Stormy weather

Get a calming thunderstorm on your desktop with this simple screensaver.

Thunderstorms can be beautiful and relaxing, as long as they're not the precursor to weather that's going to require you to hide in your basement. Amazing Thunderstorm Screensaver lets you enjoy sounds and visuals of a thunderstorm from the safety of your computer screen.

Once Amazing Thunderstorm Screensaver is installed, it can be accessed from the desktop's Display Properties menu just like any other screensaver. There are a few settings that can be adjusted: you can set the volume of the screensaver's sound effects, and the display mode for the video adapter can be changed. The screensaver itself displays a lake surrounded by pine trees, their reflections shimmering in the water. A steady rain falls, and lightning strikes pierce the sky. The program's graphics are fairly realistic, although occasionally the way the lightning renders is a little fake-looking. The audio for the screensaver includes the sound of the thunder and falling rain, and listening to it made us want to crawl back into bed and drift off to sleep. Although we liked Amazing Thunderstorm Screensaver, it's not perfect. The program tries to install a toolbar upon installation, so be careful to deselect that option if you don't want it. It also installs two desktop icons without asking: one that launches the screensaver itself, and another linking to a Web site with more screensavers for downloading. And we didn't like the fact that the program inexplicably erased our desktop wallpaper and replaced it with a black background. For the most part, though, Amazing Thunderstorm Screensaver is a nice thing to have around, and we recommend it.

In addition to installing two desktop icons without asking, Amazing Thunderstorm Screensaver leaves a folder behind upon removal.

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