Which Weather Service?
“I’m not confused. I’m just well mixed” ~ Robert Frost
As you may already know, and thankfully, the Climate Module is going away. ‘Thankfully’ because, now you have many other options and services to choose from. But, which option and service is the right one for you? Let’s find out!
ISY Portal, Polisy, MobiLinc, … o my!
The first thing you will have to figure out is which platform to choose. For the new weather services to integrate with your ISY, the following requirements must be met:
- ISY Firmware version 5.0.16C or above
- Either ISY Portal or a Polisy
If you have already signed up for MobiLinc Connect Module/service, then your choices are restricted to the Network Module + Polisy. The reason is that ISY can only support one proxy service: either ISY Portal or MobiLinc Connect.
The advantage of ISY Portal is that it does not require additional hardware. The advantage of Polisy is that you can integrate your ISY with a lot more things out there. In addition – and if you don’t use MobiLinc Connect – Polisy comes with 2 year subscription to ISY Portal free of charge.
Get to Node Your Weather Service Server
Weather service node servers connect to a specific weather service and query for current weather conditions and daily forecasts. The goal is to make the various node servers similar, but there are differences in the specific data returned by each service and the number days of forecast data available. Different services use distinct data sources and various algorithms for determining forecasts. You will need to determine which one works best for your region.
Most of the services offer a free subscription plan, along with paid subscriptions. The node server only takes advantage of the data in the cheapest plan, typically the free plan. In addition to the queried weather data, the node servers attempt to calculate the evapotranspiration–a fancy term for land evaporation combined with plant transpiration–based on the daily forecasts. All of the weather service node servers will work with either ISY Portal Polisy. Node servers are available for the following services:
- climacell.co. Climacell offers a free plan and provides up to 15 days of forecast data.
- AERIS. AERIS does not offer a free plan, but does offer a no-cost plan to people that contribute weather data via a personal weather station using PWSWeather.com. AERIS provides up to 12 days of forecast data. Note that the UDI climate module gets its data from AERIS.
- OpenWeatherMaps.org. OpenWeatherMaps does offer a free plan and provides up to 5 days of forecast data.
- DarkSky.net. DarkSky does offer a free plan and provides up to 7 days of forecast data. Note that DarkSky is no longer accepting new registrations and will be shutting down this service in 2021.
Let’s Get Personal
Personal weather station node servers get data directly from a personal weather station. The frequency of the updates is typically set by the station and can be as often as once a minute. These only provide information on the current conditions. Node servers are available for the following weather stations:
- WeatherFlow. Works with WeatherFlow (www.weatherflow.com) smart weather stations, including the new Tempest. Data from the station is broadcast over your home network and picked up by the node server. The node server will also query the WeatherFlow servers to initialize some of the data (rain accumulation) and get the user’s preferred units measured (e.g., Celsius vs. Fahrenheit). This only works with Polisy
- WeatherFlowPGC is a version of the WeatherFlow server that gets all of its data from the WeatherFlow servers in stead of your local network. The main goal is to provide access to remote stations such as a vacation home. This will work on both ISY Portal and Polisy.
- AmbientWeather. Works with Ambient Weather Network-based weather stations. The data comes from the Ambient Weather servers instead of directly from a personal weather station . Note that there are two slightly different versions of this by two different authors. This will work on both ISY Portal and Polisy.
- Davis. There are two node servers for Davis weather stations. One for the old, obsolete WeatherLinkIP API and one for the current WeatherLinkLive API.
- The WeatherLinkLive node server connects directly to the WeatherLinkLive box over your local network. This works only on a Polisy.
- The WeatherLinkIP node server connects to the Davis server to get data that’s been uploaded to the server. This node server has not been well tested. This will work on both ISY Portal and Polisy.
- MeteoBridge – Works with a MeteoBridge (www.meteobridge.com) weather bridge. Live data is queried from the local MeteoBridge device. This should also work with Ambient’s WeatherBridge. Works only on a Polisy.
Personal Weather Station Software Node Server
The WeatherPoly node server is designed to work with existing weather software that is locally installed. Most weather software can be configured to export data to a URL. By pointing the export URL at the WeatherPoly node server, the data can be parsed and forwarded to an ISY. This currently works with MeteoBridge, Cumulus, and AcuParse. It is also possible to make this work with WEEWX via a modified extension. This allows access to data from personal weather stations that don’t have a network-accessible API. This only works on a Polisy.
The choice is yours
It’s always good to have choices, and with all the different weather related node servers, there’s something for everyone.