Weatherwise by Local Wisdom, Inc. icon

Weatherwise (Free) by Local Wisdom, Inc. is a visually stunning, free, and universal weather app. Its weather functionality is fairly basic, but if you just want the forecast up to five days out, plus an hourly forecast, wrapped in a unique package, then Weatherwise is worth a look.

Weatherwise by Local Wisdom, Inc. screenshot

You won’t find radar maps and weather videos, but there are enough features in Weatherwise to satisfy the casual weather checker. Get the current conditions as well as a five-day forecast. Add and save up to five different locations; the app will indicate the time in those locations as well. The hourly forecast shows the humidity, visibility, and precipitation. Choose to have your weather display in Fahrenheit or Celsius; distance in miles or kilometers. You can even share your weather reports via email or directly with your social networks: Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. So far, this sounds like a pretty standard weather app. But what sets this one apart is its unusual artwork.

The app comes with the theme “Zen Tree”. The artwork moves as you move your iDevice, giving a subtle animation effect. It also changes according to the conditions. When the weather is sunny, you’ll see your Zen Tree basking in the sun. At night, the Zen Tree is enveloped in darkness, gently lit from within. On a rainy day, you’ll see rain falling all around the tree. I suppose you’ll see snow and ice when those conditions occur, but here in the US I have not experienced those conditions during my testing period. The app also promises to show different animations for high winds, but again, I didn’t have opportunity to test that.

Ah, but one theme is never enough, is it? Weatherwise offers three additional themes for an in-app purchase of $.99 apiece. As you can see, I put together a three-panel photo to display each of the four themes. Each photo strip shows a sunny day, a nighttime shot, and a rainy day forecast, in that order (left to right).

“Lost Robot” features an abandoned robot in the forest. On a cloudy day, or at night, he lights up with different colors.

“The Wobbles” are one-eyed creatures that change with the weather. As you tilt your iDevice, the eye stays glued right on you, even as the Wobbles tilt left and right. On a sunny day, they resemble cute, fluffy dogs. At night, they appear as owl-like creatures, settling into their nests for the night. And on a rainy day, they look more like miserable worms.

“Personas” is perhaps the most unusual of the bunch. Ten different characters, or personas, populate this theme. A sunny day shows you a happy hippie type, offering up some delicious cupcakes. Nighttime brings a mysterious, stubbly hipster guy. And rain — what else — an emo girl with runny mascara and a jar full of tears.

So, if your weather report needs are rather simple and basic, but you want something more interesting to look at when you check the weather each day, then check out Weatherwise on your iPhone, iPod touch, and/or iPad.