Weather conditions have a big impact on our day-to-day activities. It directly affects the activities we can do, the clothes we wear, the food we eat, etc. For example, it’s not safe to go hiking in heavy rain or snowfall. Similarly, weather conditions influence the growth of crops and thus affect the availability of certain types of food. Weather also affects businesses and industries, such as construction, retail, event management, and more. For this reason, thousands of businesses worldwide collect current, future, and historical weather data using the best weather APIs. The best weather API provides accurate weather data so that businesses can plan accordingly and make informed decisions.
But, where do the best weather APIs get data from, and how does it affect the accuracy? Read on to learn about the data sources the best weather APIs use and why they are important.
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What Is A Weather Data API?
A weather data API is an Application Programming Interface that allows you to integrate real-time weather data and weather forecast data into your apps and websites. The best weather APIs like weatherstack also provide historical weather data.
These APIs are helpful in displaying weather conditions for different usage scenarios. For instance, if you have a hiking app, you can display current and future weather data of different trail locations. Similarly, if you run a business in the construction industry, you can use a weather API to predict wind speeds, etc.
Why Do The Data Sources Of The Best Weather APIs Matter?
There are several current weather APIs and weather forecast APIs available in the market. However, not all APIs provide accurate data. This is because different weather APIs use different data sources.
In simpler words, the data sources a weather data API uses directly affect the data accuracy and consistency. It also affects whether the API can provide accurate global weather data. For example, some weather APIs source data from unknown/unreliable weather data providers that only cover a few locations. This means the API cannot provide accurate global weather data.
Inaccurate weather data can cost you heavily. For instance, false warnings of extreme weather conditions can disrupt your business operations and activities. That’s why it’s crucial to choose the best weather API that provides the most accurate weather data.
Where Do The Best Weather APIs Get Data From?
The best weather APIs are powered by highly reliable weather data sources, such as large weather stations that cover millions of locations worldwide. This allows these APIs to provide consistent and accurate weather data of almost any location around the world. Sourcing data from weather stations also allows APIs to return detailed weather information consisting of a wide range of parameters.
What Is A Weather Station?
A weather station is a station or facility that consists of different instruments for collecting weather observations and data. Weather observations play a major role in weather forecasting and help develop new theories about how the weather system works. This means a weather station helps understand the weather of a specific location. The observations that weather stations provide are used by weather models for analysis.
Official weather stations are built/maintained by national governments with the aim of studying weather for aviation and meteorological purposes. There are currently over 40 000 official weather stations worldwide, consisting of global and regional weather station networks. The official weather stations fall under the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The WMO promotes the formation of a global meteorological observation system and ensures that there are enough global weather stations.
There are also personal or home weather stations for private use, such as those owned by farmers or schools. However, personal weather stations aren’t as accurate as the official ones. That’s why the best weather APIs get data from large and official weather stations to provide worldwide weather data for both personal and business use.
Different official weather stations take different observations. The most advanced weather stations usually provide the following observations:
- Atmospheric pressure
- Wind speed and direction
- Wind shift and peak
- Precipitation amount
- Dew point
- Rainfall and Snowfall
- Cloud height
- Fog, smoke, and haze
A weather station typically uses the following instruments:
- Thermometer – measures air temperature
- Hygrometer – measures humidity
- Barometer – measures atmospheric pressure
- Rain gauge – measures liquid precipitation over a specific time period
- Anemometer – measures wind speed
- Wind vane and Wind sock – measure wind speed and direction
- UV and solar radiation sensor – measures ultraviolet and solar radiation
Other Data Sources Of The Best Weather APIs
National Weather Service (NWS)
The NWS has more than 150 years of experience in providing current weather data and weather forecast data. It also has a huge database of historical data all the way back to 1950. The NWS usually gathers data from satellites, buoys, Doppler radar, computer models, and high-speed communication systems.
Meteorological Simulation Data Ingest System (MADIS)
MADIS sources data from different stations, such as state, federal, private sector, and universities. This allows MADIS to provide highly accurate real-time and observational weather data.
What Is The Best Weather API?
If you’re looking for the best world weather API, weatherstack is the best choice. Weatherstack is an efficient weather REST API trusted by over 75,000 companies worldwide, including Microsoft and Ericsson.
Here are some of the key features of the best weather data APIs that you’ll also find in weatherstack:
Do The Best Weather APIs Provide Highly Accurate And Reliable Data?
The best weather APIs like weatherstack source data from some of the largest weather stations and weather data providers around the world. All of these data sources are closely monitored for consistency and data accuracy around the clock. This allows the weatherstack API to provide accurate and consistent global weather data of millions of cities and towns across the globe.
Sourcing data from large weather stations also allows weatherstack to return a wide range of weather data parameters. These includes
- Maximum, minimum, and average temperature
- Total snow
- UV index
- Sun hour
- Wind speed and more
Do The Best Weather APIs Provide Real-Time Weather Data?
Weatherstack current weather API provides accurate real-time weather data of any location of your choice. You just need to attach your desired location to the ‘current’ endpoint of the API.
Can You Request Future And Historical Weather Data?
The weatherstack weather JSON API also provides weather forecast data for up to 14 days into the future. It also enables you to request hourly data, or you can define 3,6,12, or 24 hours intervals. You can also fetch historical weather data (all the way back to 2008.)
Do The Best Weather APIs Support Bulk Queries?
The weatherstack API also supports bulk queries. You can pass multiple locations at once and instantly get weather data of all those locations.
How Quickly Do The Best Weather APIs Return Data?
The best APIs like weatherstack return data within milliseconds. Weatherstack is powered by the best cloud infrastructure and has an uptime of almost 100%.
Are Weather APIs Easy To Use?
The top weather APIs like weatherstack are super easy to use. Weatherstack comes with extensive documentation that explains API’s endpoints, events, and methods in detail. The documentation also has several coding examples for your ease.