Weather and Outdoor Activities: Planning for Success

Weather Forecasts and Outdoor Activity Planning | RainViewer Blog

The great outdoors offers a world of adventure and relaxation. But the weather can sometimes play a crucial role in determining the success of your outdoor activities. Knowing and using weather forecasts can greatly improve your outdoor experiences, whether it’s a hike, a picnic with kids, or any other activity.

In this post, we’ll explore how you can use weather forecasts to plan your outdoor activities effectively. Specifically, we’ll explain the following components of a weather forecast:

  • Temperature
  • Precipitation probability
  • Wind conditions
  • Sunrise and sunset times
  • Air Quality Index
  • UV Index
  • Humidity
  • Pressure
  • Cloud cover
  • Visibility

Temperature Matters

One of the key factors to consider when planning outdoor activities is the temperature. It can greatly impact your comfort level and the type of clothing you need. Weather forecasts typically provide both the current temperature and the expected high and low temperatures for the day.

If you’re heading out for a hike or a bike ride, aim to choose a time when the temperature is moderate and comfortable. High temperatures might necessitate sunscreen and extra hydration, while cooler temperatures might require extra layers.

When checking the temperature, don’t forget about the “feels like” factor in the RainViewer app. It tells you how hot or cold it really feels outside. For instance, on cold and dry days, the “feels like” temperature may be lower than the actual air temperature, and vice versa.

Precipitation Probability

The likelihood of precipitation, whether rain, snow, or hail, is critical when planning outdoor activities. Our weather app provides the percentage chance of precipitation, helping you gauge whether you’ll need to bring an umbrella or opt for indoor alternatives.

It’s a good idea to also consider the timing of the precipitation. If there’s a high chance of rain in the afternoon, you might plan your outdoor activities for the morning or vice versa.

RainViewer precipitation forecast

Wind Conditions

Wind can significantly affect how enjoyable an outdoor activity is. Strong winds can make activities like picnicking or camping more challenging, whereas water-based activities like sailing or kayaking depend on wind speed.

Weather forecasts often provide information about wind speed and direction. RainViewer gives you a short overview of wind conditions on the main forecast page.

Sunrise and Sunset Times

The timing of sunrise and sunset is another important aspect to factor into your outdoor plans. If you’re an early riser, catching a sunrise during your hike might be on your agenda.

Conversely, you might plan for an evening beach bonfire around sunset. Our app shows the sunrise and sunset times on the main forecast page, helping you maximize your time outdoors.

RainViewer app: sunrise and sunset times

Air Quality Index

The air quality index (AQI) is a vital consideration, especially for those with respiratory issues. AQI indicates the quality of the air and the potential health risks associated with being outdoors.

High AQI levels can be a concern, particularly in urban areas. The AQI standards for the US are as follows:

AQI ValuesLevels of Concern
101-150Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
201-300Very Unhealthy

The RainViewer app provides AQI readings, allowing you to choose times when the air quality is better for outdoor activities.

UV Index

Sun protection is crucial when spending time outdoors. The UV index provides information about the strength of ultraviolet radiation from the sun. A higher UV index indicates a greater risk of sunburn and skin damage.

For safe outdoor adventure planning, check our weather app for the UV index in your area and prepare for your activities accordingly. This might involve wearing sunscreen, sunglasses, and protective clothing.

Humidity and UV index in the RainViewer weather forecast


Humidity levels can impact your comfort level and how you perceive temperature. High humidity can make hot days feel even more oppressive, while low humidity can lead to dry skin and dehydration.

RainViewer provides information about humidity levels. Consider this factor to decide on the best times for outdoor activities.


Atmospheric pressure can influence weather patterns and your well-being. Rapid changes in pressure might indicate the approach of a weather system.

While pressure might not be a primary consideration, keeping an eye on it can help you anticipate potential weather changes during your outdoor activity.

Humidity and UV index in the RainViewer weather forecast

Cloud Cover

The amount of sunlight you get during your outdoor activities depends on how thick the clouds are in the sky. Cloudy days might offer relief from the intense sun, but they can also impact visibility and the overall mood of your outing.

Clear skies are better for some activities, like stargazing. Check the cloud cover forecast in our weather app to make informed decisions about your plans.


Visibility is a key safety factor, especially if you’re engaging in activities like driving or hiking. Low visibility due to fog, mist, or heavy rainfall can make navigation difficult and increase the risk of accidents.

RainViewer includes visibility information, helping you choose times when conditions are safer for outdoor activities that require clear sight.


Incorporating weather forecasts into your outdoor activity planning can significantly enhance your experience. By considering temperature, precipitation, wind conditions, air quality index, humidity, and other factors you can make decisions that lead to safer and more enjoyable outings.

Remember that flexibility and preparedness are key, as weather conditions can change unexpectedly. So, before you embark on your next adventure, be sure to check the RainViewer app to plan for success in any weather.

Happy and safe outdoor adventures!

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