UK Desktop Weather Programs
When I first went looking for a small program that could sit in my system tray and give me weather forecasts for my local area, Google seemed to produce a huge number of choices.
However, that promise seemed to disappear the more I checked out the programs - most were for the USA!
After an exhaustive(ting) search, I did manage to find a small number of free programs suitable for the UK that you can download from the internet. Most get the weather updated by The Weather Channel. The BBC gets its weather from the Met Office but at present only BBC Wales offers a desktop weather program. Here is hoping that the choice will become a little wider in the future!
The one I eventually decided to use on my desktop was Weather Exchange. You can get it free from Downloads.com or you can download it direct from the developer, Ambient Weather.
The weather data is supplied by a global network of weather enthusiasts who submit their data via the internet. Select the town or airport closest to you and you can choose from a drop down list of weather stations for that area. So far I have found the imformation to be fairly accurate and you get 5 day forecasts displayed on your desktop.
Be careful though, you might get the bug! If you decide to buy a weather station (and the sort you need are not cheap - it will cost you anything from £150 upwards) and join the network, it is probably a good idea to buy the station from the UK rather than from Ambient Weather which is a US site.
Another tool you might like to consider is Desktop Weather from The Weather Channel. With this particular one you can choose your nearest town and information such as temperature and wind speed is displayed. There is also information such as driving, ski, golf, sever weather and health weather information. Although you can customise this to your own area, Desktop Weather tends to be US centric, but even so has a lot of useful features.
The Weather Watcher has a fairly professional feel about it. Simply hit the download data button on Weather Watcher and the information, including temperature, humidity, wind speed, pressure and much more, is displayed for the next 3 days. Options allow you to customise Weather Watcher which downloads the information from The Weather Channel.
If you live in Wales , then you might like to try Desktop Derek, courtesy of BBC Wales. Derek (Derek Brockway) is definitely the most amusing desktop weather tool and will give you temperature, wind direction, visibility and pressure for your local area. There are links to the BBC's 5 day weather forecast, BBC Wales Weather and a webcam. Right click Derek and you can view detailed weather, change your town or just make Derek wave, twirl or "do the Derek"!
The Weather Network, a Canadian Weather TV Station, has a tool called WeatherEye. There is an international section where major UK and european cities are listed. Clicking on the city name will open a page at The Weather Network giving 4 day forecasts.
Desktop Sidebar (a whopping 10Mb download) will not only give you a snapshot of the weather in your local area for today and tomorrow, you can also have scrolling news from whichever news website you choose. It has a quick launch toolbar, your computer's performance figures, a calendar, slideshow, messenger, ICQ, an analogue clock and more plus it will display various functions from Outlook Express so you can access your folders from the sidebar. All the major search engines are available to use. There is also an extension exchange where you can change the look of your sidebar and find plugins.
You don't have to have all the toolbars displayed if you don't want - and bear in mind that it will use up resources on your computer, although the developers say that it uses minimal system resources.
The weather is courtesy of The Weather Channel.
If there is a budding meteorologist in the family, Weather Tracker from KIDware Software is suitable for younger children. This free program is very simple to use and allows you to record high and low temperatures plus rainfall. You can then display the information on graphs or bar charts.