Weather Underground closes its doors to individual API users

by | Nov 26, 2018

Weather Underground has always been a kind of UFO in the “weather-services” landscape…
Initially it was a data-sharing system for weather enthusiasts and personal weather station owners. A place where each user could exchange around weather and meteorology. There was no question of paying or being paid for the data that was shared there. Then, little by little, the model evolved, to “incite” those who consumed more data than it brought to pay this data.

It could have been a virtuous model, but it was not.

After the acquisition in 2012 by The Weather Channel and after the acquisition of The Weather Channel (renamed The Weather Company in the meantime) by IBM in 2015, this model was even catastrophic. Initial services received almost no improvement. Worse, in recent years, the stability of these services even became the laughingstock of the small world of amateur meteorology. In question, presumably, a poorly designed change in Weather Underground’s infrastructure.

And what was to happen happened!

IBM has decided to turn Weather Underground (and The Weather Company) into a business focused on other companies. It’s over for the B to C! Here is the B to B, a business model certainly more profitable. But a business model that leaves its first users on the roadside!

Current API services offered to individual users will close at the end of this year!

For all those who use Weather Underground services in Weather Station, this will have significant consequences. Here they are:

 

You’re not a PWS (personal weather station) owner.
If you collect Weather Underground stations, you will have access to these stations until December 27th, 2018. After this date, Weather Station will not collect weather data for these stations and widgets and controls will display wrong values.
How not to be stuck?
I suggest you use, right now, the free OpenWeatherMap services instead. You will have to recreate your stations and regenerate the shortcodes but the data you will get will be equivalent. In Weather Station, these types of stations are called “Virtual weather station”
Alternatively, you can also check if a WeatherFlow public station exists at the location you are interested in. If it’s the case, you can collect it just by adding a WeatherFlow public station in Weather Station (no API key required).

 

You are a PWS (personal weather station) owner.
You are in the same case as the one previously mentioned: after December 27th, 2018, Weather Station will stop collecting weather data for these stations and widgets and controls will display wrong values.
How not to be stuck?
As these stations are yours, I suggest you set Weather Station to directly query these stations. Weather Station now supports a wide range of brands and services, and it’s more efficient to collect stations this way.

 

In order not to penalize its operation, Weather Station will no longer offer the possibility to collect or send data to Weather Underground starting from version 3.7. So, I encourage you to anticipate this change.

If you have any question about these changes, don’t hesitate to ask in the dedicated forum.

As this article seems to have unleashed the passions, and to be absolutely clear, here’s a factual summary of what I’m talking about:

  • Any integration using a Weather Underground API key will stop working on December 31st, 2018. By integration, I mean: desktop softwares, web softwares, smartphones apps, home-automation devices.
  • For PWS owners, there is a “grace period” after this date (which is unknown for now but that could be estimated at 4-6 months) which allows them to continue to send their data to Weather Underground and retrieve their own data (and only their own).
  • After this “grace period”, Weather Underground will shutdown its current public API.
  • Starting, January 1st, 2019, all API needs will be managed by TWC/IBM with a floor rate of $4000/month.
  • Weather Underground website will continue to run.

These informations have been extracted from the WeatherAPI Community discussions and confirmed (for the first 3 points) by an IBM official representative. You’re now free to induce what you want about PWS network…

And to be definitely clear for those who discover Weather Station today – nobody’s perfect 😉
Weather Station is a free open source software. It allowed its users, to collect their weather data with their own Weather Underground API key on their own web server (Weather Station is not an online service, you must install it to run it). There has never been a commercial partnership between Weather Underground and me.
I know it’s sad news about Weather Underground, but fortunately, Weather Station allows you to collect your PWS data from many other brands and services 🙂

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Header illustration: capture from Youtube Weather Underground Channel

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