For the past couple of years, one of the first extensions that I’d get for a new browser installation is one that can track local weather. With services like iGoogle dead, I just need a way to quickly eye what conditions in my area are going to be like. Firefox and Chrome both have a lot of great extensions in that area, so it’s a no-brainer.
For something as important and as frequently-checked as the weather, I’d really prefer the browser not to be a dependency. What’s even better than being able to spot weather conditions in the browser is being able to check up on them in your Windows system tray. I am a system tray junkie. Portable applications really get me going, too. sWeather is awesome weather tracker software that remains portable and docks to your Windows system tray.
Running sWeather is as easy as extracting it to the folder of your choice. As with all portable applications, I recommend it go either in your Dropbox or on a flash drive. Out of the box, sWeather only grabs at ~9,500 K of memory and it works on any version of Windows including and past XP.
Upon launching the application, you can see how many features are on the face of it. It comes preloaded with a location so that you can see all of the data it pulls. You’ll also notice that it now sits in your system tray, where the weather icon matches the conditions of the area (which I really love). Hovering the tray icon will also show a quick summary of the conditions.
The weather data is provided by Yahoo!, so clicking the icon or the link to the full forecast will immediately pop out a Yahoo! Weather page into the browser.
Let’s look at how to add an additional location for sWeather to monitor.
- Click Configure under the Options menu to bring up a new window.
- In the WOEID Lookup field, you can enter your state, county, ZIP code, or anything that defines your location. It will surely be able to find you. From there, double-click the correct entry and it will add to the list of WOEIDs. From here, you can configure the rest of the options to your own liking. Back on the main screen, you should see your new location under the Locations menu.
- If you want to track multiple locations at the same time, check out the Show expanded view option under the Options menu.
- It really allows you to visualize a lot of data at once. Another interesting feature is the Change the weather!? option under that same menu.
Not only does this allow you to change the weather (if you’d, for whatever reason, be into something like that), but it lets you choose between three different icon themes. All three of them are really beautiful.
sWeather offers an experience that most other weather applications don’t. Let me know what you think of it in the comments section below.