Celebrate the Solstice with the Best Winter Apps

It's the winter solstice today — unless you're reading this from the southern hemisphere, in which case, today is the summer solstice. For those of us in the northern hemisphere, however, it means the shortest day of the year and the longest night. It occurs when the North Pole reaches the maximum tilt away from the sun.

While the cold weather and short days aren't just arriving for most of us, today marks the official start of the season. If you're dreading the frigid months that lie ahead after the holidays, let Trademore help with a few winter apps to help you make the most of the cold season.

OnTheSnow: Winter means cold weather. Cold weather and precipitation mean snow. Snow means skiing and snowboarding. OnTheSnow's ski and snow report app is the essential app for winter and for anyone who's ready to hit the slopes, from downhill debutants to doyens. This winter app tracks snow conditions, powder, and schedules for thousands of resorts across the country. There are also weather forecasts, reviews and reports from other users and even guides and gear reviews from experts.

SkiLynx: Once you've hit the slopes, make sure you keep up with your group. SkiLynx allows you to easily keep in contact with your friends on the mountain. It's especially helpful if you have a group of mixed skill levels. See exactly what runs or lifts people are on, track what percentage of a run they've finished and much more. There's even an in-app chat feature. The app is also useful if you're by yourself: It tracks how many miles you've covered, giving you a summary of your day and a history of the entire season.

WeatherBug: Useful all year 'round, WeatherBug is a widely used winter app that will keep you ahead of the next big winter storm. It features alerts for real-time forecasting, offers maps with better visualizations than other weather apps and views from local cameras so you can get a sense of what's going on outside without having to brave the elements.

Winter Survival Kit: This winter app was developed by North Dakota State University in conjunction with developer Myriad Devices and a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The name says it all: This app is designed to help if you ever become stranded. It helps determine your location and contact emergency services and will also give you periodic updates to turn off your engine and check for snow buildup in your tailpipe to avoid carbon monoxide inhalation while you stay warm. It also helps you put together a physical survival kit, store important numbers and designate emergency contacts.

Plowz and Mowz: If you're snowed in and need a plow, there's a winter app for that. Plowz and Mowz connects you with local service providers who can help dig you out or plow your drive way. Keep this app handing when the weather turns warm too. There are also options for landscaping services like mowing, trimming and mulching.

The best of the rest: Consult our favorite cooking apps and ride out the cold winter months next to a warm stove. Entertain yourself with some of the best mobile games around. And if you've tried to download any of these apps, but don't have a compatible phone, we can help you find a better phone too.

Stay warm out there.

Trademore has no connections, affiliations, partnerships or sponsorship agreements with the companies, entities, services and/or products mentioned in this blog post. The opinions, thoughts, views and expressions made within this blog post are independently created by and attributable to Trademore authors and/or contributors.