Weather-tracking technology can help you plan late-season work

Stacey Freed

Smartphone with weather icon on light grey background.A surprise day of rain, wind or snow can mean lost income when you’re painting exteriors. Late-season painting—which Andy Roe, owner of Roe Painting in Boise, ID, talks about in this month’s ‘Ask A Pro’ column—can be tricky in four-season locales. Roe works on many homes in the mountains, “where the weather can be beautiful one day and the next, there’s a foot of snow.” He spends a lot of time keeping his eyes on the sky.

Roe, who is also a pilot, calls himself a ‘weather geek’ and makes educated guesses about the weather for the upcoming days and weeks to keep a constant flow of work. He uses The Weather Channel app to help. Here are some other apps and devices that can help you prepare for whatever Mother Nature might send your way.

Weather Underground, a free app for Apple iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, offers current weather conditions and a link to the app’s social Crowd Reporting feature. There’s also more in-depth information, such as a tiny radar map, wind direction, the chance of precipitation, and a textual weather forecast.

• NOAA Radar Pro, a free app for Androids ($4.99 for Apple iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch) offers real-time animated radar images, an interactive map, and the ability to send notifications when a weather alert is issued.

• Dark Sky, a $3.99 app for Apple iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, uses your phone’s GPS to create a forecast for exactly where you are, and has up-to-the-minute precipitation charts that include how long it will rain and how heavy it will be.

 INO Weather Pro (suggested retail: $497) is a handheld device that logs seven essential measurements: lightning strikes, temperature, relative humidity, altitude, heat index, dew point and atmospheric pressure. It also tracks weather history with downloadable real-time logs that capture measurements according to user-frequency preferences. You can set up customizable dashboards to display weather elements most important to you. Runs on a USB-charged Lithium battery.

• Kestrel 3000 Pocket Wind Meter ($149) is a handheld device that quickly gives temperature, heat stress, wind and relative humidity readings. Kestrel makes several wind and weather meter products that give real-time data.

For more insights to help you run your painting business during the late season, read the ‘Ask A Pro’ feature article in the October/November issue of inPAINT magazine. And for other tips on running your painting business, visit

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