Dark Sky for iOS Does One Thing Really Well

J. Eddie Smith, IV from Practically Efficient talking about the iOS weather app Dark Sky:

But I’ve had at least three occasions this summer when Dark Sky was incorrectly bright. Where I live, in the southeast, sometimes afternoon thunderstorms materialize out of nowhere. Granted, these events are probably almost impossible to forecast. (I think the science of meteorology is still largely in its dark ages, and much of what happens in our atmosphere remains unexplained—and unpredictable.)

Dark Sky is a weather app that’s primary function is letting you know when it will rain, and not just like “today” but more precisely in terms like “in five minutes”, and it will also indicate the duration of the rain.


I have been using it for a few weeks now and I can tell you where it shines and where it doesn’t. When there is a storm front moving in, it’s very accurate at predicting when it will start raining and for how long. Unfortunately it’s very poor at predicting storms that pop up, even after they already have. There are times where it’s down pouring where I am at and under “Now” it says “No Rain” and under “Next Hour” it says the same.

I realize it’s nearly impossible to predict when showers are going to pop up out of nowhere, but once it’s already raining I wonder how it can’t know that it’s raining when it already is. Maybe this is something they can improve upon, but more than likely this is just a limitation of wherever they are getting their weather data.

But because Dark Sky is so excellent at predicting exactly how far away rain is, it doesn’t have usefulness. I have realized that where I am at in life, besides the high/low temperature for the day, the only other thing I really care about it is if/when it’s going to rain, and in a lot of cases Dark Sky does this very well.