Table of Contents
- What is a Weather API?
- Top Weather APIs
- 1. AccuWeather API
- 2. Dark Sky API
- 3. OpenWeatherMap API
- Which Weather API is the Best One for Your App?
- Summary: Best Free Weather APIs
- Related Weather APIs
Weather impacts nearly every area of our lives – Weather conditions such as fog, rain, and snow impact commutes to work and travels to places in other parts of the world.
Weather impacts our health as it has a direct effect on the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat.
Weather impacts our safety as severe weather such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods often cause sudden mass destruction to homes, buildings, and other infrastructure.
Thanks to satellites, radar, remote sensors, and other weather monitoring technologies, we now have a better understanding of weather conditions and phenomena.
What is a Weather API?
Weather APIs are Application Programming Interfaces that allow you to connect to large databases of weather forecast and historical information.
Thanks to APIs and smartphones with built-in GPS, we have access to mobile applications that provide hour-by-hour forecasts, severe weather alerts, and other relevant weather information for just about every place we go.
This blog post highlights several of the best weather APIs developers could use to build innovative web and mobile weather applications.
Top Weather APIs
Best Free Weather APIs for Accessing Global Weather Data
- AccuWeather: Best for getting forecasts, current conditions, alerts, and weather imagery.
- Dark Sky: Best for historical weather data and weather forecasts.
- OpenWeatherMap: Best for current weather conditions, forecasts, historical data, and alerts.
Here is a list of top free weather APIs we reviewed for developers to use in 2018:
AccuWeather currently provides a set of nine weather APIs which includes:
- Forecast API,
- Current Conditions API,
- Alerts API,
- and Imagery API.
The AccuWeather API delivers detailed current, historical, and forecasted weather information for locations all over the world.
Developers could build a wide range of innovative and engaging weather data-powered applications using AccuWeather. There is even an Indices API that provides flight delays, mosquito activity, stargazing, and dozens of other daily index values for a specific location.
The API documentation is nicely designed, comprehensive, and includes interactive documentation to try out API endpoints and see the responses (using the weather API key).
AccuWeather API Pricing
|Current Conditions||Current Conditions||Current Conditions||Current Conditions|
|24-Hour Historical Current Conditions||24-Hour Historical Current Conditions||24-Hour Historical Current Conditions||24-Hour Historical Current Conditions|
|Forecast 5-day||Forecast 5-day||Forecast 10-day||Forecast 15-day|
|Forecast 12-hour||Forecast 12-hour||Forecast 72-hour||Forecast 120-hour|
|Indices 5-day||Indices 5-day||Indices 10-day||Indices 15-day|
|Alarms 5-day||Alarms 10-day||Alarms 15-day|
|Standard Pricing||Prime Pricing||Elite Pricing|
Limit: 1 key/developer
Free: Get started now!
|Base Monthly Fee||CPM Rate||Base Monthly Fee||CPM Rate||Base Monthly Fee||CPM Rate|
|$25.00 per month||$0.12 CPM over 225,000 calls per month||$250.00 per month||$0.15 CPM over 1,800,000 calls per month||$500.00 per month||$0.22 CPM over 2,400,000 calls per month|
The free trial and paid plans include current conditions, 24-hour historical current conditions, forecasts, and indices.
The paid packages vary when it comes to the forecast in days/hours as well as indices, alerts, imagery, and other advanced weather features. An enterprise solution is available which provides historical weather data going back 60 years.
2. Dark Sky API
The Dark Sky API currently provides global weather information including current conditions, forecasts, historical data, and severe weather alerts.
Developers have two basic API requests to choose from, Forecast and Time Machine. The Forecast Request returns the current weather forecast for the next week, and the Time Machine Request returns weather conditions (observed or forecast) for a given date (past or future).
In some locations, historical weather data goes back 100 years. The API doesn’t come with any weather icons so that developers can use third-party icons or their own custom icons.
The one-page documentation is detailed, easy to follow, and includes several example requests in JSON. Developers can also find many unofficial Dark Sky API wrapper libraries on GitHub.
DarkSky API Pricing
The API pricing is very simple; the first 1,000 API calls per day are free. After that, calls are $0.0001 each. Enterprise volume discount pricing is also available at this time.
The OpenWeatherMap API currently provides a wide variety of weather data including (but not limited to) current weather, forecasts, historical, weather stations, and weather alerts.
The API also provides current and historical air pollution data such as carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). This feature is currently in beta and air pollution historical information goes back to November 2015.
The API documentation is comprehensive, easy to follow, and includes many examples of API requests and the responses returned. Numerous unofficial OpenWeatherMap API client libraries and wrappers are available on GitHub.
OpenWeatherMap API pricing
There is a free plan and paid plans for the current weather and forecasts data collection. Historical weather data is only available in separate paid plans. Depending on which plan you choose, historical weather data goes back one month, one year, or five years.
Which Weather API is the Best One for Your App?
While much of the weather data provided by these APIs are similar, there are differences in the days and time formats for weather forecasts, the number of years back for historical data, and the types of weather information provided.
Free Weather APIs
All of the weather APIs highlighted in this post have a limited free plan available so that developers can try them out, which is the best way to see which weather API is the best one for your application.
Weather API SDKs
All Weather APIs on RapidAPI are available in:
- Java (Android)
- C# (.NET)
and produce JSON responses.
Summary: Best Free Weather APIs
|Weather API||Endpoints||Pricing||Historical Weather Data||Forecasted Weather Data||All Time Users on RapidAPI|
(as of 5/24/2018)
|Access the API|
|AccuWeather||47||Free Trial & Paid Plans||Yes||Yes||9168||Connect to AccuWeather|
|Dark Sky||2||Free up to first 1,000 API calls/day.|
$0.0001 each/call after.
|Yes||Yes||1313||Connect to Dark Sky|
|OpenWeatherMap||4||Free & Paid Plans.||Yes||Yes||35,892||Connect to OpenWeatherMap|
Check out some of the other Weather APIs listed on RapidAPI.
To get started with these Weather APIs, first sign up for a free account on RapidAPI.
Then navigate to any of the APIs and test out the endpoints in the programming language of your preference.
For getting started, check out this quick guide.
- Navigate to the Yahoo Weather API page on RapidAPI
- Sign up for a free RapidAPI account
- Test the Endpoint
- Integrate the API using the RapidAPI Request Snippets associated with your account
There are multiple possibilities on how to integrate weather API data into your website.
A couple examples include:
- showing the current weather for a specific region
- showing the weather forecast for a specific region
- create charts based on different weather metadata
The possibilities are endless!
The OpenUV API provides UV index data in real time (even hourly). This API requires an API key from the provider.
The UV Index provides a 14 day UV index forecast from cities all over the world.
The UV Index API is free up to 20 requests/month and then costs $0.04 per additional request.