The Weather app on Windows 8 is a great little app perfectly suited for giving you the latest forecast. When you open the app, you’ll see an enormous photo taking up the first two-thirds of the screen. This imagery is always related to the current weather conditions outside, and serves as a beautiful backdrop for the temperature and weekly forecast. The next five days are displayed by default, but you can easily tap a button to see another five days out. The small up arrow is often overlooked, but selecting it will pull up additional information like the wind speed, humidity, visibility, barometer, and more.
Swiping or scrolling from right to left, you’ll find the hourly forecast for the next 24 hours, ten maps (representing temperature, Doppler radar, cloud cover, and much more), and historical weather data for temperature and rainfall. This data is presented in a nice visual format, and you can switch months by simply tapping or clicking on the appropriate column in the chart. All of the information presented in the app is aggregated by Bing from various sources like AccuWeather, WolframAlpha, and many more. Semantic zoom is also supported (pinch or click on the ‘-’ in the lower-right corner), presenting you with quick-links to the various sections of the app.
Using the app bar, you can change from the default Fahrenheit to Celsius, as well as refresh the data, return to your default location, view your favorite places, and or see the world weather. Places are arranged into two categories: favorites (which you can add at will) and recent searches (which only appears after you perform your first search using the search charm). Each city has its own live tile, showcasing beautiful weather imagery, the city’s location, and, of course, the current weather. Select a tile to switch to that location. This also surfaces three new options in the app bar: set as default location, pin to start, and remove.
World weather is another nice feature, displaying a map of the world with the current weather in major cities. It supports two zoom levels, letting you get a closer look at a particular area of the world with additional information. You can, of course, select one of the highlighted cities for the full forecast.
Aside from search, the rest of the charms functionality is fairly limited. There’s no way to share the current weather in a city using the Share charm, nor is printing supported via the Devices charm. Settings, of course, has options to change the units (like on the app bar), clear the search history, and enable or disable permissions.
The Weather app will automatically display the current conditions for your default city on the live tile, along with an icon (rather than imagery) representing sun, rain, clouds, etc. You can choose either a single or double-wide size for the live tile. The app will also alert you to severe weather conditions on the live tile, just like on Windows Phone. You can also pin multiple cities at a time.
Finally, there’s the snap view, which is essentially a vertical slice of the default view with abbreviated information. Sadly, there’s no way to switch between places while the app is snapped. In fact, you can’t interact with it at all aside from being able to click on the small AccuWeather name near the bottom to open the location on AccuWeather’s website.
Overall, the Weather app on Windows 8 is a beautiful way to see the current weather forecast at a glance. Like all of the preview apps included with the Windows 8 Release Preview, it still needs a little bit of work before it’s ready for launch, but this one is arguably more finished than most.