- Most smartphones come with preinstalled weather apps that tell you more about the weather in different parts of the world (including the location of the user).
- While these weather apps do give you information about the weather, most of them do not come with the ability to alert you about rain in the immediate future. You do get an overview of the weather throughout the day when you check it, but no notification about immediately forthcoming changes in it.
- Apple has introduced the rain alert feature in iOS 16, which alerts you about precipitation in the next hour, making it possible to tweak plans at the last minute.
No matter whether it falls in the plains of Spain or at other locations, sudden rain can be an utter pain. A shower out of the blue (literally) can lay waste to the best and most carefully made plans. Roads get jammed, establishments shut down, and the world becomes a different place just because a few clouds decided to carry out a sudden attack of condensation.
Weather forecasters on news channels do alert us about impending rainfall, but their predictions are often very generic (“rainfall is predicted for tomorrow in parts of the country”) and do not prepare us for abrupt spells of rain. Weather apps on our phones also let us know about the weather in and around us, but we do not consult them all the time, do we?
Would it not be cool if there was a way in which someone could alert us about the rain that was about to arrive shortly? Not at “some time” in the day or even in the “afternoon or evening,” but in the next hour or so, allowing us to make plans or cancel them accordingly? Well, your phone can do that – without any additional apps in the case of the iPhone and with some appy assistance in the case of Android.
Here is how you can make your phone your “rain is coming” alert person:
On the iPhone: Rain alerts, courtesy iOS 16
The iOS 16 update brought rain alerts to the iPhone as part of a number of changes to the Weather app. Thanks to this, all iPhones from the iPhone 8 onwards can get rain alerts without having to download any app at all. This is how you can make it happen:
Step 1: Open the Weather app
The Rain Alert comes from the Weather app, so that is where you have to head right away. You can search for it using the search option just above the row of apps on the lower part of the iPhone.
Step 2: Move beyond the landing screen
You will now see weather information about your location. Head off to the hamburger menu (the three horizontal lines) in the bottom right corner.
Step 3: Delve deeper to find Notifications
The app will now discover the list of venues for which you have chosen to get weather information. Your task now is to tap the three dots in the top right corner and then select Notifications from the list that drops down when you do so.
Step 4: Let there be alerts prior to rain
This will take you to the Notifications page. And here, you will get the option to get notifications for Severe Weather and Next-Hour Precipitation. Select the latter to get rain alerts.
A point to be kept in mind is that this alert might not be available for all regions. For instance, we got Next-Hour Precipitation alerts for our location (Delhi), but it was not available for two of the other three locations whose weather we were tracking – Bangalore and Mumbai. To add to this, you also have to give the Weather permission to track your location at all times. You can change this by heading to Settings.
Rain Alerts on Android: Happy to get some appy help?
At the time of writing, Android, by default, did not have any way of notifying you whether it was going to rain in the immediate future. Google’s Pixel range had a Severe Weather alert which included heavy rain and thunderstorms, but it was disabled earlier this year following some issues and has not since returned. Google’s Pixel devices do have an emergency alert system, and you can even get earthquake alerts, but those are only for extreme situations and are unlikely to tell you if there is a brief spell of rain expected in the immediate future. Other Android systems also seem to have no inbuilt rainfall alert system, although OnePlus has an unusual weather alert feature in its weather app.
Fortunately, there are a number of weather apps and even some dedicated rain alert apps for Android devices, which can let you know of immediately upcoming rain. Although there are some very detailed apps out there, our personal favorite is the Yahoo Weather app, which comes with a minimalistic, clean interface and also has what it calls a Next Hour Precipitation Notification feature.
Here is how you can activate it:
Step 1: Download and Install
Of course, you begin by downloading and installing Yahoo Weather from Google Play. The app is totally free. Go right ahead and give the permissions you want. You can opt to sign into a Yahoo account if you wish or avoid it. The app will still work fine and will give you information about the weather in your location upon launching.
Step 2: Get into the Settings
In the Yahoo Weather app, head to Settings. You can do this by hitting the hamburger menu in the top left corner. Choose Settings from the options that appear.
Step 3: In the Notification Zone
In Settings, you will see a number of options. For the moment, you just need to be concerned about Notification Settings. Select it.
Step 4: When it’s about to rain, lemme know
In the Notification Settings, you will see the option that you have been searching for – Next Hour Precipitation Notification. If it is off, tap on it to switch it on. It might already be on by default. You can also opt to get a Temperature Change Notification from the same window, but that is another story.
Getting these settings in place will not save you from sudden rain, but it will give you a good chance to be better prepared for it.