Many important apps' features work only because of the Internet. However, the Internet connection is not always and everywhere is good and available. But you can keep using your favorite weather app offline. In this article, we have collected three common situations where you will need an offline weather forecast and how to get it for your phone or tablet with iOS or Android systems.
Just like with hiking apps, you download a map of some region in advance so you can use it without the Internet, or you download the game on your phone to play it anytime. The same goes for the weather apps. Check if it works offline, not to be without a weather forecast at the most inappropriate moment.
There are at least three common situations when you may need a weather forecast with no Internet connection for iPhone or Android:
Usually, it depends on the distance to the nearest large city where the connection is good. For example, I live in a small village 45 minutes (20 km) from the nearest town. I hike and bike here, it's my home outdoor spot. The Internet is generally good, but I notice that periodically, on average once a week, it slows down or goes down for 5-10 minutes. At the same time, I use mobile service from a major operator in the country.
Some mobile operators also work better and worse in certain areas of the countries, if it is large enough — for example, such as in Russia, in remote areas of Karelia outdoor region, in the north-west of the country, there is no connection from mobile operators based in the center of the country in Moscow.
Before you go to the spot, find out how well the Internet works in a particular place from a particular operator. The easiest way to do this is to ask in the local community.
Photo: Rishabh-pandoh / Unsplash
Elon Musk, the guys from Google, and tens of other companies are only doing their first steps to distribute Internet from satellites in space all over the planet at once. So far we get Internet from different regular operators and it's not everywhere. It depends on the operator's mobile coverage network in a certain area, but there are places so far away that there will actually be no connection.
For example, here is a description of the local coverage network in the Urho Kekkonen National Park in Finland: "Although Finland has a broad network for mobile phones, there are some areas in the park without signal. There may also be some smaller spots where there is interference. If this happens try to climb to a higher place or go into an open area. It may be worth removing the SIM card from your phone and then trying again to make a call. Different phones also differ in their coverage." By the way, good advice on how to catch a signal. But it's better not to rely on getting lucky.
In general, going into the wilderness, remember that the further you get away from civilization, the weaker will be the mobile and Internet connections.
Why do you lose Internet connection when it rains? It depends on the situation. In most cases, bad weather does not affect the speed and quality of the Internet. This means that even if it is raining heavily outside, snowing or there is a wind, which is stronger than usual, the Internet will probably not go anywhere and you will still be able to use the app and receive the weather forecast.
However, extreme weather — strong gale from the 9 on the Beaufort scale, storm, hail, hurricane, heavy snowfall, and the like — can slow down your Internet speed or lead to signal loss. A severe temperature decrease can make Internet cables freeze. Different storms can knock out power lines, phone lines, and servers.
To reduce dependence on extreme weather, download an offline weather forecast in advance, especially if you are traveling for an extended period of time.
Windy.app is an offline weather app, because it can operate with a low Internet connection or without an Internet connection at all.
There are two special features called "Low Internet Mode" and "Offline Mode" in Windy.app that you can use in all of the above situations. It means that forecasts would be available when there’s no network. Make sure to open the app before you go offline so that it has the latest available forecast data.
Let's look at how to find and activate the offline weather for iPhone.
If you experience a poor Internet connection on your favorite spot, activate the feature of the same name. To do so, open the Wind map from the Home screen or the spot screen, then click on the "Extra settings" icon, scroll down the screen.
1. Click on the Main menu bar on the Home screen, then on the Offline mode feature:
Another way to active Offline Mode is also from the spot screen. Click on the three dots in the upper right corner, then on the same Offline Mode feature:
2. Here you can get the offline weather forecast for all of your favorite spots. Just click on the "Turn on" button and get the forecast even with no Internet connection:
In the Offline Mode settings, you also will see the phrase telling you when the forecast was updated last time.
3. Click on the second button to download the offline weather forecast for a specific area on the Wind and Precipitation Map. If you download a map of the whole world, it will weigh a lot, so you can only choose the area you want.
For example, this is what the forecast looks like for the wilderness areas of northern Canada:
4. To check if the feature works, turn on the Airplane Mode on your phone and then simply open any of your favorite spots or the Wind and Precipitation Map for the selected area:
You will see that there is still weather forecast. But if the Offline Mode is not activated you will see the following message:
5. To delete weather data for Offline Mode, click on the "Delete" button after the hike, kayaking, sailing, or another activity you do. This way you save some memory on your phone.
The feature works in the Pro version.
Windy.app weather app for Android displays forecast offline, too. The screens are almost identical, so do the same to activate the feature.
Text: Ivan Kuznetsov. Cover photo: Robert-ritchie / Unsplash.
Read more articles in Windy.app Blog.