A lot of weather apps exist on the App Store virtual shelves, and several of those really do have some impressive and unique features. Although, most lack expanded weather details and mapped services. The Weather Channel app has been one of those few choices to go to for complete weather details, including a well-known and credible name. However, their latest iPad app update truly feels like the last straw in tolerating the half-baked mobile app attempts just for the good info. Therefore, the other top choice in feature-rich weather apps, Intellicast HD, appears to be the best option for frustrated TWC fans.

Not only does Intellicast HD, i.e., Intellicast.com, provide a vast amount of weather information, including radar and other mapped services, but the WSI Corporation is a member of The Weather Channel Companies. Basically, it seems fitting to move from TWC to Intellicast.

Intellicast HD offers a lot of data and plenty of features to make that data easy to view. In fact, Intellicast HD has a lot more content in their app than TWC ever had, even if the websites are much closer. Along with the standard current weather, 10-day outlook, hourly forecast, radar, cloud cover, severe weather warning with Push, favorites and weather-related news articles, Intellicast HD also provides a number of exclusive and otherwise unheard of iOS weather app features:

• Europe radar and satellite
• Exclusive Road Weather Index shows weather related road hazards
• High-resolution temperature, wind speed and snow cover layers
• Water Temperature layer to show favorable areas for hurricane development
• Real-time earthquake plotting
• Trends
 – Temperature, Precipitation, UV Index and Wind Speed graphs

Earlier this month, Intellicast HD v2.0 became available in the App Store, adding a couple major features that I’d like to highlight for you now.

• SkyTime is a new area with a minimal and beautiful Weather HD-like user interface that can be used as a handy 24/7 weather pane that fits in with nearly any decor — but make sure to keep your iPad charged. Unlike Weather HD, Intellicast HD renders the scenery in realtime using particle animation rather than a HD video on a loop. Rendering rain drops and snow flakes not only provides a stunning image, but also presents greater realism by interacting with the other UI elements and even the user through the accelerometer input.

• Warning and Watch Alerts can now be plotted on the map. Tapping on the alert areas will display brief statement details issued by the National Weather Service. In addition, you will receive Push notifications for each of these warnings and watches that occur near your “home” location.

I haven’t used Intellicast HD in a very long time, but trying it again has added a lot of confidence about moving away from the TWC app on the iPad — too bad it won’t be an option if TWC ruins the iPhone app. Overall, Intellicast HD feels very snappy in response on my iPad 2, contains great map overlays, and hasn’t crashed once. In comparison, The Weather Channel app for iPad has always been hit and miss with radar animations working properly, doesn’t offer features like trends and road conditions, and has been quite buggy — especially in the latest version. What are your thoughts?

Intellicast HD is compatible with iPad running iOS 3.2 or later, and available in the App Store as a free download.