Are you going on an adventure trip like hiking or camping? Do you run a business that involves shipping and procurement? If you answered yes to these questions, you definitely need weather data to plan your activities accordingly. For example, you can’t plan a hiking or camping trip in heavy rain or snowfall. Similarly, weather conditions have a big impact on business operations and activities, especially those related to supply chain and shipping. That’s why businesses worldwide now use free weather APIs to get accurate weather data.
Since there are so many weather APIs available in the market, it can be a bit challenging to decide which free weather API you should use. That’s why we’ve discussed the five best free weather APIs in this article so that it’s easier for you to decide which one is the right choice for your needs.
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What Is A Weather API?
A weather API (Application Programming Interface) gives you real-time current weather data. Weather APIs also give you quick access to large forecast databases. Some powerful free weather APIs like weatherstack also provide historical weather data that helps in predicting weather conditions. You can use the API to integrate weather data into your web apps and display weather conditions for different usage scenarios. For example, you can use a weather API for a hiking app to display weather forecast data of different trail locations.
What Are Some Of The Best Free Weather APIs?
Weatherstack is one of the leading free weather APIs. From Microsoft and Ericsson to Deloitte and Schneider Electric, around 75,000 companies worldwide use weatherstack to get accurate weather data. The API uses high-reliable data sources and covers millions of cities and towns worldwide. This allows the API to give you the most accurate and consistent global weather data.
With weatherstack API, you can get accurate real-time weather data of your desired location by simply attaching the location to the API’s ‘current’ endpoint. Depending on your subscription plan, the API also returns data for multiple locations simultaneously. If you want weather forecast data, you can use the ‘forecast’ endpoint that can provide forecast data for as many as 14 days into the future. The API also allows you to enable hourly data or define 3,6,12, or 24 hours intervals.
Do you need historical weather data? The weatherstack API also comes with a ‘historical’ endpoint that is capable of providing historical weather data all the way back to 2008. In addition, the API also returns astronomy and lunar data, such as the new moon, first quarter, etc.
Another loved feature of weatherstack is that it comes with extensive documentation that explains different API features and endpoints in detail. The API’s documentation also comes with several code examples in popular programming languages.
Weatherstack API offers a completely free plan that gives you 250 API calls per month and real-time weather data. However, if you need more features, such as weather forecast data, historical data, etc., you can also choose from one of weatherstack’s three paid packages.
If you want to learn more about weatherstack, check out our article on 20 things about the best weather API.
OpenWeatherMap is another weather API that can give you almost any location weather data. You can call the API by geographic coordinates, city name, zip/postal code, or city ID to get current weather data or daily forecast data for up to 16 days. You can also use the OpenWeatherMap API to get daily forecast data for the next 30 days. Additionally, hourly forecast data for up to 4 days is also available. OpenWeatherMap also allows you to get historical weather data for as many as 40 years in the past.
The OpenWeatherMap API covers more than 200,000 cities worldwide. It uses powerful data sources, such as local and global weather models, radars, weather stations, satellites, etc. The API delivers data in JSON or XML format.
In terms of pricing, the OpenWeatherMap API is free to use (1000 API calls/day.) However, paid pricing plans are also available for those who want to get more features.
Weatherbit API gets data from more than 47,000 live weather stations to give you accurate, current weather data. The API can also retrieve historical weather data for 10+ years the past. Additionally, you can also use the API to get hourly or daily forecast data (up to 16 days). The API allows you to look up weather data by latitude and longitude, city ID, city name, airport ICAO code, weather station ID, or postal zip code.
Weatherbit API returns useful data points, including temperature, precipitation, solar irradiance, snowfall and snow depth, UV index, etc. The API also provides current, historical, and future air quality data. With weatherbit’s free plan, you get daily forecasts and current weather data.
Tomorrow.io is a weather API capable of providing accurate real-time global weather data. In addition to temperature, the API returns useful data points, such as precipitation, clouds, humidity, visibility, wind, etc.
You can also use the tomorrow.io API to get hourly and daily weather forecast data. The API can even tell you the weather conditions (in your desired location) every five minutes. To understand weather trends in a particular location, you can request hourly or daily historical weather data of up to seven years in the past – with the historical endpoint. Developers can extract data as a timeline data set.
You can use Tomorrow.io weather API for free and get 500 calls per day, current weather data, five-day forecast, 6-hour historical weather data, and other useful features. If you want more API calls per day and additional features, you can subscribe to one of the three paid packages.
Stromglass is a global weather API that directly provides historical weather data and weather forecasts from the world’s most reliable meteorological institutions. The API returns a wide range of useful data points, including air temperature, humidity, air pressure, visibility, cloud coverage, etc. The powerful API can also return marine data, such as wave height, wave period, direction, etc. Astronomy parameters, such as sunrise, sunset, etc., are also available. With stormglass’s free plan, you get ten requests per day and all weather parameters.
Which Free Weather API Should You Use?
While all of the five APIs we’ve discussed in the article are good, weatherstack leads the pack with its high accuracy, tons of features, ease of use, and detailed documentation.
Ready to get the most accurate and consistent weather data? Head over to weatherstack and try its exciting features today!