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 (such as National Weather Service alerts), we now have a better understanding of weather conditions and phenomena.
Browse the Best Weather APIs
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. Check out a few scenarios for using a weather API.
What is the best weather API?
After reviewing over 22 weather APIs, we found these 8 APIs to be the very best and worth mentioning:
- OpenWeatherMap API
- Weatherbit API
- AccuWeather API
- Dark Sky API
- Weather2020 API
- Tomorrow.io (formerly ClimaCell) API
- Visual Crossing API
- AerisWeather 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.
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.
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.
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.
4. Dark Sky
Note: Dark Sky API is being deprecated, check alternatives here.
The Dark Sky app is one of the most accurate sources of hyperlocal weather information. The Dark Sky API (formerly Forecast.io) 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.