Storms can be nature’s deadliest weapon against mankind. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people are killed every year due to various natural disasters that hit different regions around the globe. Apart from that, knowing about the expected changes in weather help us plan our day accordingly by choosing what to wear, or taking along an umbrella etc. That’s why keeping an eye on the weather forecast make a lot of sense. If you have been looking for a comprehensive forecast utility for Windows that also lets you play with a wide array of different weather-related tools, try Weather Beetle. The feature-rich weather application fetches textual and graphical weather data from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and presents everything in a simple and barebones design. It enables you to keep a tab on the daily forecast from different locations around the globe (mostly the US), and perform various statistical and theoretical analyses about the upcoming weather conditions using a plethora of functions.
The first and foremost thing you will notice about Weather Beetle is how simple it looks. The application window houses a collection of eight different tabs, each boasting a separate functionality. The Point Forecast tab allows you to add major cities from around the world and presents a complete 7-day forecast for each. You can add the city by specifying longitude and latitude coordinates, or using the Search feature to let Weather Beetle find the appropriate location on its own. However, the database isn’t the most impressive we’ve seen, leaving many major cities in the dust.
Each tab contains its own Index or Add window to let you add your desired location. For example under Point Forecast, you can click the Add button and enter the required details in the proceeding window to get the weather forecast for the location. As stated earlier, the most convenient way to add a location is to use the search function.
The rest of the tabs rely on the location Index window. The location index seems to be US-focused for most part, and covers almost every state within USA. All you have to do is expand the country and state pane, and then double click your preferred location to add it to the main window.
The Radar tab is rather interesting. This feature retrieves data from NOAA NEXRAD Doppler radar sites in the US, and maps the location in a preview pane. You can overlay various terrain-related elements by marking them under the Overlays section on the left. Likewise, it also allows you to change the range between long and short. The Current Observation tab works in a similar fashion as Point Forecast, the only difference being it only includes the US territories.
Data retrieved from NOAA also helps in making different satellite observations for the Atlantic and Pacific regions. Under Satellite tab, you can change the Infrared Color (Aviation, Shortwave, RGB etc.,) and terrain Type. Folks living outside the US should take a look at the Metar tab. The METAR index further expands the scope by housing weather stations from different countries such as Australia, China, UK, Bangladesh, Korea and many others. You can change the temperature unit between Fahrenheit and Celsius, and also specify your preferred Wind speed (MPH and Knots), Pressure (Inches and Millibars) and Elevation (Feet and Meters) units. It’s good to see that Weather Beetle also shows elevation above the sea level of the selected location.
If you want constant updates, the Hourly Forecast should do it for you. Though again, this feature is limited to US-territories only. Lastly, the Alerts tab allows you to set up sound notification alerts such as Ticker Alarm, Warning Alarm and Severe Alarm regarding weather changes.
Weather Beetle works on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. Testing was carried out on Windows 8 Pro.