Winter weather is easy enough to ignore during the holidays, when you’re warmed up on alcoholic eggnog. But now it’s January, and all you’ve got to look forward to are three solid months of snow on the roads, ice on your car and a serious lack of vitamin D.
But cheer up! Wield your smartphone, and use these winter weather apps for iPhone and Android to fight through the cold:
Winter Wake Up
Don’t let your perfectly-timed morning routine get ruined by slick roads or the need to wipe down your vehicle. Winter Wake-up for iPhone and Android is a free alternative alarm clock that wakes you earlier if there’s frost or snow on the ground, drawing on local weather forecasts. The alarm tone options even include the pleasant sound of scraping ice off a windshield. (Hat tip to GigaOM.)
Like Winter Wake-Up for ski bums, Powder Alert (iPhone, $2.99 or free Lite version) and WakeMeSki (Android, free) monitor snow conditions at popular ski resorts. Just plug in how much snow you want and how early you want to wake up, and these apps will deliver a wake-up call for fresh powder.
Road Trip Weather
Road Trip Weather is a clever $1 iPhone app lets you specify the start, mid and end points of your trip, along with departure time, and tells you what the weather will be like on the way. Don’t head into the mountains or on a long northbound voyage without it. Unfortunately, there’s no Android equivalent, but the website wunderground.com/roadtrip has similar functionality.
Winter Survival Kit
Winter Survival Kit, a free app for iPhone and Android, lets you store emergency numbers, such as local police and AAA, and can tell you how long your engine will run with the amount of gas in your tank. If stranded, hit the big red button, and the app will provide survival tips, locate nearby gas stations, and sound an occasional alarm to keep you alert. It’s not the fanciest app, but it’s worth having if you’re headed into treacherous conditions.
Most Android phones include a weather widget for your home screen, which is nice until you realize they don’t factor in wind chill. Thermometer Widget is a free app that displays weather in a 1-by-1 block on the home screen, and you can choose to account for wind chill through the widget’s settings. Sorry iPhone users, no widgets for you.