Weather API Changes

There are several great network connected weather station vendors out there, but I decided on the Ambient 2902A model. After purchase, I created a free SmartApp to integrate the data it produces to the SmartThings platform. It is exciting to control my Z-Wave shades based on dynamic sunlight values, open/close an outside awning based on sunlight, rain & wind, control my HVAC temperature and humidity based on outside values, receive alerts when freezing weather or high gusts are occurring, etc…

Before my weather station, I was depending on hourly forecasts from a nearby airport’s WU, and it was 50/50 at best in accuracy.

Whichever weather vendor you select, make sure you can access the data within SmartThings if you are looking to control devices based on weather.

@kurtsanders Thank you for the info. I’ve been looking to upgrade my Bloomsky some day. Ambient website is hard to find data on the different products. Its like they have 10 unique products, but list them as 100 different packages.

Is there an advantage to the WS-1550 style sensor array $91 versus the WS-1401 enclosed/integrated sensor $110 (sensors, accuracy, features etc)? They both seem to connect to the same ObserverIP module/hub.


I was confused at first as well, so many choices. If you have any more questions, please feel feel to PM me with them. I do not want to highjack this great thread intended for Weather API Changes.

I will provide this last response below for you and other SmartThing users that might find that owning their own local weather data might help with a few of the nagging issues that we have seen with conversion to TWC for weather. Also SmartThings Documentation states that if one is considering the development of an application that makes extensive use of weather data, one should consider gaining direct access to APIs from a weather data provider. I’m guessing that in the future, IBM/TWC might change their API, pricing model and/or eliminate this service completely. :frowning:

I selected the 2902A model because it includes a dedicated wireless weather display console with an indoor temp/Humidity sensor and sends the weather data to and Other less expensive Ambient weather models make use of the older ObserverIP 900 mhz module which is required to connect to your home network router via an ethernet cable to sends data to and The Ambient 2902A is just a cleaner system in my opinion but does have a higher price point. :money_with_wings:

I ruled out in my research but I recommend that everyone evaluate their own requirements, costs, features and integration to SmartThings.

In summary and my opinion :rofl::

  1. The Observer Series will get one started for weather. But if one adds many sensors & accessories, they are probably close to the cost of the more robust and newer Osprey Series.
  2. The Observer Series requires the older ObserverIP 900mhz module which is required to connect to your home network router via an ethernet cable, and depending where your router is, one might not obtain optimal communications to your outdoor weather station. The newer Osprey Series allow one to place the dedicated weather display anywhere since it has it’s own wireless.
  3. The Observer Series do not include a dedicated display which can bet set for High/Low alerts, etc.
1 Like

Do you know if this one will work, and if so how do I make it work?

I’ve been using it for a couple of years through WU, but now I can’t use TWC data with a PWS ID so looking for an alternate way to get the data into SmartThings.

[Wireless Weather Station WeatherSleuth® - Professional IP Weather Station with Direct Real-time Internet Monitoring + Free Beginner’s Guide (eBook)](Wireless Weather Station WeatherSleuth® - Professional IP Weather Station with Direct Real-time Internet Monitoring + Free Beginner’s Guide (eBook)


I’m assuming you are located in UK which the options are limited if not non-existent. I’m not familiar with the weather system manufacturer and models you specified, but it appears that they only transmits data to WU which the WU API (which is used to programmatically obtain the data) has been discontinued. So my guess is that these model/systems will not integrate with SmartThings as you would desire.

The Ambient systems that I referenced above do integrate with SmartThings using Ambient Weather Station SmartApp. Unfortunately, Ambient website states that they ONLY ship to USA :rage:. They do not ship to international freight forwarding companies located in the United States. I’m guessing that you could ship to a friend in USA and have them re-ship to UK but that would be expensive. Again, I do not know if Ambient weather stations would work as expected in UK since they are not approved in UK, but you contact Ambient technical support to ascertain.

I found this Sainlogic Professional Wireless Weather Station weather model on Amazon Germany website since their systems are currently unavailable on Amazon UK. This system looks exactly like the Ambient Weather ws-2902. I could not determine if this model sends it’s weather data to an Ambient server for API access but I doubt it. Perhaps you could reach out to their technical support to see if they have an API that is similar to Ambient’s API and I could modify Ambient Weather Station smartApp. The website was unresponsive, so I am not confident in this manufacturer for your needs.

Add me to the list of SmartApp developers that are disappointed with the lack of hourly forecasts. It will reduce the usefulness of Ready For Nature somewhat.

I assume this was a deliberate decision to reduce the number of API requests/minute since that’s how the pricing is tiered.

What do you mean by pricing?

Hey @SmartThings - is there a reason why the Solar Radiation values provided by the new native TWC api aren’t included in the data returned by getTwcConditions() call?

uvDescription and uvIndex are reported. Which value are you looking for?

1 Like

The APIs that SmartThings now use have a free tier for API access, then paid tiers above that.

Us end users don’t pay, but I’m pretty sure SmartThings is paying on our behalf. The free tier has a limit of 10 calls/minute which would almost certainly not be enough for all ST users combined, That means paying cold hard cash, and the more calls SmartThings apps make, the more they have to pay.

1 Like

I didnt know that. Thank you for answering.

Solar Radiation - watts per square meter (W/m^2)

I don’t believe we are actively filtering that out. Do you have an example API call that returns that information or a link to the TWC docs?

Yep - here’s the document for the “free” API that IBM/TWC made available to those of us who upload our PWS data to Weather Underground.

Solar Radiation is also documented in the complete “for pay” API.

(FWIW, the SmartThings attribute for UV Index is documented as an integer between 0…255, while this API returns a decimal between 0 and 11+)

We also appear to have lost access to tidal information that was previously available in the old Weather Underground API…

I see, thanks.

So I would expect solar radiation if your PWS is reporting that and you are using getTwcPwsConditions(stationId). I would not expect it for getTwcConditions().

I understand that I can get it for my PWS (and using the rest of the pay-to-play TWC apis), but the utility of the old WU api allowed us to get it for ANY location. It would appear perhaps that SmartThings missed having IBM include this value in the (apparently custom) API that you are using to get/present IBM/TWC data.

Maybe I am missing it but I searched their docs and can’t find where Solar Radiation is provided for a non-PWS.

You may be right - it’s there in the (core) BlueMix Weather API and also in the PWS version, so I guess I thought it documented for the non-PWS API.

NBD - looks like I’ll join the others moving to the AccuWeather API, since it is more complete and comprehensive.

I am new to ActionTiles. I had set up a SmartThings Smartweather tile. In the ZIP field I had supplied a “pws:number”. And it initially populated some data that was right for the time, but no longer updates. It was for the fire station at the end of the street that uses Davis hardware. I’ve come to understand by reading the thread that the data no longer updating is due to the API being shut off.
It seems like kurtsanders or a combination of you have a solution that will let you get data from an Ambient station. I used the Wunderground map and found two stations within a couple blocks that use Ambient hardware and I have the PWS numbers. Is there a way I can modify my Smartweather Tile to use data from one of the two Ambient PWSs in my neighborhood? How would I do that?

I don’t suppose there’s anyone out there who’d be willing to update the Smart Weather Tile code to implement these changes…? Mine hasn’t worked in over a week and have lots of pistons relying on the Smart Weather Tile data.