter. The app also lets you create weather postcards so you can share the bad weather you're having or gloat at how nice it is where you are. These are also shared through Facebook, Twitter, or directly via e-mail.

For all the great features RadarCast has, I can't help but think it's priced a bit high ($3.99, as of this writing). It makes sense that the folks at WeatherSphere would try to get the most money possible at launch, but I think a price of $1.99 would be a lot more reasonable.

It's hard to say why the company would price RadarCast in this range, but it definitely is a worthwhile weather app to have -- especially if you live in an area with extreme weather. The rain start and stop times will be especially useful for trying to stay dry, and the future forecasts make it so you can plan around the weather.


RadarCast for iOS

Score Breakdown

Setup 7Features 8Interface 8Performance 9