With this post we welcome Becca Chaplin (@ox_bex) to our team of writers. She starts off by doing a comparative analysis of the different weather apps available on Android and how well they work in the lovely city of Oxford.
One of the things pretty much all of us have on our smartphones and/or tablets these days is a weather app of some kind. It might be the one that comes pre-installed, it might be the highly regarded Met Office official app or any of the hundreds of others that are available. Given the English obsession with weather, making a consistently accurate app seems like a winner!
Today in Oxford we may or may not have snow. Which seems like a perfect time to check some of these apps and see just how spot on they are…
I use the Android Met Office app, generally quite good and reliable but the mobile app is a little vague and only gives the day’s weather without an hourly breakdown. So for a more accurate answer to the question “Should I go out at lunchtime or stay warm and dry?” I use Accuweather. They break down into hourly chunks which is probably as specific as you’re going to get! Combining the two generally gives me a fairly good idea of what to expect. In addition to these, I have Google weather on my phone home screen and work computer along with BBC weather! Oh and a Twitter friend is an amateur meteorologist so I usually let him have the final word.
So, today there is snow either happening or forecast soon over most of the south east of the country. The Met Office have been sending out warning emails of yellow levels of snow all weekend for the London and South East region – most of that is avoiding Oxford though. But what do the apps say? As of 9a.m this is what mine were forecasting
Met Office: Light snow, but no time indication and no amount of snowfall. Online they say snow will be between 12-6 in Oxford.
Accuweather: Snow falling between 9a.m and 1p.m then again between 3 and 6p.m with a total snowfall of 4.86cm
The Weather Channel app doesn’t work in the U.K despite being one of the top-seliing apps in Play Store. Online they say there is a potential disruption due to snow and ice for the South East but missing Oxford.
Google Weather has a chance of snow at some point between 9a.m and 9p.m
BBC Weather has light snow showers between 9a.m and 1p.m then again from 2 till 6p.m but no information on accumulation.
Our local meteorologist, (@marknealweather) reckons it is cold for us, odd snow flurries, but nothing major.
Let us see what is the best answer to the question of weather!