Replace Windows 8 weather app with a better forecast

Windows 8.1 comes with a collection of pretty good apps and they have steadily improved since they were originally launched with Windows 8. The Weather app is very nice, but is it the best that a weather app can be or are there better weather forecasting apps? The Weather Channel is excellent.

This is a free app that can be downloaded from the Windows Store and the best way to get it is to open the Store app from the Start screen in Windows 8 and to search the store for ‘Weather Channel’. Click the app in the search results and then click the Install button.

If you cannot see the app on the Start screen after installing it, move the mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen and click the arrow to show all the apps. Find the app, right click it and select Pin to Start. This adds the tile, usually to the far right and possibly off the screen. You have to scroll the screen sideways until you can see it, then click and drag the tile to wherever you want to place it.

Right clicking The Weather Channel tile on the Start screen shows the usual options such as turning the live tile off or on (so it shows a mini forecast on the tile), different size options, an uninstaller, and so on.

Open The Weather Channel and you are presented with a nicely designed display that runs to several screens wide. When the mouse is over an empty part of the screen you can spin the mouse wheel to scroll left and right, but when the mouse is over an item that scrolls vertically then that item scrolls up and down. It is odd, but that is the way Windows 8 works.

 Weather Channel app for Windows 8

The first part of the display (scrolling all the way left), has a large current temperature and weather icon. Fahrenheit and Celsius scales are available. There is a large table that gives an hour-by-hour forecast for the next 48 hours and this is probably the most useful section. You can see the temperature, sun or cloud, chance of rain, and so on.

 Weather Channel app for Windows 8

Click the large round widget on the left and it expands to show detailed information like the humidity, dew point, sunrise and sunset times, visibility, pressure and UV index. Scrolling right, there is a 10 day forecast in the form of small tiles and you can click a day to view the weather forecast details.

There is a collection of maps, including temperature, clouds, dew point, snow, wind and so on. It is a Bing map that can be zoomed in and out, and the weather is overlaid on top of it. The radar map is animated over several hours to rain.

 Weather Channel app for Windows 8

There are a couple of minor irritations and one is the collection of videos. They are US based weather reports, which is fine if you live in the US, but I don’t so I’m not interested. There are ads in a couple of places, but this is a free app and it has to make money somehow, so they can be forgiven.

I like this app a lot and there is plenty of detail in the forecasts to explore. I would even go as far as to say that I prefer it to the Microsoft Weather app. There isn’t a lot of difference between them and The Weather Channel is only slightly better. If you want to keep an eye on the weather then it is recommended.

Title: The Weather Channel
Price: Free
Developer: The Weather Channel
Size: 6MB
Rating: 4/5


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