Sunday Tittle Tattle: My Riveting Experiment

best weather app

Slightly misleading title, depending on how you take it; My Riveting Experiment is a tongue-in-cheek reference to a stupid little project I’ve had on the go this week regarding weather apps. I haven’t been pinning together sheets of metal with actual rivets, nor have I been dabbling in a bit of shipbuilding. Imagine. So if you’ve arrived here from Google, hoping to see some stats on bolt sizes or diagrams of various metal fastenings, click away now!

Mr AMR and I have been having an ongoing (low-level) disagreement about weather apps. We have many long-term disagreements simmering away – it keeps things exciting. Popular topics include charities (various), whether man actually went to the moon (he likes to suggest not) and the merits of cooking on an induction hob.

Anyway, Mr AMR maintains that the only forecast worth its salt is from the BBC and therefore has the BBC Weather app installed on his phone. I, on the other hand, prefer the iPhone’s own app for the simple reason that it has a huge sun as the icon and I can find it easily when I open my home screen. He thinks that the iPhone weather app is entirely inaccurate, a thing of almost pure fiction, and that it isn’t even worth looking at. I’ve always argued that there can’t be that much difference in the forecasts – surely they all get their info from the same place? – but Mr AMR insists that the BBC rules supreme.

In order to finally put our epic debate to rest, I installed the BBC app onto my iPhone and spent a week observing the forecast and comparing its accuracy to the iPhone’s version. Because, y’know, I have a lot of time on my hands and so filling it with pointless tasks makes the day go faster. (Note sarcasm.)

I can tell you that over a seven day period, the iPhone app (powered by The Weather Channel) was  more accurate than the BBC app (which used to have data supplied by the Met Office but is now supplied by Meteogroup). Often, there were only small discrepancies between the two forecasts, but now and then the differences were astounding.

(Bet you’re glad you started reading this post – it’s utterly thrilling, isn’t it? This is how I get my kicks, these days – comparing weather forecasts and emptying the water drawer in the condenser dryer. Do you have a condenser-style tumble dryer? One without the elephant’s-trunk hose? Oh my God, I love ours: the water drawer is huge and collects about fifty-eight thousand litres of water which you then have to stop from spilling over the floor as you slide the drawer out of the machine and carry it to the sink. It’s like being on the Crystal Maze! And then there’s a little fluff drawer too, that’s like a sort of toasted sandwich maker, but not hot, and filled with compressed fluff rather than food. If you feel as though life just isn’t fun anymore and you don’t have a condenser dryer, get one.)

Anyway, the differences: as an example, on one particular afternoon, the iPhone app said that it would be sunny and 23 degrees two hours later it was. The BBC app said that it would be raining. Fail, BBC! Fail! To be fair, by the time it got to ten minutes before the time in question, the BBC app had updated to an accurate prediction, but what use is ten minutes warning? I’ll just stick my head out of the bloody window and see the weather for myself!

The thing is (and what makes this whole experiment so very sad), I don’t actually need to know the weather. I don’t do much outdoorsy stuff other than walking the dog and playing in the garden – I don’t have a horse to exercise, I don’t need to know the optimum time to begin my hike up Ben Nevis; I don’t even need to know whether it’s OK to hang the washing out, because I’m addicted to my condenser dryer. (Joke, keyboard warriors; I only use the dryer when necessary, not when I can hang the washing out. Or – more accurately – Mr AMR can hang the washing out. He loves hanging washing more than I love the dryer.)

The obsession with weather is just a typically British thing, don’t you think? I like to psyche myself up for a heatwave, preparing my sunscreens and digging out the fan and making sure I have an array of light, cotton dresses; if rain is on the horizon then I can plan to do work inside, knowing I’m not missing out on precious sunshine. Do note that my weather obsession is only during the summer months – I honestly couldn’t give a hoot what happens between October and May. If I can’t be virtually naked in the garden then I don’t care whether it’s snowing or mildly sunny or gale force windy. It’s all the same to me: categorised as “Not Summer”.

More Reading? Browse my sunscreen posts!

Sidenote: I did ask Twitter which they thought was more accurate, the BBC app or iPhone’s own app, but the results were inconclusive. People are very divided over weather forecasting – maybe I’m not as weird as I like to think I am.

Anyway, I’m sure you’ve been captivated by that post; you’ve learnt that I like my tumble dryer and that I spend inordinate amounts of time doing very petty, inconsequential things. I’ll be back next week with another instalment of pure dross – make sure you tune in!

If you’d like to read a bit about my home life (not the discussions about hobs that I have with Mr AMR, more stuff about kids) then my baby blog, The Uphill, is here.

© 2017 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.

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50 Comments

  1. Belinda
    June 25, 2017 / 7:59 am

    Please tell Mr AMR that I’m with him on this one regarding the moon landings. Didn’t happen. No wind on the moon so why is the flag moving ‘in the breeze’ and why are the astronauts in shadow – impossible! However, the ONLY weather forecast worth its salt is the Met Office – always accurate to the hour. Sorry, almost as boring as charting the weather for the week (smiley face).

  2. Dorothy King
    June 25, 2017 / 8:06 am

    A friend recently converted me to the Apple Weather App, and it is sooo much better than the BBC one. It may be a British obsession, but with our weather the way it is, it’s also a necessity!

    Oh and pointed out that the Apple Health App has a pedometer (although the stairs section doesn’t work, as according to it I never take the stairs). Both were very useful.

    • June 25, 2017 / 7:54 pm

      Does it? OMG this is groundbreaking – I’m off to test it!

  3. June 25, 2017 / 8:20 am

    Oh how I loved reading this! You made me chuckle and ponder these essential marital debates. My husband and I live in sunny South Africa of which the great big centre of our solar system is very fond. It’s almost always sunny and warm when it’s not blazing and scorching. We’ve added an extra layer to our endless discussions on the weather (yes, we also use different apps and swear by the accuracy of our fave) and that is the bit about: “30C but feels like 35C”. The “feels like” discrepancies…where to begin!

    • June 25, 2017 / 7:53 pm

      Haha! The “feels like” thing always cracks me up.

  4. Hannah C
    June 25, 2017 / 8:21 am

    You wait until you get to clean the tumble dryer condenser itself, every 80 cycles or so. Now THAT, my friend, is satisfying.

    • June 25, 2017 / 7:52 pm

      OK I haven’t done that… how do I do that?!

  5. June 25, 2017 / 8:34 am

    I think it is a rare talent to actually really captivate readers with thoughts on weather forecast apps. Non-British readers, I might add. But still I read this post column by column and felt entertained.

  6. Catherine
    June 25, 2017 / 8:46 am

    I enjoy these things too Ruth, you are def not alone!! Although I am pretty weird…… I have been relying on the BBC app but there has been rage about its inaccuracy so perhaps I’ll go back to the iPhone app….and there are few pleasures in life more satisfying (in my humble opinion), than removing hot fluff from the dryer.

  7. Helene
    June 25, 2017 / 11:20 am

    Oh, Ruth, you should write a book about domestic life, or something, anything.
    I never found emptying the tumbledryers waterdrawer a fun thing. I kept saying we should get some additional thing-y that let it empty the water itself, right out the drain. And you managed to make it sound satisfying.
    Anyway, you made both the ongoing argument about the weather apps, and the tumble dryer so amusing I immediately wanted to know about the induction hob and that is a rare ting, making these little things so entertaining.
    An exellent post, this one, thank you!

    • June 25, 2017 / 7:50 pm

      If you live near to me I will come and empty it.

      • Krysia
        June 27, 2017 / 12:50 pm

        Also a non British reader here!!
        I’ll add that I love reading you because you speak (and write!!) proper English… I’ve just learned that it’s said “if you live near TO me” as I’d have completely omitted the preposition. Thank you, teacher!!

      • DMSmith
        July 3, 2017 / 6:05 am

        It’s 1:00 a.m. here and I think I just woke my husband giggling at this.

  8. June 25, 2017 / 11:27 am

    Haha Ruth this post cracked me up! And I confirm that it’s not just British people who are obsessed with the weather – Irish people are the same too. It’s because our weather changes every few minutes! Anyway I like to use the AccuWeather app on my iPhone. Mr Cooksalot likes the iPhone app and also darksky I think? But I prefer my AccuWeather one.

    Oh and we just bought a Dyson air purifier fan this week partly based on your recommendations on twitter! It’s great and it comes with an app too! It measures the air quality both outside the house and inside the room and it’s fascinating watching the quality go from poor to fair to good! Tells you the local weather too, in real time, so not a forecast. Just the temperature outside, humidity and Pollen Count.

    Oh and we also have an condenser dryer – it’s very handy. And satisfying too, taking all the blue coloured lint out that’s our cat’s fur!

    • June 25, 2017 / 7:50 pm

      OOh, I have the older Dyson version, no app. I may have to upgrade!

    • Magdalena
      June 26, 2017 / 12:39 pm

      I agree! We got dyson air puryfirer last week and now we are obsessed with this green small screen on our app and scream with panic when it turns out yellow. And don’t let me start the discussion about the air quality in our city. Hilarious dinner entertainment.

      Ruth, it is my first comment (in my life actually): I just adore you. Your sense of humor, writing – basically everything. You got me through my pregnancy and now my life with newborn baby boy.

  9. Madalyn King
    June 25, 2017 / 11:37 am

    Oh god Ruth, you’ve now got me obsessed with your obsession and I really didn’t need another, arghhh. I too would have vehemently defended the BBC weather app because I’ve used it throughout the lifespan of all my mobile phones since it’s conception. To be told it’s not completely correct and accurate has shaken me to the core (note sarcasm). Seriously though, I too thought ‘but it’s the MET OFFICE, they must be right’. I’ve now had to completely rearrange my phones home screen (only 4 apps allowed on the first screen or it covers my wallpaper photo) and consequently screens 2 & 3 to accommodate both weather apps Side by side on screen 1 and will be frequently hanging out my window checking for any weather changes as well as my external thermometer and then scrutinising both apps to establish if this blasphemy is actually correct. Thanks Ruth!!

    • June 25, 2017 / 7:49 pm

      Hahaha!! Sorry – and keep me updated please!

  10. June 25, 2017 / 11:42 am

    I’m from the North of France and we’re obsessed about the weather too, maybe because we have the same climate as London? Anyway, this is of great interest to me. I always check BBC weather like your husband, and I’m happy with it. It’s been kind of accurate whilst on Japan, but then it didn’t have all the towns I visited so that was shit..When you’re in Rausu about to go on a whale cruise , you want to check Rausu weatjer, not Sapporo! And yes, I saw whales. I really didn’t think I would!

  11. Poorani
    June 25, 2017 / 1:04 pm

    In India, I lived near the beach and it was sweltering all day. Free for all sauna you can’t get out of. Never checked the weather except in August. People just pray it rains around August to cool down (villagers for their paddy fields) and it almost never does these days. In Canada, I check the weather same as you. One teeny tiny thing I won’t miss when I have to leave.

    • June 25, 2017 / 7:49 pm

      OK, I love the heat but that sounds even too much for me. x

  12. Eleni
    June 25, 2017 / 2:26 pm

    I enjoyed that post a lot! It reminded me of all the funny “arguments” with my husband about the temperature and the “feel like” and the temperature of the sea… and also the dimensions of a room:)) I can sometimes be so stubborn that I need to prove I am right by all means:) If you wrote books (by the way, what happened with the book you finished? I hoped it would be published one day) , I would be a loyal reader! xxx

    • June 25, 2017 / 7:48 pm

      Thank you Eleni. I am trying to get it published, apparently it’s “not what people would expect of me” and a bit off-the-wall… I’d say that’s EXACTLY what people would expect of me, but hey ho! : )

  13. Yosefi
    June 25, 2017 / 4:08 pm

    I really enjoyed this post! :D I live in Copenhagen and bicycle all year round, so I’m slightly obsessed with weather apps, most of the year. We get a lot of rain, too. I use the City weather app on my Sony mobile and it’s often correct by the hour. Sometimes I’ll compare with the iPhone app on my work phone

  14. Emily
    June 25, 2017 / 5:26 pm

    Texas here, so obsessions with our constantly (dramatically) changing weather are a necessity – BUT my new favorite app if WhatTheForecast – scatalogical and fun. You can adjust the profanity settings as you like…but it’s way more fun in the “on” setting.

  15. Jessica
    June 25, 2017 / 6:56 pm

    I think this is my favourite post you’ve ever written! :)

  16. June 25, 2017 / 8:23 pm

    my sister maintains that the weather is always better on the BBC app, so I always use it for holidays :)

  17. Cait
    June 25, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    I love the Dark Sky app; it is really well designed and I’ve found it to be accurate. It will let me know when rain will be stopping or starting, which is really useful for timing when to leave the office to walk to the metro.

    There is something strangely satisfying about cleaning out the dryer lint trap, though I can’t figure out where all that fluff comes from–you’d think my clothes would all be half their original size based on the frequency I clear out the trap!

  18. Hannah Kappler
    June 25, 2017 / 9:23 pm

    Hi Ruth, my partner and I call the Apple weather forcast ‘the man in the pub’ because it’s about that accurate! Having said that, I bloody love it more than the BBC app version because I can get lots more town forecasts. Apparently I need to know what the weather is in Baku, Corfu and Towcester.

    • June 25, 2017 / 10:53 pm

      Haha, same! I have the weirdest locations set in it. x

  19. Heather
    June 25, 2017 / 10:56 pm

    Hi Ruth! Here in Chicago, weather changes so rapidly that we typically carry umbrellas, whether rain is forecast or not. I use the Weather Channel app on my iPhone most of the time, but often check the local news as well. One can never be too careful when the weather changes hourly.

    Although this is my first time commenting, I’ve been reading your blog for years and I must say, I would read pretty much anything you write. You do have a talent for making the most mundane events interesting, considering we all have to do them. Your dryer situation is fascinating…we mostly have tumble dryers here in the States. Yes, emptying the lint drawer is soooo satisfying!

    • June 25, 2017 / 11:00 pm

      Thank you, that is so kind. I’ve been a bit demotivated recently, so that has really perked me up! x

  20. Jayne
    June 25, 2017 / 11:28 pm

    Loved this..enough said… :)

  21. Ali
    June 26, 2017 / 8:25 am

    I love this post! Personally, I enjoy long debates about whether washing powder or liquid is better. (I win every time, as liquid is clearly superior.)

    My neighbour and I also bond over the smell of our clothes as we’re pegging them out. (“Ooh is that a new fabric conitioner I smell?” That kind of scintillating discourse.)

    I’m strictly a BBC weather girl, he’s an iphone weather app man. I’ll have to ask him his views on the moon landing. Strictly speaking, I have no opinion about space exploration other than I’m glad we have satellites for mobile phones and more terrible tv channels than I can shake a fist at. ;-) x

  22. Helen
    June 26, 2017 / 10:06 am

    ” I honestly couldn’t give a hoot what happens between October and May……..It’s all the same to me: categorised as “Not Summer”. ”

    Never a truer a word Ruth. Henceforth I shall refer only to the two true seasons, Summer and Not Summer.

  23. Jorgelina
    June 26, 2017 / 10:19 am

    Oh, I prefer going to the source, the official meteorological office service: the Met Office website or its app (although the new app is crap compared to the previous version).
    I find it quite accurate, and it’s light to load, previous version was better, as I mentioned before.
    I also like to check AccuWeather for its look and the “MinuteCast” feature that tells you how many minutes til it starts raining or how many more minutes til rain stops.

  24. Kim Finley
    June 26, 2017 / 12:56 pm

    I think I may be repeating myself from Twitter but the iPhone app has it over anything else including, here in Canada, the CBC – note originality in network id. I wanted to mention that Canadians are not necessarily obsessed with weather forecasts BUT most a brilliant at complaining about the weather and here in Montréal we have quite a variety. Dips of -40 in winter where I personally swear by a 2 scarf system all the way to +40 with 90% humidity in summer which lasts about 45 minutes. In between we have it all and I suppose my compatriots have very short memories (or no other creative outlet) because no matter what -people complain. Sooooooo hot – even before -40. Awful rain. Dry as the desert. Look at the terrible clouds. Bitter cold this year. It’s better when there’s snow. Snow is the worst thing we have to deal with… blah, blah, blah. I do have one complaint mind you – the icon for our iPhone weather app is a little cloud over the sun peeping out from behind.

  25. Barbara
    June 26, 2017 / 1:06 pm

    I loved your post, and why I feel the need to check 3 different weather apps as soon as eyes pop open in the morning is beyond me. And, I not only check the weather where I live (North Carolina), but also the cities where our adult children live ….oh gosh, and where other family members line as well, because??? I have no clue. And now, I’ll prob add the UK’s weather to my long list, now that it seems like I have to know whether you’re walking the dog in rain or not. Oh gosh….I think I can walk without fear of having a heat stroke, if I hurry and get outside right this second !!! ☀️

  26. Joana
    June 26, 2017 / 11:48 pm

    Honestly, this post is so me. :)

  27. June 29, 2017 / 10:10 pm

    I, honestly, have never tried the BBC weather app because I love the Apple weather app so much there has been no need to leave a good thing. Ha! By the way, I am in the U.S and where I live we get excited about the weather, too. And if you are not satisfied with the weather, wait 10 minutes… it WILL change.

  28. Katie
    June 30, 2017 / 7:31 am

    I know this sounds mad, but the Norwegian weather website/app called yr.no is the best! So much more accurate than BBC or iPhone – I have no idea why, but it’s brilliant.

  29. Claire P
    July 2, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    I’m from Melbourne, Australia and We’re pretty obsessed with the weather here too. We often joke about how you can experience four seasons in one day.
    I usually follow the Bureau of Meteorology site for weather, I’ve always been a bit iffy about whether the phone app ones are accurate

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