Technology Tales

Adventures & experiences in contemporary technology

Weather gizmos

7th February 2007

With a good amount of snow forecast for parts of the U.K., one’s mind does turn to weather matters. Interestingly, Accuweather is now powering browser plug-ins for all the major PC browsers and not just Firefox: Internet Explorer and Opera also get a look in. I have already tried out ForecastFox, the offering for Firefox, and had a quick look at the others. The IE add-on, I tested it with IE7, slots in neatly into the browser’s toolbar. Unlike ForecastFox, only the current weather and the forecast for the next day are shown for the selected location with a link to Accuweather for a 15 day forecast. The Opera widget is not docked with any toolbar, a bit of an irritation to put it mildly, but it does offer similar information.

These gizmos do highlight differences in the units used for weather information around the world. The U.S. is very much old school in its use of Fahrenheit (means next to nothing for me, I have to say) for temperature and miles per hour for wind speed. Other parts of the world measure temperature in Celsius (also called Centigrade) with wind speed measured in either metres per second or kilometers per hour. I find m/s strange for wind speed but mph or kph are fine; I think in terms of miles but my hillwalking is causing me to become more and more conversant in kilometers.

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