Cyclists spend quite a bit more time than the general public staring at the hour-by-hour weather forecast. Whether it’s figuring out if they can ride after work or refreshing an app before bed (hoping that the rain will pass before an early morning ride), cyclists are always on the lookout for the most accurate meteorological information. These apps will help you with your quest for weather accuracy and the (often futile) search for the perfect amount of layers.
Probability of precipitation (POP) sometimes won’t tell the whole story. Chance of precipitation (COP) is defined by Environment Canada as “The chance that measurable precipitation (0.2 mm of rain or 0.2 cm of snow) will fall on any random point of the forecast region during the forecast period.” Particularly if your ride will take you outside of your area, it’s best to look at a weather radar, rather than POP or COP, to see if you’ll encounter rain.
Environment Canada’s Weather Radar locates precipitation, calculates its motion, and estimate its type. The map is available on the WeatherCan app (where you can change the prediction to three hours ahead in the settings). The Weather Network app, WeatherUnderground and AccuWeather also have radars, though the WeatherCan app will tend to be slightly more accurate.
Getting dressed for a ride (if it’s not the middle of the summer) is not an easy task. An app such as The Weather Network app, WeatherUnderground or AccuWeather will tell you the temperature but also give you a “feels like” number, which can be the difference between no arm warmers on a very humid day or packing a shell on very windy days. All these apps will give slightly different temperature numbers, but, if you stick with one app, after a few weeks you’ll start to know what clothing works for a given temperature.
Wind, and wind direction, are the topic of many-a Strava title. Windy shows current wind speed and direction, along with predictions for the next hours and days. For those who want to get really in the weeds, the app goes into extensive detail and even allows users to compare forecasts from different providers and check out local webcam feeds.
Thinking about leveraging the wind to your advantage? MyWindsock helps you figure out the wind conditions before you set off on your ride. Input your Strava or RideWithGPS routes and MyWindSock will give you a breakdown of how the wind will play out during your ride. You can also look at the wind on past rides and figure out what segments would be good to hit up with the current wind conditions.