How to get rain, snow, and severe weather or critical alerts on iPhone and Apple Watch

weather notifications apple watch

One of the best features of Apple’s Weather app is receiving rain, snow, and severe weather alerts on your iPhone and Apple Watch.

And with critical alerts, you get notifications about unexpected weather events as well as things from third-party apps, like your blood glucose getting too high or low.

Additionally, Apple shows any Weather watches and warnings when they are announced, not just when they go into effect.

Once you turn on severe weather alerts, you receive notifications on your iPhone and Apple Watch whenever there is a severe weather warning in your area. The notifications include the type of weather event, the location of the event, and the time of the event

Keep reading to learn how to set up these notifications on your device. 

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How to turn on weather alerts on iPhone Weather app severe and critical weather alert

If you want to turn on the rain, snow, and severe weather alerts on your iPhone from Apple’s Weather app, there are several things you need to do. 

To get weather alerts on your Apple Watch, first set them up on your iPhone and then set your Apple Watch to mirror the notification settings on your iPhone.

While Weather alerts generally follow your rules for silent mode and Focus modes, like Do Not Disturb, Critical alerts ignore mute and any focus mode settings. These alerts play a sound regardless of the device’s settings by overriding the silence switch or Focus settings on your devices.

Update to iOS 15 and higher

To receive weather alerts on your iPhone, you need to update your device to iOS 15 and above.

With iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 or later, you can also turn on Critical Alerts for supported apps so notifications come through even if your iPhone is muted or you have a Focus set up.

To update your iPhone, go to the Settings App. Sometimes, a banner appears at the top that says Software Update Available. You can click on that, and it automatically takes you to update your phone.

If it does not appear, you can still check by scrolling down to General and tapping on Software Update. 

If there’s an available update, click on Download and Install, then follow the onscreen instructions to complete the update.

Turn on Location Access iPhone Apple Weather app add location

Once your device is running on iOS 15+, the next thing you have to do is to make sure location access is on or allowed for the Weather app. 

  1. To turn on Location Access, go to the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to Privacy & Security, and tap it.
  3. Then click on Location Services.
  4. Then scroll down until you find Weather, and select it. Note the apps are in alphabetical order. location access weather settings
  5. Then under the Allow Location Access section, you need to select Always. We also suggest toggling on Precise Location

Enable weather notifications

After you turn on Location Access, the next step is to enable weather notifications. iPhone Weather app widget

  1. Open the Weather app, and tap the bulleted list icon in the bottom-right corner. List icon in Apple Weather app
  2. Then, tap the bullet points icon. This brings up all your cities and weather data. If you see a prompt asking you to turn on weather alerts, tap Turn On app notifications
  3. Select Notifications; this brings up the Weather app’s notification settings. Apple weather app notification settings
    1. If you didn’t already enable notifications, tap Continue to allow notifications and follow the prompts to allow notifications.
  4. Then, under the current location, toggle on the switches to turn on Severe Weather and Next-Hour Precipitation alerts for your location. When sever weather like rain, snow, or other inclement conditions are on the way, you receive a notification on your iPhone and Apple Watch.Severe weather alerts for iPhone and Apple Watch Weather app
  5. To get alerts for locations other than your current (like for your family), scroll down and tap a location on your list of places. Add other location severe weather alerts
    1. Then choose to add those alerts (or not.) Apple Weather app on iPhone turn on severe weather alerts by city

You can turn on these weather alerts for your current location and saved locations.

How to turn on weather alerts on Apple Watch

view options weather apple watch

With iOS 15+, the weather app on the Apple Watch did get some upgrades. On your Apple Watch, you can view weather data like current conditions, temperature, and precipitation. 

You can also check the weather in your other saved locations and receive weather alerts and notifications on your Apple Watch.

Once you turn on weather alerts on your iPhone, you don’t have to do anything else for the Apple Watch as long as your Apple Watch notifications mirror your iPhone. 

How to make sure Mirror My iPhone is on 

apple watch weather mirror iPhone

  1. To turn on Mirror My iPhone, go to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. In the My Watch tab, select Notifications.
  3. Scroll down to the Weather and tap it. 
  4. Under Notification Settings, make sure Mirror My iPhone is checked.

And there you have it!

Getting weather alerts and advisories

When meteorologists predict a significant weather event for your area, you may see a notification from the Weather app. Tap the Learn More button to get all the details.

How to turn on critical alerts on your iPhone

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone and choose Notifications.
  2. Select the app from the list that you want Critical Alerts for.
  3. Toggle the Critical Alerts on or off. iPhone notification critical alert toggle for Dexcom G7

How to remove critical alert notifications

To stop a critical alert from hogging your screen, do the following:

  1. Press and quickly release the volume up button.
  2. Press and quickly release the volume down button.
  3. Hold the side button until an Apple logo appears (15-30 seconds), and ignore the slide to power off if it appears.

Using third-party weather apps?

If you prefer using a third-party weather app, like top-rated Carrot or The Weather Channel, make sure you turn on notifications for that app in Settings > Notifications.

Then, inside the app (usually via the app’s settings), enable all the types of weather alerts and notifications you want to get. To get rain, snow, and other severe weather alerts, look for categories like precipitation, severe weather, or government-issued alert settings.

weather alert settings on Carrot
Carrot has excellent weather alert customization.

If you see a setting for Time-Sensitive, make sure you toggle this on so you get any critical weather-related alerts even when your phone or watch is set to do not disturb or if you use another Focus to limit which apps can deliver notifications.

Final Thoughts

The new weather app features in iOS and watchOS are really nice. I really enjoy having these weather alerts and critical alerts (when needed) on my iPhone and Apple Watch.

What do you think about these new weather app features? Let us know!


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