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 (air quality), 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.
What is the best weather API?
After reviewing over 23 weather APIs, we found these 5 APIs to be the very best and worth mentioning:
Top 5 Best Weather APIs for 2019
|OpenWeatherMap||Best for Weather Forecast||Connect to API|
|Weatherbit||Best for Weather Forecast & Alerts||Connect to API|
|AccuWeather||Best for Weather Conditions, Images, Cyclones & More||Connect to API|
|Dark Sky||Best for Forecast & Historical Data||Connect to API|
|Weather2020||Best for Long Range Weather Forecast||Connect to API|
Our Top Picks for the Best Free Weather APIs
When choosing a weather API, you'll want to make sure it satisfies all your requirements.
Here are a few of our top picks for the best free weather APIs:
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.
How to get an OpenWeatherMap API Key?
When connecting an API to a project or application, you must have an API key to authenticate your request. Creating an app within RapidAPI generates an API key (X-RapidAPI-Key) specific to that application. You can view analytics based on the API calls you make using this app key.
Popularity Score: 9.7/10
The Weatherbit API provides basic access to the Weatherbit.io Weather API. With just latitude and longitude coordinates, you can get weather forecast data returned in JSON format.
The API has 5 endpoints:
- Current Weather Data
- 5 Day Forecast
- Severe Weather Alerts
- 48 Hour Forecast
- 16 Day Forecast
The Weatherbit weather API, while not completely free, does offer a freemium basic plan that allows developers 150 requests/day.
View the pricing page for more details.
Popularity Score: 9.1/10
AccuWeather currently provides a set of nine weather APIs which includes:
- Forecast API
- Current Conditions API
- Alerts API
- 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).
The free trial and paid plans include current conditions, 24-hour historical current conditions, forecasts, and indices.
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 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.
Popularity Score: 8.3/10
4. Dark Sky
The Dark Sky app is one of the most accurate sources of hyperlocal weather information. The Dark Sky API allows developers to access Dark Sky's weather data through the API (and was recently mentioned as one of the best weather APIs on reddit). The API provides:
- Current weather conditions
- Minute-by-minute forecasts out to one hour
- Hour-by-hour and day-by-day forecasts out to seven days
- Hour-by-hour and day-by-day observations going back decades
- Severe weather alerts in the US, Canada, European Union member nations, and Israel
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.
Popularity Score: 8.5/10
The Weather2020 API is the most popular long-range weather forecast API that provides forecasts up to 12 weeks by:
- Latitude & Longitude
- Zip Code
- City & State
Used by popular mobile apps like 1Weather, and already serving over 10 million forecasts a day, the Weather2020 long range weather forecasts give you something new and unique for your weather, travel or outdoor applications.
The Weather2020 Basic freemium plan provides 1000 free API requests/day. View all pricing plans for more info.
Popularity Score: 6.1/10
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.
While the weather APIs listed in this article have many capabilities, it might be worth combining or chaining these API requests with related geolocation APIs to get more accurate local weather conditions in your website or iOs/Android mobile app.
Free Weather APIs
All of the weather APIs highlighted in this post have a free or limited free plan (freemium) 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 (and sometimes XML) responses. Learn more about RapidAPI SDKs.
OpenWeatherMap vs Weatherbit vs AccuWeather vs Dark Sky vs Weather2020
|API||Forecast Data||Historical Data||Current/Real-Time Weather||Pricing||Number of Free Requests|
|Weatherbit||Yes||No||Yes||Freemium||150 per day|
|AccuWeather||Yes||No||Yes||Free Trial||50 per day|
|Dark Sky||Yes||Yes||No||Freemium||100 per month|
Complete List of the Best Weather APIs
- AccuWeather - AccuWeather provides hourly and Minute by Minute™ forecasts with Superior Accuracy™.
- AerisWeather - An advanced weather API to power all of your business needs, from the basic to the most complex weather influenced solutions.
- Air Quality - Retrieve current, forecasted, and historical air quality for any point in the world.
- AirVisual - The world’s smartest air quality monitor helping you track, foresee, and take action against invisible threats in the air.
- Breezometer - Connect to the Breezometer Air Quality API to get global, local, real-time data on air quality. Test an API call and export the code snippet into your app.
- ClimaCell - The ClimaCell REST API provides access to high-quality weather data obtained using innovative techniques like microwave technology that make it quite accurate.
- Dark Sky - The easiest, most advanced, weather API on the web.
- Open Weather Map - Get weather and weather forecasts for multiple cities.
- OpenUV - Global Real-Time UV Index Forecast - The OpenUV Global UV Index Forecast API in JSON format provides Ultraviolet Radiation index data in real time. With the API, developers can build wearable apps, bots, and smart home assistants, based on data provided by The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) of New Zealand, Ozone data from OMI datasets, AURA Satellite, and NASA. It includes JSON responses and API Key.
- Solcast - The Solcast API is a solar radiation and solar energy forecasting data service that is designed to be easy to use and to integrate with other systems that are looking for live solar radiation and solar PV energy output data.
- Storm Glass - The Storm Glass API gives developers access to global marine weather data from multiple sources using a single REST API. The API returns marine weather forecasts for the next 7 days in hourly resolution. Forecasts include swell height, swell direction, swell period, wave height, wave direction, wave period, wind speed, wind direction, and air temperature.
- Sun Hours Forecast - Get a 14 day sun hours forecast worldwide from weatheronline ltd. search cities from all over the world
- Sunrise and Sunset - Get the sunrise and sunset information of a location by city, lat long or ip address.
- SurviveWeather - All rounded weather API.
- UV Index - Get a 14 day uv index forecast from weatheronline ltd. search cities from all over the world
- Weather - Current weather data API, and Weather forecast API - Basic access to the Weatherbit.io Weather API.
- Weather - Weather2020 is the most popular long range weather forecast API available! Used by popular mobile apps like 1Weather, and already serving over 10 million forecasts a day, the Weather2020 long range weather forecasts give you something new and unique for your weather, travel or outdoor applications. Created by famed meteorologist Gary Lezak, our forecasts are powered by the most accurate long range weather model known as the LRC. For the first time ever, give your users a reliable and accurate long range weather forecast!
- Weather by Location - Weather by location allows you to get weather information by ip, zipcode, lat lon coordinates. You can find weather information such as weather condition, current temperature, max temperature, min temperature, pressure, distance above sea level, humidity, wind speed & degree.
- Weather Forecast Basic - Get a 3 day weatherforecast worldwide from weatheronline ltd. search cities from all over the world and get forecast for max/min temperature, precipitation and weather conditions
- Yahoo Weather API - Get up-to-date weather information for a location.
- Weather Channel API
- National Weather Service API - National Weather Service API (api.weather.gov) NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) provides national weather data as well as past data.
- Weather Underground API - Get access to the world's most accurate, precise and trusted weather data