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In case you hadn't noticed, summer is on its way (at least, it is here in the Northern hemisphere). This means barbecues, beaches and burnt bits. Or at least, that's what we hope.

If you want to make the most of the good weather then you can turn your PC or laptop into a personal weather station so you know exactly when to plan your outdoor pursuits. There are scores of weather forecasting programs available for Windows, and some are more reliable than others. Here's our top five:

The Weather ChannelThe Weather Channel Desktop is a comprehensive desktop weather station with a bevy of prediction tools. You can get hour-by-hour, weekend or 10-day forecasts, including information about ambient temperature, air pressure, humidity and wind direction. The Weather Channel Desktop minimizes to the taskbar, displaying just the current temperature. You can then open it by double-clicking, or right-clicking to navigate the menu.

Meteo FusionMeteo Fusion is an altogether simpler weather forecasting tool. The widget-style application stays open on your desktop at all times, showing you the current conditions outside and giving you an up-to-date outlook for the coming days. You can pimp the app with different themes and change the transparency of the interface, so Meteo Fusion looks really cool even when it's baking outside.

YoWindowYoWindow is by far the most attractive weather app on the block. YoWindow features a colorful, fully-animated window that displays jaw-dropping landscapes, and changes according to actual weather conditions. It displays the current situation, plus temperature, wind, pressure, and humidity. All these conditions are reflected in an customizable animated background – which you can replace with your own photos.

My Free WeatherMy Free Weather allows you to view the sky in any city in the world and track local weather. You can track a moving storm & weather patterns via satellite and radar. Naturally, you can also view daily and detailed forecasts, local time and date for any location worldwide, plus alerts for severe weather. It also shows other information such as wind speed and direction, humidity and visibility.

Global WeatherGlobal Weather 3D is the most scientific-feeling application out of the bunch. Instead of displaying the usual geographic map with weather symbols, the program makes use of an attractive, zoom-able, three-dimensional Earth to show the current position of clouds on our planet, marking their density with a color code. You can display geographical textures, day and night zones, and countries' names.

Commented

  • GeorgeIbiza |
    26/05/10
    GeorgeIbiza

    Hi James, I heard that GoogleEarth has a real time weather overlay plugin which can be downloaded from this link.

    http://www.gearthhacks.com/dlfile8854/World-weather.htm

    I know there is no forcast, but you can zoom right in or out and take advantage of the rest of the abilities of GoogleEarth. I just thought it would be of interest and a useful tool to add to your list. Best Regards

  • Score Board |
    27/05/10
    Score Board

    Kuznetsova erases 4 match points, wins (AP)

    I found your entry interesting to I've added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)

  • James Thornton |
    27/05/10
    James Thornton

    Thanks George, I'll give it a try today and try and work out where the Sun's gone :)

  • Neil |
    18/08/10
    Neil

    I have used couple of these before, will try the others out as well. I tend to ..maybe its a habit to search on google for weather forecast and get information through it..but i've installed one of the various sharepoint web parts on to my Microsoft based website ..so i tend to see it on that most of the time. so useful for me and website users.

    Thanks for the list :D

20/12/14
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