Quick Start Guide

Move your mouse over the arrows on the map to display the Current Weather Observation at each location.
Click on an arrow to view a Five Day Forecast. Click again to switch back to the current observation.
You can use the tabs above the map to view Forecast Maps, Forecast Overview and Historical Animations.
Get an even more Detailed Forecast by entering a location or postcode in the box at the top right.

Current Observation Maps

Each arrow on the observation map represents an actual weather station. If you move your mouse over one of the arrows, the latest weather report from that station will be displayed to the right of the map, along with a 2 day forecast.

In addition to wind maps, XCWeather also provides maps of the current temperature, weather conditions, visibility and pressure. To change the map type use the tabs at the top of the map. Each map is colour-coded and a key is displayed at the bottom left of the screen.

Detailed Forecast

For a more detailed seven day forecast you can enter a location or postcode in the text field at the top right of the screen and click the Get Forecast button.

In addition to the usual information, this forecast also includes the expected total precipitation in millimeters over the next 3 hours, the total cloud cover as a percentage and the mean sea level pressure (red for high values, blue for low).

XCWeather can generate forecasts for towns and postcodes across most of the continent or you can specify a grid reference in decimal degrees for locations away from towns or over the sea (e.g. 50.07,-5.7)

Map Summary

A Map Summary is displayed in the right hand panel when you move your mouse off the map image. This summary will help answer questions such as 'where is the windiest place at the moment?' or 'is it snowing?'
For the Wind and Temperature maps the summary displays the maximum and minimum values of the current map.
For the Weather map the summary gives a list of the weather types currently shown. This includes rain, snow, fog etc. but not cloud cover.
You can highlight the locations on the map by placing your mouse over the values in the Map Summary table. You can also display a list of the locations by clicking a value.

Where possible the wind summary includes the maximum gust, however if all gust speeds are lower than the largest average wind speed the gust will be omitted to prevent confusion.

Marine Locations
The check box labeled 'Include Marine Locations' allows you to decide whether you want the summary values to be just land based or to include buoys out at sea. This also works on the forecast maps which have a lot of locations many miles out to sea. Clicking the check box will instantly update the summary values when needed.

The Map Summary works for both the Observation and most Forecast maps but where no data is available the value 'N/A' will be displayed.

Forecast Weather Maps

To view a maps of the forecast conditions, click on the Forecast Maps tab at the top of the screen. To change the forecast time, move your mouse to the right of the map and select a date and time from the calendar. You can also use the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to advance in 3 hour increments.

To see a detailed forecast for a location, place your mouse over an arrow in just the same way as you do on the observation maps. You can then click on an arrow to move to the next forecast map in the sequence.

To select a different map type use the tabs above the map.

To return to the observation maps, click the tab at the top of the screen marked Observations

Forecast Overview

To see the entire days forecast, click on the Overview tab. This will display small versions of the eight maps for the current day. Click on one of the small maps to zoom in returning to the full forecast view.

You can change the day or map type using the buttons above the maps.

You can go directly to the Overview from the Forecast by clicking on a day (rather than an hour) in the forecast calender.

Historical Animations

To see an animation of the recent wind speeds click on the Animation tab at the top of the screen.

You can step through the images one at a time using the '<<' and '>>' buttons or loop through the entire sequence by pressing the 'Play' button.

To view a longer animation select the number of hours required from the menu. It's also possible to animate a different map type by using the buttons in the right hand panel as before.

Once you've had enough of the past you can return to the present by clicking on the Observations tab.


You can change the map location using the drop down menu at the top right of the page. Maps are available for serveral countries in western europe and most regions of the USA.


Once you've got the basics, make yourself at home by using the 'Preference' button to set your default location, wind speed units and many other options.


Red Arrows and Gusting Wind

Red arrows show that the wind is gusting. The wind is said to be gusting if the maximum speed is 10 knots or more above the current average speed. The size of each arrow on the map is always based on the average wind speed.

Grey arrows indicate that a stations observation hasn't updated and that it's about to be removed from the map.

Wind Scale

The colours used to display wind strength are based on the Beaufort scale with each colour representing a different force on a range of 1 to 11+. Wind speed can be displayed in several different units based on your preference settings, the images below show the MPH and Knots scales.

Wind Direction

The wind direction is defined as the direction from which the wind originates. This means that an arrow that points from north to south indicates a northerly wind (a wind that comes from the north).

Temperature Scale

Temperatures below 0°C are shown in blue.

Forecast Rain

On the detailed forecast, the amount of rain is given as the total water expected to fall over the next three hours. Be aware that the same quantity may arrive as a short sharp shower or a much longer period of lighter rain.

Rainfall and hail are given in millimeters of water against a blue background:

2.7 mm

Forecast Snow

If snow is forecast the rain column will change to a pink background and display the expected snowfall in centimeters:

3.2 cm

This is an estimate as the actual depth may vary according to the type of snow that falls.

Fog and Mist

For the forecast, Fog is defined as a visibility of below 1000 meters and Mist as a visibility of between 1000 and 5000 meters.


Showery conditions (rain that varies in intensity) is indicated by gently animated raindrops. more
For a text description of the weather place your mouse over the symbol.

Apparent Temperature

The perceived temperature calculated from the combined effects of air temperature, relative humidity and wind speed. more

UV Index

The strength of sunburn-producing ultraviolet radiation at the earth's surface. A scale for the UV Index is displayed at the bottom of this page. more


Relative humidity describes how much water vapour is present in the air, compared to the maximum there could be. more


Atmospheric pressure at mean sea level (MSLP). more


The distance at which an object or light can be clearly discerned. more

Dew Point

The temperature at which water vapour condenses into liquid. more

Convective Rain

The amount of rain expected to fall from cumulus type clouds. This indicates showery rainfall. more

Cloud Layers

The percentage of the sky obscured by cloud at Low, Mid & High altitudes. more

Estimated Cloud Base

An estimate of the height of the base of any convective clouds. This is calculated from the dew point and surface temperature and is given as a height above ground level (not sea level). more


Please view the FAQ for information on forecast limitations.