Using the Weather App in Windows 8

Weather app brings detailed weather information directly to your desktop.

Created by Microsoft, it is one of the pre-bundled Metro apps that come with Windows 8. It uses weather data from Microsoft Bing to provide main weather forecast, and other services for various weather statistics.

To start the app, launch it from the Start Screen.

Initialization

If it is the first time for the app, then you will be prompted to enter a location.

Most probably, you would want to enter your current city as the app will fetch data for this location by default. This location also becomes default for the live tile of the app.

The app initializes after you enter the location. It fetches the required data for the specified city.

Weather app has a dynamic background. It reflects the current weather conditions. So, if it is rainy outside, you will see cloudy and bluish background in the app. Similarly, in case of a scorching sun, the weather app adapts a bright and yellowish background.

Structure

The app is divided into several sections, with each section providing different type of statistical data.

As per the Modern UI guidelines, Weather app has a horizontal layout, with each swipe (or scroll) bringing the focus on a new section. Each section provides data from a different provider.

Bing Weather

This section is the first screen of the app. It reflected the current mood of the weather in the background. Along with it, it provides weather data for several days, starting from today. Bing provides data for this section.

At the time of writing this article, the sky was all cloudy. The app background reflects that.

The section displays forecasts of 6 days, starting from today; the following days can be scrolled by clicking on the arrow button located on the right edge.

For each day, the app shows the probable temperature range, humidity, weather type (rainy, thunderstorm, sunny, showers, etc.), etc.

Hourly Forecast

This section provides a detailed forecast for today. The name is a bit deceptive, however; rather than showing hourly forecasts, they have an interval of several hours. The data is powered by Foreca.

The data is tabular, with each entry led by time. Each row predicts temperature, weather type and the chances of rain for the given time.

Maps

There are several weather components like temperature, cloud cover, precipitation, etc. This section contains maps, which shows the condition of such weather components in your region as well as country. Foreca provides data for this section.

Each map is dynamic; clicking on a map brings up a video-like feed, which shows animated forecast of today and tomorrow for your region or country.

Historical Forecast

This section shows graphs based on the past weather of your region. The data is collected from Wolfram Alpha. There are two graphs provided by this section. In both of them, the horizontal axis is populated by months.

The temperature graph populates the vertical axis by temperature.

The rainfall graph fills it with rainfall in centimeters.

Clicking on each bar of the graph provides further aggregated historical information for that month, on the right side.

Look for Any City, Anytime

Weather app doesn’t restrict you to the city that you specified earlier. You can change the city anytime through the Search Charm. Invoke the charm and enter the city name.

The app immediately changes the information to conform to the searched city.

Settings Charm

The app shows the temperature in Fahrenheit by default. If you are not happy with this scale, you can switch to Celsius by using the Settings Charm.

Also, you can manage the search history. If you turn the history off, then Search Charm won’t provide you recommendations based on the past searches.

Alternatively, you can clear the current history to temporarily remove search suggestions.

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