When using the Windy app, you see a large number of weather symbols and icons. The meaning of most of them is intuitive, but to understand some of them you need to know exactly what they mean. This guide will help you with that, as well as just navigate through all the variety of symbols.
There are a total of 13 basic symbols (from left to rignt):
Weather symbols in the Windy.app for iOS. Valerya Milovanova / Windy.app
A clear sunny day without clouds, which every outdoor enthusiast dreams of. In clear weather the view of the horizon is better, it is further visible from the tops of mountains. At the same time, clear weather is considered worse for outdoor photography, especially the sun in the middle of the day, so the photographers love the clouds.
Sunny at daytime weather symbol / Windy.app
The sky is covered with clouds, but not the whole sky, just a part of it. There may be more clouds than clear skies, or vice versa, or about the same.
Partly cloudy weather symbol / Windy.app
The sky is completely clouded. Usually, it is an overcast day, although in different parts of the world, where the weather changes more frequently, even fully overcast skies can become clear in a matter of minutes.
Cloudy (Overcast) weather symbol / Windy.app
The weather with light rain when the sky is completely covered with clouds. Light rain is a rain with least 0.1 mm/h of precipitation.
Light rain weather symbol / Windy.app
Overcast weather with rain. Rain is 0.5 to 1 mm/h of precipitation.
Rain weather symbol / Windy.app
Overcast weather with heavy rain compared to the previous two conditions. Heavy rain means at least 1 mm of precipitation in an hour. But usually more.
Heavy rain weather symbol / Windy.app
Sleet is a mixture of snow and rain. One can change into the other or happen at the same time. The precipitation values for light sleet are the same as for light rain.
Light sleet weather symbol / Windy.app
A mixture of rain and snow in the same values as rain.
Sleet weather symbol / Windy.app
Small ice crystals that fall from the sky. The values for light snow are the same as for light rain and light sleet.
Light snow weather symbol / Windy.app
It is snowing quite heavily — that is, more snow is falling than when you see the previous icon — and usually for several hours or more. Again, the numbers are the same.
Snow weather symbol / Windy.app
A heavy snowfall, which can also usually be quite long in time. In the Alps, for example, snowfalls can last up to 24 hours in a row or more. A month's worth of precipitation can fall in a day, blocking traffic on mountain passes or even a whole city. So now you know what do different snow signs mean in weather app.
Heavy snow weather symbol / Windy.app
Overcast at night. There may be more or fewer clouds or clear skies.
Partly cloudy at night weather symbol / Windy.app
There are no clouds in the sky at all — it is completely clear like during the sunny day in the first icon from out list, or there are very few clouds in the sky.
Clear sky at night weather symbol / Windy.app
In addition to the basic weather signs of the general weather conditions, there are some important signs in the app that explain different states of nature. To see them, select different weather profiles. For example, in the Fishing Pro Weather Profile, you can see five additional useful parameters for anyone who is into fishing. Let's take Channel Islands National Park as an example:
Sunrise and sunset symbols in the Windy.app for iOS
Moonrise and moonset symbols in the Windy.app for iOS
Moon phases symbols in the Windy.app for iOS
Solunar forecast symbol in the Windy.app for iOS
Cloud coverage symbol in the Windy.app for iOS
Tides symbol in the Windy.app for iOS
Atmospheric pressure at sea level chart symbol in the Windy.app for iOS
Also read this blog post about what weather symbols are and how to read them correctly.
Text: Ivan Kuznetsov, an outdoor journalist, editor and writer from the Dolomites, Italy, and Karelia, Finland, with eight years of professional experience. Read his other articles.
Cover photo: Sean Benesh / Unsplash