Just in time for Groundhog Day, I pulled together a small collection of desktop weather applications for checking everything from current weather conditions to 15-day forecasts and detailed readings on wind and clouds. For those with modest forecast needs, Yahoo and Google both offer a small, attractive widget that shows the temperature at a glance. The only problem is, you have to have already installed a much larger desktop application in order to get the tiny widget.
On Friday, AccuWeather released an even simpler solution--a small weather-checker for Windows, Mac, and Linux that runs on the free Adobe AIR platform (Windows|Mac). AccuWeather's widget is about as basic as they come, with just enough information for the daily or five-day forecaster. There are daytime and nighttime readings, icons that communicate clear, cloudy, or rainy conditions at a glance, and the ability to change locations. Click a button and a five-day forecast pops out. Click another to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius, between light and dark text, and to get a read on one of your saved locations. If you click a temperature itself, AccuWeather takes you to its Web site, where more information abounds.
The new AIR application isn't quite as polished looking as Yahoo and Google's widgets, but it makes for a convenient download that supplies desktop meteorologists the weather-watching essentials.