We all know that the App Store has billions of apps in it, all of which serve their own purpose. With that said, there are also a plethora of weather apps in all versions of the App Store, so the question you have probably wondered at some point is whether or not you should invest money into a third-party weather app. After all, it is just the weather and most weather apps are free, right?

Personally, I use the CARROT Weather app on my iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV and Mac. For me and what I want out of a weather app, it does exactly what I want it to do.

But what is best for you?

One thing that I have found an issue with when it comes to apps like The Weather Channel, Apple’s default Weather app (which gets data from The Weather Channel) or your local news’s weather app, is that a lot of them are going for views.

The reason for this is that those apps do have ads in them, therefore, the weather provider wants those ads to be seen.

In other cases, I have seen where local news stations have sensationalized the weather to make it so that people are watching their newscasts and that people are checking their apps regularly for weather updates. This is all done, again, for getting the views and making sure that their advertisers, app, website or TV, are happy.

So what do you do if you are in the market of wanting to look into a third-party weather app?

I will tell you that the majority of them are going to cost money or that they will be free, but then also have premium add-ons and pro versions of the app.

My personal recommendations for third-party weather apps are CARROT Weather and Dark Sky. Both of them are available on the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, with CARROT also being available on the Mac and Apple TV, as stated earlier.

With CARROT and Dark Sky, you will get live notifications when precipitation starts in your location and be alerted when there are new watches and warnings in your area too.

But what makes these apps worth that premium price?

To show you this, I must tell you a story in order for you to understand and see where I am coming from with this.

Just this past January, every local news station in my area was telling everyone that we were supposed to get 3-6 inches of snow. Meanwhile, CARROT was telling me there was less than a 40 percent chance of the snow coming and that if we did get snow, it’d be about an inch. The day came and we received less than an inch of snow, which is exactly what CARROT predicted.

Less than a week later, we were supposed to get 4-7 inches of snow, according to local media outlets. CARROT told me that the chance of us getting snow (or at least that amount) was less than 30 percent and that we should just expect to essentially get a dusting. That day came and all we received was a little bit of ice on our roads. Overall, not a big deal.

I’m not saying that The Weather Channel or local media outlets are “fake news,” but I am just saying that this stuff does indeed happen.

With third-party weather apps, they are trying to give you the most accurate weather forecast and are not in the pockets of other businesses or advertisers, but are in the pockets of their users and consumers. They rely on you to keep paying that fee. Without you and that fee, their business will be no more.

For those who are looking to get the most accurate weather and are willing to pay for it, look into CARROT Weather or Dark Sky.

CARROT Weather costs $4.99 and then has premium in-app purchases of $4.99 per year on the Premium Club and $11.99 per year on the Superpremium Club. Both have great features, such as putting the weather from CARROT on your Apple Watch watch face (Premium Club) and also being able to have a radar that users can view from opening the Apple Watch app (Superpremium Club).

Dark Sky is $3.99 in the App Store and only costs the one-time $3.99 fee. After that, you will have full access to the app and its features.

With thunderstorm and torando season just around the corner as we enter the spring and summer seasons, this should be something you should consider and see if it is right for you.

Feature image courtesy of Business Insider (Hollis Johnson)