In 2023, weather apps are expected to make $1.5bn in revenue, up from $530m in 2017 (Statista, 2023). Some people are checking the apps constantly, enmeshed in the drama of watching extreme weather unfold in semi-real time. Others are adjusting how they read forecasts, considering dewpoint over humidity as a metric of how sticky it will feel outside.
New apps reflect this shifting relationship. American service Carrot Weather – popular for its snarky forecasts – updated its app in May 2023 to include a ChatGPT-based chatbot that answers questions on temperature, dewpoint and air quality. Users choose the tone they want for their chatbot – such as bitter, angry or confused – mirroring their own feelings about the forecast. Carrot also added useful features, including high-quality radar maps, weather alerts and in-depth monitoring across multiple locations.
Major tech companies, such as Apple and Google, are also responding to consumer appetite for in-depth weather analytics. When the Apple Watch’s new operating system launches in September 2023, users will have access to data on air quality, cloud cover, UV index and wind speed. Meanwhile, Google has expanded the weather app on its Pixel Tablet and Fold devices to offer long-term forecasts, wind, humidity, barometric pressure and sunrise/sunset times.
By distilling complex and unpredictable climate patterns into data points, weather apps are becoming tools that help people cope with the often-alienating experience of extreme shifting temperatures. For brands, this presents a unique opportunity to use weather as a jumping-off point for more in-depth conversations about the role climate change plays in individuals’ daily lives.
For more on consumers’ climate outlooks, see Meet the Eco-Pragmatists.