Desktop Widget Guide

With the Met Office Desktop Widget you can have the latest forecasts, warnings and observations on your desktop, what ever you are doing.

widget-forecast-detail

As the UK's national meteorological service, the Met Office provides accurate and reliable weather forecasts on TV, radio and online. With the Met Office Desktop Widget you can have the latest forecasts, warnings and observations on your desktop, what ever you are doing.

 

Guide to content

Forecasts

Weather symbols

In the daily view the weather symbol is representative for midday or midnight depending on when the Desktop Widget is displayed. In the three hourly view it is representative of the time displayed. A description of each symbol is available by hovering the mouse over them or see the key to weather symbols.

External link icon Guide to symbols 

Temperature

In the daily view this is a representative value for day or night, depending on when the Desktop Widget is viewed. In the three hourly view it is representative of the time shown. To change the units which are displayed, go to 'Options'.

Wind speed and direction

In the daily view these are representative values for day or night, depending on when the Desktop Widget is viewed. In the three hourly view these are representative of the time displayed. To change the units which are displayed, go to 'Options'.

Feels like temperature

In the daily view this is representative for midday or midnight depending on when the Desktop Widget is displayed. In the three hourly view this is representative of the time shown. It takes into account wind speed to give a more representative indication of how the temperature will feel. For example if the temperature is 0 °C it will feel much colder with a wind speed of 25 than with a wind speed of 10. To change the units which are displayed, go to 'Options'.

UV

In the daily view this is representative for midday or midnight depending on when the Desktop Widget is displayed. In the three hourly view this is representative of the time shown. Hovering the mouse over the symbol will give a description. These descriptions refer only to the UV levels and should be considered along with the other elements e.g. UV of 1 may be 'safe to stay outside', but temperatures may not make this safe to do.

Forecast Temperature Maps

This displays the forecast temperature map for the local area and is representative for midday or midnight depending on when the Desktop Widget is displayed. A key to the colours used is provided below.

temperature scale Temperature in degrees Celsius

Forecast Rainfall Map

This displays the forecast rainfall map for the local area for the next available forecast period. The forecast is valid for the time shown. A key to the colours used is provided below.

rainfall scale Rainfall in millimetres per hour

Forecast Pressure Map

This displays the forecast pressure chart for the local area for the next available forecast period. The forecast is valid for the time shown.

Warnings

Warnings are displayed in three ways on the Desktop Widget.

1.  A quick view of warning status and type is displayed in the top right corner. This highlights the highest coloured warning in force anywhere in the UK for each of the five types of warning (Rain, Wind, Snow, Ice or Fog).

warnings-view

2.  Via the warnings tab - clicking on this will give a summary of all the warnings in force within the UK, including the warning type and validity times. Clicking on a warning will take you to the main warnings page on the Met Office website where you can view the full detail of the warnings.

widget-warnings

3.  If warnings are in force, the icon in the system tray will change to a warning triangle coloured according to the highest severity warning which is in force. Clicking the warning triangle will open up the warnings tab.

warning-triangles 

Observations

widget-london-obs

The observations tab displays the last two days observations for the nearest observing site to your chosen forecast location. The following elements are included:

  • Weather type
  • Temperature
  • Wind speed and direction
  • Visibility

To change the units which are displayed, go to 'Options'.

News

widget-new-news

The Desktop Widget contains a news section which will be updated from time to time with content which you might find of interest. To view the news section, click on the speech bubble icon in the top right hand corner of the Desktop Widget. When an update to news is available, this will be indicated by the news icon turning green.

User Interface Icons

widget-ui-icons

The User Interface or UI icons allow for quick access to the various tools and features of the Desktop Widget;

  • Refresh widget - Allows a manual refresh of the widget
  • Open news - Get the latest news from the Met Office
  • About - Information on the Widget and your Computer
  • Options - Customise the Widget to your needs
  • Minimize - Minimizes the widget to the system tray Note: Not available to Mac Users
  • Switch window size - Switch sizes between mini and normal view
  • Exit desktop widget - Exits and powers off the Widget

System Tray or Dock Icons

The icons in the system tray or dock show the status of the application and whether any warnings are in force.

Icons
widget-tray-nowarn The app is working and no warnings are in force.
widget-tray-yellowwarn Yellow level warning(s) in force within the UK.
widget-tray-amberwarn Amber level warning(s) in force within the UK.
widget-tray-redwarn Red level warning(s) in force within the UK.
widget-tray-update An update to the app is available
widget-tray-nodata The app is running but is not receiving any data - check your network connection.

FAQs

Why have you replaced the weather gadgets with the Desktop Widget?

The previous weather gadgets each only operated on a single platform or browser and included differing data. The Desktop Widget works on a wide range of operating systems and gives a consistent set of data and presentation. It brings our desktop offering in line with our other delivery platforms such as mobile and the Weather Widget.

Why doesn't the Desktop Widget include the same content as the weather gadgets?

The Desktop Widget includes the same content as our other delivery methods such as the Weather Widget, Mobile and Smarter Weather. This is the key content which has been requested by our users. We will monitor feedback on the Desktop Widget and review this to see if additional content should be added in the future. You can continue to use our web site for our full range of data.

Why is the observation data not for my forecast location?

Forecast information is available for approximately 5,000 sites around the UK, while there are significantly fewer observing sites. The Desktop Widget will display the data for the nearest observing site to your chosen forecast location, in some cases this may be some distance away.

Why have you stopped supporting the Desktop Widget on Linux?

The Desktop Widget runs on the Adobe Air runtime environment, which Adobe have discontinued support for Linux beyond Air version 2.6. For more information please consult the FAQ on the  Adobe Air website.

Support

Troubleshooting

Before contacting the Met Office regarding a technical issue please check the troubleshooting guide below.

Check you have the latest version of Adobe Air and the Desktop Widget.

Please see the Downloading and installing (link to other page) section to download and install the latest versions.

Occasionally the weather or maps information is not available.

widget-refresh

This happens when the data which the Desktop Widget uses is being updated or the Desktop Widget could not successfully get the latest weather data.

Please click the refresh button, if this does not work, please wait a few minutes before clicking it again.

Uninstalling the Desktop Widget on Windows.

  1. Close the Desktop Widget by clicking on the power icon the the top right corner.
  2. Open Control Panel.
    1. Windows XP; Click on Add / Remove Programs
    2. Windows Vista; Click on Programs and Features
    3. Windows 7; Click Uninstall a Program
  3. Scroll down the list and select Met Office Desktop Widget.
  4. Click uninstall and follow the onscreen instructions.

Uninstalling the Desktop Widget on Mac.

  1. Navigate to the Applications folder.
  2. Scroll through the list of programs to the Met Office Desktop Widget.
  3. Click and drag the icon to the Trash can.
  4. Click ok.

I keep getting the message "no network connection available" when I try to use the Desktop Widget.

This error message is showed because the Desktop Widget cannot find a connection to the internet. There are many user configurable programs which can interfere with the Desktop Widget.

  1. Firstly close the widget by clicking on the power button in the top right corner.
  2. Re open the Desktop Widget manually.
  3. Once it has loaded click the refresh button.

If the widget still cannot connect then it is likely that it is being blocked by a Firewall or other security program.

  1. Close the Desktop Widget by clicking on the power icon.
  2. Open your firewall program and make sure that you add the Met Office Desktop Widget to all allowed/validated program lists and remove any restrictions which might have been automatically created. For more information on how to do this please refer to the user documentation provided with your firewall program.
  3. Save any settings and restart your computer.
  4. Open the Desktop Widget.

When installing or upgrading the Desktop Widget I get the following error.

widget-adobe-error 
This error is showed when a user attempts to install or upgrade the Desktop Widget without administrator privileges. To avoid this message please make sure you have administrator privileges before attempting to install or upgrade.

If you have any questions or comments about the service, or you are experiencing any problems, please contact us.

To help us identify any problems you may have, please supply us with some basic information about your system. You can do this by clicking on the about icon on the top right of the Widget. Please provide all the information included in the 'About' window when you contact us.

Last updated: 28 March 2013