iPhone Weather Icons

A common question people have is “What does this icon mean in the iPhone Weather app?” The iPhone Weather app gets its information from Yahoo Weather. The forecast should be the same as if you want to Yahoo and looked up the weather for your area. But the iPhone Weather app doesn’t include descriptions of the graphic icons that appear next to each day.
Some are obvious. A bright yellow sun means “sunny.” But others are less obvious. So you would think that there would be a guide somewhere to these icons.
Not only is there not a guide, but it seems the icons used in the iPhone app are not used anywhere else. Yahoo has many different sets of weather icons for use on their sites and by third-party developers. But none exactly match the ones used on the iPhone.
However, the following set comes very close. Close enough that you should be able to find a match if you are unsure what an icon means. Note that some icons are used for multiple weather conditions. For instance, Tropical Storm and Hurricane use the same icon as Thunderstorms.

Tropical Storm
Severe Thunderstorms
Mixed Rain And Snow
Mixed Rain And Sleet
Mixed Snow And Sleet
Freezing Drizzle
Freezing Rain
Snow Flurries
Light Snow Showers
Blowing Snow
Mostly Cloudy (Night)
Mostly Cloudy (Day)
Partly Cloudy (Night)
Partly Cloudy (Day)
Clear (Night)
Fair (Night)
Fair (Day)
Mixed Rain And Hail
Isolated Thunderstorms
Scattered Thunderstorms
Scattered Thunderstorms
Scattered Showers
Heavy Snow
Scattered Snow Showers
Heavy Snow
Snow Showers
Isolated Thundershowers

Comments: 57 Responses to “iPhone Weather Icons”

    Nicole Chaney
    11/6/11 @ 8:06 pm

    What does the icon with stars mean? It’s a clear evening. Any ideas?

      11/6/11 @ 8:15 pm

      Seems that should be self-explanatory. A clear starry night?

        3/21/12 @ 1:57 am

        All those questions about white dots and little stars also kept me wondering. I see that one is missing off your list. Would help if it was added to your list above. I agree with Gary Rosenzweig “clear starry night”.

    Jordan M.
    11/7/11 @ 12:54 am

    In addition to the typical snow shower icon (cloud with snow flakes BENEATH) we frequently see a cloud with snow flakes ABOVE. We’re left scratching our heads. Any thoughts (we live in Alaska)?

      11/17/11 @ 5:28 pm

      Yeah, I am wondering about that too. We don’t get it often because I live in Vancouver. But tommorow is the flurry snow ABOVE the cloud thing

      1/18/12 @ 1:47 pm

      Maybe accumulating snow (the cloud is really snow built up on the ground)?

    11/8/11 @ 1:33 am

    Are those stars? I was wondering about that one too.

      1/16/12 @ 1:38 pm

      I Think it’s frost…

    11/9/11 @ 6:45 am

    What does the small white dots mean? You don’t have that one and I get it all the time lately. I thought it might mean powder (snow) but its not quite cold enough!

      11/9/11 @ 7:37 am

      Have you tried this: When it shows that icon for the weather go to Yahoo’s weather page on the web on your computer. See what it says for the forecast. That should give you it.

        11/18/11 @ 7:48 am

        All listed above, we have looked over the internet for the answer to “what do the white dots mean” to no avail, if anyone has found the answer we would appreciate a response also, have tried looking at yahoo weather when the symbol is displayed, just can not find a duplicate or definition.


          11/18/11 @ 7:55 am

          Don’t look for the same symbol on Yahoo weather. Instead, just look at the weather. If it has that symbol there on your iPhone and Yahoo weather for the same zip code says “meteor shower” then you know that is what the symbol means.

            11/25/11 @ 3:39 pm

            The icon is fog. I checked another app and it was a lot more descriptive…shame as I what hoping for snow! :-)

    Hailey Wrong
    12/8/11 @ 8:01 am

    What does the percentage sign stand for next to the rain?
    is it
    A- How much its likely to rain
    B- The humidity
    C How much it will rain

      12/8/11 @ 8:03 am

      May guess would be A. But you can always go to Yahoo weather when you see this, and look at their detailed forecast there. If you see 50%, and today’s forecast is 50% chance of rain, then you have your answer.

    12/13/11 @ 11:42 pm

    The favorite at our house is what we call the crying sun. The picture if the sun with rain drops inside it…makes us laugh every time.

      1/5/12 @ 9:36 am

      Ha! I always say, “oh the sun is going to melt tomorrow”. I like your version too :)

    1/2/12 @ 12:10 pm

    The weather icons can be frustrating. The one I saw this morning had what looked like tiny blades of grass across the bottom with little balls bouncing out of it. Got a magnifying glass and it wasn’t any clearer. It is a clear sunny day about 55′ and it’s January 2. Hail????

      1/16/12 @ 10:43 pm

      ok I have the SAME prob.! so I went on yahoo weather, and it said it the forecast was rain to ice. idk about where you live, but here it’s just warm enough for our snow to melt, and it’s getting colder. and if you look closer, the stuff on the bottom is ice, not grass because it white. hope I have helped!

    1/12/12 @ 6:39 pm

    Again in Vancouver, snow flakes with a ‘cloud’ below, or is it a snow drift?! The dots one could be hail? Maddening that there is no key anywhere!

    1/18/12 @ 9:52 pm

    White bouncy balls = freezing rain!

      2/22/12 @ 9:45 am

      Could also be hail

      1/27/13 @ 7:19 am

      Freezing rain – yup, that’s it. Compare that icon to what we’re about to get with this weather pattern and voila, freezing rain.

    1/18/12 @ 9:53 pm

    Snowflakes with cloud below = low cloud cover, perhaps fog, and snow

    1/24/12 @ 11:36 pm

    I just took a screenshot of the weird dots and I zoomed in. They are indeed stars. =)

    2/13/12 @ 6:22 pm

    I thought with white cloud and snow above it was settling snow or fog and snow?
    Also wondered what balls with lines are, took a guess at thinking hail?

    2/22/12 @ 9:40 am

    What about wavy lines, not like the fog or clouds icons without the sun and it’s In LA? Not the same as haze or any I’ve seen previously. I’ve had the iPhone since 2007

      2/22/12 @ 9:42 am

      I should have added I don’t think it’s smog as smog was not predicted/forecast.

      6/24/12 @ 3:25 pm

      That one means winds. Usually when it’s extremely windy

        7/4/12 @ 12:51 am

        Similar to the wavy line question, we r headed to a sunny place in a few days. The forecast shows sun, sun, sun, then wavy lines with what looks like little rocks within the wavy lines.. Then back to sun, etc. As u can probably tell, I am using the 10-day forecast. The temp each day is consistently low 80’s with 10% chanco of rain. Sorry for being so long winded, however, I want to pack appropriately and need help!!! What does wind + stones equal? For an example, go to Maui, Hawaii and look at the 5 days. Thank you SO MUCH!!!

        7/22/12 @ 7:58 am

        Yes I agree you would think it could mean winds but the day of the relevant
        forcast shows that the wind for that day is not as strong as the winds on other days that do not have the four wavy lines !

    3/7/12 @ 3:17 am

    The dot one is really difficult to work out – it showed up again today – maybe hail? But no storms indicated, just drizzle then dots early evening – too early for frost – maddening. Does anyone recommend a better weather app for iPhone ( hear this Yahoo – you just get on our nerves)

    4/14/12 @ 6:41 am

    I hate to tell you but the one with the floating things mentioned at the start appear in the daytime

    5/23/12 @ 11:57 am

    The stars just mean a clear night. Would be strange to show the sun at night just because there aren’t clouds.

    6/24/12 @ 3:15 pm

    Well it’s 7.13am here, well into daytime outside my window in Sydney Australia, and those star things (which I’ve never seen before) on my iPhone. Surely it can’t mean clear starry night in the morning!

      6/24/12 @ 3:18 pm

      Oh!! I just checked the hourly forecast today and from 8am through til 4pm today it has the big yellow full sun, but then at 5pm it has the star things again!! Weird! Then other weather pics again for the rest of the night. I am so curious! I can tell you that in Australia, there are definitely no night stars at 5pm! It’ll still be daylight

        7/2/12 @ 4:26 pm

        It’s pretty dark here by 6pm and I live in North Queensland Australia.

    Eamma Spencer
    8/20/12 @ 6:13 am

    I’ve just seen the starry one for first time…could it be low lying mist??? The stars are above a Lil bit of cloud/fog..it is bit vague!

    9/7/12 @ 8:10 am

    Wegen der”multiplen” Wetterzeichen , Tornado, Gewitter,… Hätte ich beinahe meinen Cuba Urlaub abgesagt. By the Way: Wir hatten dann aber 2wochen schönstes Wetter.

    10/29/12 @ 10:15 am

    Worst weather app!!! Want it off my phone and ‘the weather network’ instead. Much more in-depth weather info, as in expected accumulation, weather warnings, etc right on the front page. Yahoo missed its mark with this one!

    10/31/12 @ 8:44 am

    What if you came here to look for an icon and learn what it means,but actually isnt on this page oddly enough?

      10/31/12 @ 8:50 am

      Here’s what you do: Go to Yahoo’s weather page on your computer and look at their forecast for your area. See what they forecast for the same day/hour as the icon you are asking about. For instance, if the icon in question is for Friday, then look at their forecast for Friday. If it says “Sleet and Hail” then you know that it is for that. If it says “Clear” but other nights say “Clear” and use a different icon, then you know they have multiple icons for similar circumstances. Like one light be for 100% clear while another is for 90%.

    Megan W
    12/19/12 @ 4:44 pm

    On my yahoo weather app, the different places I have are in different colours and change colour everyday (mainly between blue and purple) what do these colours mean..?

    Daniel S.
    12/20/12 @ 9:15 pm

    What do the blue dots with the yellow and green whispy lines mean?

    12/23/12 @ 8:21 pm

    I like how hail is lightning

    1/8/13 @ 2:32 pm

    It switches between blue and purple depending wether it’s daytime or night time. The color is blue when it’s daytime and turns purple at night. Sometimes if the cities are in different time zones one will be blue but the other one will be purple cuz it’s still dark there.

    1/10/13 @ 2:29 pm

    Why in the hell can’t Apple, or Yahoo (or whoever puts out the icons (ap) just simply publish the meanings? I mean REALLY !

    1/13/13 @ 7:21 am

    Maybe it’s because the icons are presented in 8bit resolution but it seems that half of the conditions are represented by the same icon. How hard would it be to add the word ‘sleet’ somewhere on the image. Then no one would ever say it’s “all bouncy white balls outside”.

    1/14/13 @ 12:20 am

    What does the icon mean that has big silver dots that have lines behind then that makes them look like they’re bouncing ????

      1/19/13 @ 1:44 am

      I’m trying to find what that means too! It looks cute & strange, possibly snow & hailstones ??? bouncing ?? -who knows!

      1/27/13 @ 8:19 pm

      I wondered the same thing! I saw that tonight and it had me scratching my head. Is it a meteor shower? If so, why wouldn’t it show for every city instead of just one?

    1/17/13 @ 6:12 am

    I’m pretty sure the starry icon means frost. When you expand the day the sun is shinning by 8:00 am. Which is about when the frost is usually gone because the sun is out. Plus the starry icon is only on there when the temps are below 20 degrees or so.

    1/27/13 @ 4:44 pm

    I say fireworks for the meteor volcano ball thingies

    Jacinta Moore
    1/29/13 @ 12:29 pm

    What does the little percentage mean that’s in between the time & picture? Is that the humidity? I live on the Gold Coast, Australia. We are currently going through floods so I’ve been trying to understand the map a little closer… Many thanks 😉

    2/14/13 @ 5:49 am

    So no one knows.

    2/14/13 @ 8:23 am

    It would be a lot easier if Yahoo would just put a key to the weather icons ON the iphone itself! What a no brainer. Why havent they done that?

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