How to setup severe weather and next-hour precipitation alerts on iPhone and Apple Watch

how to set up severe weather alerts and next-hour forecast on iOS 16

Following Apple’s acquisition of Dark Sky in 2020, the company made significant changes to the iPhone and Apple Watch Weather app. The Weather app update introduced in iOS16 adds many of Dark Sky’s features, including a bunch of new weather-related notifications relating to temperature, humidity, pressure, visibility, and even air quality.

One of the key features is the ability to sign up for severe weather alerts. If your style varies on your mood or the weather of the day, you may want to set up this feature.

Depending upon your Apple Watch settings, you can also get these flash weather notifications on your watch.

Related reading:

How to set up severe weather notifications on your iPhone using iOS 16+

  1. Launch the Weather app on your iPhone. Weather app Apple devices
  2. At the bottom tabs, tap the List icon in the lower right corner. List icon in Apple Weather app
  3. Choose the three-dot More button from the top. Apple Weather app More button
  4. Then locate and tap on Notifications. Apple weather app notification settings
    1. If you see a prompt about server weather alerts or critical alerts, choose to allow it.
  5. Under the section Current Location, toggle on Severe Weather and Next-Hour precipitation. iOS 16 Weather notifications
  6. Repeat for each location you want these alerts for under Your Locations.
  7. Tap on Done to save your settings.

This makes sure that no matter where you are (and your loved ones,) you are able to get severe weather and next-hour rain alerts on your iPhone and Apple Watch

How to set up severe weather alerts for multiple cities

First, add all the locations you want to track the weather for in the Apple Weather app.

  1. Open the Weather app, then tap the list icon at the bottom.
  2. In the search box, type in the name of the city or airport. Apple Weather app search for a location
  3. Then select it from the search results that populate below the search box. Apple Weather app choose location from search results
  4. Tap Add and the location is added to the bottom of your locations list. iPhone Apple Weather app add location

Once you add all the locations where you want to track severe weather, you’re ready to set up severe weather alerts for multiple cities.

  1. The Weather app shows all the cities you previously added below your Current Location.iOS 16 Weather notifications
  2. Tap on any city name, and on the next screen, turn on severe weather and next-hour precipitation settings for that location, then press Done.Apple Weather app on iPhone turn on severe weather alerts by city
  3. Repeat for any other location you want to get these alerts and notifications for, then tap Done to save all your weather notification settings.Severe weather alerts for multiple cities iOS 16

How to see the next-hour forecast using Apple’s Weather app

When it comes to next-hour precipitation, Apple also has a clever map feature that shows the forecast for the next hour in a map view for the city.

  1. Open the Weather app. Your current location appears.
    1. To change locations, tap the list icon, then choose the location you want to see.
  2. Tap on the map icon at the bottom left. Apple Maps on iPhone tabs at the bottom
    1. At the bottom of the map, you find the 12-hour or next-hour weather forecast. Tap it to switch between the two options. iPhone weather app next hour and 12 hour forecast
  3. The map shows precipitation categories in four legends: Extreme, Heavy, Moderate, and Light.
  4. Tap Done to return to the previous screen. 

Weather Notifications on watchOS

Your Apple Watch doesn’t have any special Weather app settings. So you want to make sure that the severe weather notifications are piped into your Apple Watch from your iPhone.

  1. Open the Watch app > My Watch tab on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on Notifications.Apple Watch notifications in IOS 16
  3. Scroll down and tap on the Weather app.iOS 16 Weather app notifications
  4. Make sure that the Default City is set to either your current location or a preferred city.Set default city in weather app iOS 16
  5. From under Notifications Settings, choose Mirror my iPhone.

This makes sure the notifications are piped to your Apple Watch from the weather app on your iPhone.

Review your iPhone’s Weather Widget iPhone Weather app widget

You can customize your iPhone’s home screens with different-sized weather widgets that give you quick weather information and allow you to access the full app for advanced weather information.

How to add the weather widget

  1. Go to the Home Screen page where you want to add the weather widget, then press and hold the Home Screen background until the apps jiggle.
  2. Tap the Plus sign (+) at the top left to open the widget gallery. iPhone home screen add widget
  3. Scroll or search to find the weather app widget. iPhone find the weather app widget
  4. Swipe left and right to review the size options and tap Add Widget on the size you want. iPhone sizes for weather app widgets
  5. With the apps still jiggling, move the weather widget to where you want it on the screen, then tap Done.
  6. Once added, long press it and tap Edit Widget. iPhone edit weather app widget
  7. Confirm that it shows your location as My Location or lists your preferred location. iPhone weather app widget location settings
    1. To change it, tap it and type the name in the search bar. Then select the place from the list in the search results.
    2. Your updated default location should now display next to Location and in your Weather widget.

Is the Severe Alert feature available in my region?

The next-hour precipitation notifications are currently only available in a few countries.

According to Apple, 

“Severe weather information is available from The Weather Channel for Australia, Canada, Japan, the United States, and most countries and regions in Europe. Some users might receive severe weather alerts from various meteorological agencies through Apple Weather. Severe weather information is available from national weather services for Brazil, India, Mexico, and Thailand. Severe weather information is available from QWeather for China mainland.”

Next-hour precipitation forecasts and precipitation notifications are available for Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The information is provided by Apple using data from national weather services.

Apple has really changed its own Weather app experience. Go ahead and try out this new feature and feel to share any comments or tips.

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Sudz Niel Kar
I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products, have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA specializing in emerging tech, and owned the popular site AppleToolBox. In my day job, I advise Fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health and fitness-tech evolution and keeping a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships, and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Watch and closely monitor my HRV and other recovery metrics.


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