Dark Sky Weather

Dark Sky Weather is an app that intrudes into my life infrequently. Yet, when it does it is often a lifesaver. Sometimes not. It bills itself as a hyperlocal weather forecasting app.

Why I love Dark Sky Weather

Dark Sky sits on my phone, quietly in the background watching the skies ready to warn me about a soaking.

Most often it will warn me of impending rain or other weather events in good time to grab an umbrella or nip into a pub for shelter. Occasionally though, it warns me as the first drops of rain hit my head. Not so useful.

Mostly Dark Sky Weather is a handy app to have running in the background if you want to avoid a soaking.

How does Dark Sky Weather work?

We’ve all seen the weather forecast showing clouds and rain sweeping across the country, like this:

Weather radar image of the UK
Weather Radar Picture from UK Met Office

Dark Sky uses this data, and your location to try and predict when the dark clouds, rain, snow, hail, etc is going to reach you. In the UK and Ireland, it gets data from the Met Office’s NIMROD system and in the USA it uses data from NOAA’s NEXRAD.

By looking at the movement of the clouds, over time, it can predict when they will reach you and what sort of foul weather you are going to experience. Smart eh?

It’s kind of like looking at the dark clouds gathering on your horizon and predicting rain.

How accurate is Dark Sky?

I have to say that I feel Dark Sky has got less accurate over the past few years. Either that or the weather is far less predictable – which is not so unlikely thanks to climate change. It seems a few years ago it’s warnings of rain in 20 minutes were pretty spot on. No pun intended. It feels less accurate now. Maybe a reflection of the type of unpredictable weather we get in the UK.

After extensive research on the ever-reliable internet it seems that Dark Sky is accurate 67% of the time. Compare that with AccuWeather at around 75%. I think it’s time to do a little study and see where Dark Sky sits for myself. Highly unscientific of course, but I need to know.

Where can I get Dark Sky Weather?

Get the Dark Sky Weather App on the Google Play store
Get the Dark Sky Weather app on the Apple App store
Lightning striking the ground at night
Photo by Michael Rogers on Unsplash