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There are plenty of weather apps to choose from, but your best weather apps for Android and iOS offer accurate forecasts by region, current conditions for your location, useful radar maps, and the ability to set weather alerts for anything from government-issued warnings to expected rainfall in your area.

The top weather apps start with data provided by NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and then refine their forecasts with their own research, such as from IBM's machine learning tools for the Weather Channel app or 250,000 neighborhood weather stations for the Weather Underground app. Nearly all have a free version supported by ads. For a few bucks, you can get an ad-free, weather-filled experience.

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1. Weather - The Weather Channel

One of the best full service weather apps, The Weather Channel app (Android and iOS) mirrors much of what you'd find on the broadcast version of the service: It's packed with current conditions, forecasts, radar weather maps, road and traffic conditions, activity reports, and videos. You can set alerts for significant weather forecasts, area precipitation, government-issued warnings, and more. A free app is supported by ads. Go ad-free for $3.99.

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2. AccuWeather

Another solid full-service weather app, AccuWeather (Android and iOS) takes a similar path to the Weather Channel app, offering lots of practical guidance on what to expect for the day. On the main screen, you get current weather conditions, what's coming over the next few days, short-term forecasts for your location, and customizable radar maps. You can set severe weather alerts and set an alert location. The free version contains ads, but you can remove them for $2.99.

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3. Weather Underground

Checking in on national or regional weather is fine and all. But if you want to know what the weather conditions will be for your neighborhood, then you want the Weather Underground app (Android and iOS). The best weather app for local forecasts, it combines the strength of the National Weather Service with the power of real-time local reporting from more than 250,000 personal weather stations to bring accurate local observations and forecasts.

The visually appealing app presents current temperature and conditions, a daily and hourly forecast, and other weather- and health-related details. And you can set severe weather alerts based on your location. An ad-supported version is free; a $1.99 annual subscription removes the ads.

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4. Dark Sky - Hyperlocal Weather

It's not just because Dark Sky (Android and iOS) gives you forecasts down to the minute for your exact location. Or that you can see hourly and weekly forecasts. Or that you can set alerts for government-issued warnings and expected precipitation in your current location or customized notifications based on temperature, rain, snowfall, wind speed, UV index, or humidity changes. No, Dark Sky is our favorite weather app because its radar, forecast, and temperature maps are insanely satisfying to use.

An annual subscription to the best weather app for short-term local forecasts is $3.99.

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5. Carrot Weather

The Carrot Weather app (iOS) does a fine job of offering accurate weather forecasts, pulling weather data from Dark Sky for your location. But what sets Carrot apart is the commentary and imagery the app offers along with its weather forecasts, giving you a bit of attitude along with its prognostications, for $4.99. It's a tiny, amusing weather person on your phone.

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Clifford is a Senior Editor for CNET's Download.com. He spent a handful of years at Peachpit Press, editing books on everything from the first iPhone to Python. He also worked at a handful of now-dead computer magazines, including MacWEEK and MacUser. Unrelated, he sits next to fellow editor Josh Rotter and roots for the A's.