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Meteorologists, storm chasers, students, or simply weather forecast aficionados will find F5 an above-average free prediction utility. With stunning graphics, multiple-overlay support, and accurate satellite imagery, this weather forecasting tool will provide you with valuable information about wind speeds, temperatures, heat indexes, wind gusts, sea level pressures, hurricane predictions, and a wide array of other weather-related data.
Though limited to the US, the program provides you with high-quality maps of the entire globe, which you can zoom in and out, customize, and save as GIF or PNG images. Maps can be presented using a curve Earth projection or in the classical flat layout. You can apply custom fonts, cities layers, and draw your own boundaries and fronts. It comes with freehand tools that you can use to create your own maps, and add cold and warm fronts, L and H signs, etc. You can select and zoom in an area just by drawing a rectangle around it, take a closer look to it in high-quality full-screen graphics, and even tell the program to focus on a specific town.
You can see what the weather is like according to current conditions or view forecasts at specific intervals. When viewing the current conditions, you can check the current temperatures, dew point values, sea level pressure, wind gusts and speed, “feels like” temperatures, cloud cover, visibility, etc. All data is downloaded in real time – you will need a decent Internet connection to achieve this in a reasonable amount of time – and presented to you in colorful and informative maps, either of the entire country or of a selected area.
The program is not extremely difficult to use, though taking a look at the many tutorials provided will help you reduce the learning curve. You will certainly need specific skills to interpret the data presented by F5 and to make the most of the plethora of information it provides.
- Excellent zooming and panning tools
- Stunning graphics
- Locates specific places on the map for you
- Accurate predictions
- Specific hurricane predictions
- Comprehensive satellite imagery
- Supports multiple overlays
- Limited to the US
- Requires a good Internet connection