The Complete Guide to the Weather App in Windows 8 & 8.1

Knowing the weather is essential to planning anything from an upcoming weekend away to which route to drive to work. While many users watch the news for their weather information and others might check the Internet, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 provide a great alternative with their bundled Weather app. Once configured, this app provides extended forecasts, hourly forecasts, weather maps and even historical data. This is a very useful app whether you want to know if your company picnic will be canceled for rain or even what sort of coat to put on in the morning. Read on to learn all you'll need to know about it.

How to Open the Weather App

To launch the Weather app, you'll need to access your Start screen. If you aren't sure how to manage that, check out this article for the details: 6 Ways to Access the Start Screen.

Once you've switched to the Start screen, you'll need to find the bright blue tile shown below and give it a click or a tap.

Its tile may be a live tile, displaying data for some location, depending on how the app is configured on your PC or device.

The Weather App Basics

Once you open the Weather app, the first thing you'll see is the forecast view. This details the current day's weather at the bottom left and a five day outlook across the bottom of the screen.

Click or tap the arrow at the top right edge of the five-day forecast to view the next five days in line for predictions reaching ten days out. Click or tap the arrow at the bottom right edge of the forecast to expand more information including wind speed, humidity and visibility.

Scroll to the right past the forecast view to see the Hourly Forecast. You can do this by scrolling a mouse wheel, clicking dragging the slider at the bottom of the window or swiping your finger across the screen. Scroll down through the list to view an hour-by-hour breakdown of the next 24 hours.

Keep scrolling to view the Maps section. Here you'll be able to view small videos showing satellite images of weather maps. This gives you a more detailed picture of what's happening both in your local area and across the country.

Scroll a bit farther and you'll find Historical Weather information. This area gives historical averages for your current month and shows a dynamic chart that displays average temps, average rainfall, or average snow days depending on which button you select on the bottom left corner.

How to Add Locations to the Weather App

When you first start the Weather app, it will automatically set up a location based on your IP address or GPS location. If this location is incorrect, or you would like to include additional locations, you have that option. To add a new location you'll need to access Places. To do this, right-click or swipe down from the top of the screen to open the contextual menu. Click or tap "Places."

Click or tap the "+" tile to add a new location.

Enter your desired location in the text box provided. If your location shows up on the list below the text box, click or tap it to add the location. If it doesn't show up on the list, click or tap "Add" after typing it in to open a search window. You can also click or tap the crosshairs button next to the add button to use your GPS location.

Select your desired location from the search results to add the location.

Continue on to add any more locations you'd be interested in checking on a regular basis.