I have to admit, of all the little utilities I’ve tried over the years that put the temperature and weather conditions in my panel or dock, or in the toolbar of my web browser, I rarely keep them installed. Why not? Because I’m usually somewhere close enough to a window that I don’t need to know what the weather conditions are. I can see them! But weather forecasts are another matter. There have been quite a few times, especially in the Spring, when rain might ruin outside plans, or Winter, when snow can do the same, that I’ve wanted fast access to a weather forecast. Firefox has a popular one called Forecastfox, and I’m happy to say that Forecastfox Weather is available for Google Chrome users too.
Forecastfox Weather is really simple to configure. Immediately after you install it, a new tab will open, with a spot for you to type in either a city name or US zip code. Do so, then hit the Enter button and Forecastfox Weather will search for your town. After it finds it, you’ll see your new location alongside New York City (the default location). You can delete any city simply by clicking the delete link. Along the bottom of the same screen are options for your Units. You can choose from Celsius, km/h and km, and one of Fahrenheit, mph and mi, or a custom grouping, which also allows for Kelvin measurements and more.
Once your location is set, the Forecastfox Weather icon in the toolbar will show your current weather conditions (the current temperature overlaid against an icon that changes to represent cloudy, rainy, snowy, foggy and other conditions). If all you want is the conditions right now, then you can stop reading. But if you want a forecast (this extension is called Forecastfox Weather for a reason), then click the icon.
What you’ll see is current weather information, plus “Today” and the next six days, for a 7-day forecast. The Now tab includes not only the temperature, but cloud conditions, a “feels like” temperature, wind speed/direction, humidity, pressure and visibility. Under all this is a satellite picture with your location centered.
The forecast tabs show all the information (aside from the satellite image, obviously), with two sets of information for expected conditions during the day and during the evening. At the very top of the display is an option to switch locations. Also, in and among all the weather information you’ll see little bubbles for details, hour by hour information and more. Clicking on any of these takes you to Accuweather (the extension’s weather information source).
I don’t really have anything negative to say about Forecastfox Weather for Google Chrome. It’s fast, easy to set up and nice to look at. I suppose my only desired tweak would be the ability to cut down on the number of days for which I’m given forecasts. It’s currently Thursday evening, and to be honest I’m not thinking about next Tuesday, but Friday, Saturday and Sunday are important to me. If I had the ability to only see a 3-day or 4-day forecast, that would be great. It would likely improve the extension’s speed at gathering information as well, as fewer days would be requested.
Still, it’s a great extension as it is. I said at the top that I don’t tend to keep weather extensions installed or active, but I think in the case of Forecastfox Weather, I’ve found the exception to the rule.