Kevin Key's Blog

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Amazon Alexa skill: Connect your Alexa/Echo to your Weather Underground Personal Weather Station

Want to ask Alexa for the readings of your personal weather station? Now you can! 

Finally, an Alexa skill that pulls the data from your personal weather station via Weather Underground.

Reports current conditions including temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, pressure, rain in the past hour, rain in the past day, and much more. You can ask for all conditions or just a specific condition.

May 29, 2017: Coming soon: a better way to enter the station ID. I'm working on an enhancement that will allow one to pick from a list of stations based on ZIP Code. The skill will make use of your Echo's postal code and give you a list of stations to pick from. This will be an alternate way of specifying your Station ID vs. the sometimes frustrating task of getting Alexa to recognize the letters in your Station ID. Stay tuned...

Kevin

May 19, 2017: Added support for metric system. To use metric units, say SET UNITS METRIC.

I've included a basic forecast (via Weather Underground data) as well.

All you need is the Station ID and a free API key from Weather Underground. You can get your API key by going to www.wunderground/api and signing up. All you need is the Developer option. 

Please note that this skill is geared towards people that want to get current data from their person weather stations vs. those that want detailed forecasts.



If you really enjoy my app, donations are always appreciated.  You can donate to me via PayPal
INITIAL SETUP INSTRUCTIONS: 

To set the API key and personal weather station ID:

  1. First, make note of your personal weather station ID. Most station IDs begin with the letter 'K' followed by a two-letter state abbreviation. Then there is a letter abbreviation for your town/city followed by some numbers.
  2. Next, get a Weather Underground API key by going to https://www.wunderground.com/api
  3. Sign in, if you haven't done so already.
  4. Select any of the "Developer" plans. There is no charge. Complete the process.
  5. Make note of your API key - it will be a series of numbers and lower-case letters.
  6. Have your API key and station ID noted down and readily available.
  7. Get Alexa's attention - say "Alexa" and wait for the confirmation tone and/or light.
  8. Say "Personal Weather".
  9. Wait for the app to say "Welcome to Personal Weather..."
  10. After you hear "Please say a command" and then the tone, say "SET KEY" followed by your API key.
  11. It may take a few attempts to get Alexa to recognize your API key. You can try using the NATO phonetic alphabet* if Alexa keeps having trouble understanding you.
  12. Once the app successfully recognizes your API key, it will let you know.
  13. Now it's time to set the Station ID. Get Alexa's attention - say "Alexa" and wait for the confirmation tone and/or light.
  14. Say "Personal Weather".
  15. After you hear "Please say a command" and then the tone, say "SET STATION" followed by your station ID.
  16. It make take Alexa several attempts to recognize your Station ID. You can try using the NATO phonetic alphabet* if Alexa keeps having trouble understanding you.
  17. If the app finds a valid Station ID, it will tell you the location associated with the station. If the station is correct, say "yes" when asked whether you'd like the save the station ID.
  18. Once you have the API and station ID set up, you should not have to enter them ever again.

* NATO Phonetic Alphabet

You may have to use this technique to get Alexa to recognize the letters in your API key and station ID. If you don't know the words associated with the letters, you may wish to note down the phonetic spelling of your API key and station ID before repeating the above instructions.

AAlphaAl fah
BBravoBrah Voh
CCharlieChar Lee
DDeltaDell Tah
EEchoEck Oh
FFoxtrotFoks Trot
GGolfGolf
HHotelHoh Tell 
IIndiaIn Dee Ah
JJuliettJew Lee Ett
KKiloKey Loh
LLimaLee Mah
MMikeMike
NNovemberNo Vem Ber
OOscarOss Car
PPapaPah Pah
QQuebecKeh Beck
RRomeoRow Me Oh
SSierraSee Air Ah (
TTangoTang Go
UUniformYou Nee Form
VVictorVik Tah
WWhiskeyWiss Key
XX RayEcks Ray
YYankeeYang Key
ZZuluZoo Lo


Once you have your API key and weather Station ID configured, here's how to use the app.


Simply get Alexa's attention and then say "Ask Personal Weather" followed by one of the below words or phrases:

Current Conditions:
        "current conditions",
        "everything",
        "conditions",
        "current",
        "current reading",
        "readings",
        "reading",
        "now",
        "report",
        "the current conditions"

Dew Point:
        "dew point",
        "dewpoint",
        "the dew point",
        "what is the dew point"

Heat Index:
        "heat index",
        "the heat index",
        "what is the heat index"

Humidity:
        "humidity",
        "how humid is it",
        "the humidity",
        "how humid it is",
        "check the humidity",
        "check humidity",
        "what is the humidity",
        "how dry is it"

Pressure:
        "pressure",
        "the pressure",
        "what is the pressure",
        "is the pressure rising",
        "is the pressure falling"

Rain:
        "rain",
        "precipitation",
        "the rain",
        "how much rain",
        "rainfall",
        "how much has it rained",
        "rainfall amount"

Temperatue:
        "temperature",
        "how hot is it",
        "how cold is it",
        "how hot is it outside",
        "how cold is it outside",
        "the temperature",
        "how hot it is",
        "how cold it is",
        "check temperature",
        "check the temperature",
        "what is the temperature",
        "is it hot",
        "is it cold"

Wind:
        "wind",
        "how fast is the wind",
        "what is the wind speed",
        "the wind speed",
        "the current wind speed",
        "current wind speed",
        "check wind speed",
        "is it calm",
        "is it windy"

Wind Chill:
        "wind chill",
        "the wind chill"
 
Forecast:
        "forecast",
        "weather forecast",
        "weather be like",
        "how hot will it be",
        "how cold will it be",
        "what will the weather be like",
        "what is the forecast",
        "the forecast",
        "get forecast",
        "tell me the forecast"

62 Comments:

Anonymous Jondo said...

Hi Kevin - I don't use the assistant devices but its good to see working on and sharing stuff for us!

Fri May 19, 02:10:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Kevin Key said...

Thanks @Jondo.

Fri May 19, 02:15:00 PM PDT  
Blogger R Plenty said...

There seems to be a problem with the rain total and the rain in the past hour. Alexa reads out the wrong data not what is the actual data. Request: Would like to be able to set current conditions data. For example i would like to hear high wind in the current conditions. Great app!

Mon May 22, 09:02:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Kevin Key said...

Hey R Plenty,

I found and (hopefully) fixed a bug with the rainfall amounts. Can you try again?

As for being able to configure the current conditions output, I'll work on that...

Kevin

Mon May 22, 09:32:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous FJamer said...

I have tried 6 weather stations and Alexa says weather underground does NOT recognize any of them.

Fri Jun 02, 09:54:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Kevin Key said...

Hi FJamer,

Soon I'll be updating the app to allow a station to be specified based on location. This should make the process of specifying a station much easier. In the meantime, have you tried using the NATO phonetic alphabet to specify your station? If you still have trouble, tell me the last three characters in your API Key and your station ID - then I can manually enter your station into the database for you.

Kevin

Fri Jun 02, 10:14:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Fjamer said...

She repeats back what I said so it's not that. Last three of API is 3e2 and the station ID is KSCCONWA28 or 40 or 21 or 20 or 34 or 30!

Fri Jun 02, 10:33:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Kevin Key said...

Fjamer: Try now. Say "Alexa, ask personal weather the current conditions." You can also say "Alexa, ask personal weather the forecast." "Alexa, ask personal weather the temperature." etc.

Kevn

Fri Jun 02, 10:47:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous FJamer said...

Thank you!

Fri Jun 02, 10:56:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Kevin Key said...

FJamer,

You're welcome.

Keviin

Fri Jun 02, 11:00:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, can you tell me where I can find this skill as i cant see it on my Echo account.

hanks

Steve

Mon Jun 05, 01:01:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Kevin Key said...

Hi Steve,

Just search for PWS and you'll find it.

Thanks,

Kevin

Mon Jun 05, 02:57:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kev,
Still not seeing it. I am in the UK. Is it only available in certain countries?
I can see it on the US list but not UK. I thought Amazin were supposed to be porting these across to the UK

Many thanks

Steve

Tue Jun 06, 04:12:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Dave96z34 said...

Nice work kev

Tue Jun 06, 06:33:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Kevin Key said...

Thanks Dave96z34.

Tue Jun 06, 06:34:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Kevin Key said...

Steve,

Hi again. Send me a message at kevinkey@gmail.com with the email address associated with your Echo. I'll send you a beta invitation that will support UK English.

Thanks,

Kevin

Tue Jun 06, 06:35:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Sugar Miller said...

Kevin, thanks for the WU Alexa Skill! Works great. Would it be possible in the future to have Alexa alarm for user selected events / storm warnings?

Sat Jun 10, 03:58:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Kevin Key said...

Sugar Miller,

Thanks. I'll look into a severe weather alarm feature sometime soon.

Kevin

Sat Jun 10, 11:08:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Romeu Paz said...

Hi Kevin,

Is it possible to add the skill to amazon.co.uk?
I live in Portugal and have 2 weather station. Using alexa i'm unable to get any weather data here.
Your skill will be a great thing to me.

Thanks

Tue Jun 13, 06:43:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Tim Winningham said...

Thank you for this skill.

Mon Jun 19, 06:39:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Kevin Key said...

Tim Winningham,

You're welcome. And thanks for the donation.

Kevin

Wed Jun 21, 12:14:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Dan Jackson said...

I can not get my key for work, Alexa hears the correct key but says I do not have a valid weather 7nderground api key. Any suggestions. I have set up a new key as Alexa would not hear 4 on first key.

Wed Jul 12, 06:34:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Kevin Key said...

Hi Dan,

Is your key 8 characters? Or 16?

Kevin

Wed Jul 12, 08:14:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Peter Plass said...

Hi Kevin,

I am from germany and therefore use a german Echo Dot and amazon.de

Unfortunatly I cant enable Your skill at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07234WJ9B

Would it be possilbe for You to activate your skill for Germany?

It does not matter that we have to speak in english to Your skill.

That would be very very helpful!

Peter

Mon Jul 31, 04:25:00 AM PDT  
Blogger John Kitchener said...

Hi Kevin

I have just activated your weather underground skill for my PWS in the UK. It's brilliant, very easy to enable once you have the API key.

Thank you for your "skill" in producing this app.

Kind Regards

John Kitchener

Wed Aug 02, 05:51:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Keith Ballow said...

Kevin,
Thanks for taking the time and effort to create the Personal Weather Station Skill and making it available for other users! It works great.
If you can get the zip code interface working well that will be a great improvement! Getting Alexa to recognize the Station ID via voice commands was a challenge to say the least! Ha...
Thanks again and keep up the good work.
I'm new to the Alexa devices and all the smart home stuff, but if there is a way to use the IFTTT process and or setting alarms or notifications via the skill that would be really neat also.

Keith
Henderson, TX.

Wed Aug 02, 03:02:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Dan Jackson said...

I cannot get echo to find key. When played back it is correct but echo keeps saying key not found. I have tried speaking and phonetic alphabet. Any suggestions?

Fri Aug 04, 09:37:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Anil Jacob said...

Thanks Kevin! I am having a strange problem on my Windows Visa. When I run the smartHUB Reader after a restart of the machine it runs for roughly 24 hours and stops. I have to restart Windows again and it will work for another 24 hours. Is there a debug log file that I can look in to to see what is going on?

Mon Aug 14, 09:39:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kevin

Is there a way we can get the skill to announce the temperature every hour or 30minutes maybe if it reaches a certain temperature kind of link a timer loop in VB. Maybe announce windspeed
every hour. Would be nice to hear Alexa issue an alert that the temperature has reached 0 or windspeed has exceeded 20 MPH. Not sure if a skill can do this.

Sat Aug 19, 05:49:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Danny Demers said...

Is there a way to ask what todays high wind gust was today ?
Maybe even todays high temp ?

Thanks for this great skill

Windgust (K1DED)

Sun Sep 03, 10:03:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Jay Blizman said...

Great skill. Easy to set up and use.

Bliz (KPABEAVE4)

Mon Sep 11, 07:17:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Stefficel said...

Hallo, toller Blog.
Ich muss sagen, dass ich mir das amazon Echo Dot gekauft habe, teste dass seit 2 Wochen und bin sehr zufrieden, alles ist damit für mich noch einfacher.

Schöne Grüße

Steffi

Thu Oct 26, 11:41:00 AM PDT  
Blogger wpgflyguy said...

Great skill, just installed, setup was easy enough and Alexa and I are still on good speaking terms, LOL! Look forward to using this skill often!

Sat Oct 28, 08:50:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Roland Steger said...

Hi Kevin,

i just tried to contact you with google hangouts... Is it possible that we get a german version? i think there are many waiting for this...

I can help you translating it!

Please contact me with google hangouts. THX!

Thu Nov 02, 10:19:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Roland Steger said...

Kevin,

are you still developing this skill?, its sad that i cant use it with the german language settings in my echo dot :(

Wed Nov 08, 10:13:00 AM PST  
Blogger Stefficel said...

Thanks
Amazon Echo

Sat Nov 11, 08:35:00 AM PST  
Blogger martin150 said...

Hi, any chance to get the skill in german language. My wheaterstation also sends data to whearterunderground, and i already get infos to alexa but only news that are defined.
It would be great to use this skill with german language and ask different values.
Helping in translations would not be a problem!

greets
Martin

Mon Nov 20, 06:44:00 PM PST  
Blogger Kenny said...

Just installed your skill on Alexa. Great app with lots of potential for upgrade. As one person commented, would be nice to disable the weather reporting with my include wx station ID. Would also be nice to enable a shorter command than "Ask Personal Weather" all the time. But thanks for your work. Love the app.

Sun Nov 26, 12:15:00 PM PST  
Blogger Sugar Miller said...

By reporting your personal wx ID you know where the data is from

Sun Nov 26, 12:42:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Doug Krug said...

Kevin, I don't have anything to complain about or ask for. This is a tremendously helpful and easy to use skill. I just want to offer my sincere thanks for your efforts.

Tue Nov 28, 06:13:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Peter said...

Hi,
I'm in the UK.
I have activated the skill and tried to use your method to get the weather from my PWS.
When I say 'Personal Weather' I get the default location forecast not 'Welcome to personal weather' and it never asks me for a command.

What am I doing wrong ?

Peter

Wed Nov 29, 01:56:00 AM PST  
Blogger Scott Hobson said...

This Skill looked promising, but I am stuck at trying to enter the API key.

I phonetically say the Key (and mixing letters a little publicly but the problem is the same):

QF2VVZGB

And Alexa hears
QFTOVVZGB

2 becomes TO
Repeated several times with same result. I don't know whether that is your Skill or Amazon's voice decoding, but frustrating just the same.

Wed Nov 29, 09:34:00 PM PST  
Blogger Larry C said...

Kevin, no matter what I try i can’t get Alexa to recognize my api key. Phonetics don’t work. Per other comments the last three characters of the api are RJ2 and the station is KMDUPPER25. Thanks for any help., Larry

Thu Dec 07, 07:36:00 PM PST  
Blogger lblake said...

Much thanks for this skill. Works very well for me. I have noticed one issue that I have seen before and I don't think it necessarily has anything to do with the skill. My PWS is:

https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=KTNOAKRI25

The api here:

http://api.wunderground.com/weatherstation/WXCurrentObXML.asp?ID=KTNOAKRI25

The skill reports everything the same as the api - except the pressure. The pressure is always a few hundredths of a degree higher - e.g. the api shows the pressure as 30.27 and the skill reports the pressure as 30.31.

I use an app - YoWindow:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=yo.app.free&hl=en

I have it pointed to the PWS and it also returns everything accurately except the pressure. It is always higher. I thought with your experience with the skill, you might have some insight into the issue. Thanks.

Sat Dec 16, 06:08:00 PM PST  
Blogger StuartP said...

Kevin, are you able to make the Skill available from amazon.co.uk. I keep getting redirected there as my Echo is registered there, but it’s not visible or searchable. Would be great if you could do this!


Thanks,

Stuart

Fri Dec 29, 06:47:00 AM PST  
Blogger Unknown said...

Kevin, thank you for taking the time to create this app. I am unable to use it however because my API begins with a "4", which Alexa only recognizes as "for". I bought a PWS as a Christmas present for my blind husband to use with his Alexa but it looks like he won't be able to use it. Do you think you will ever have a fix for the "4/for" problem? Thanks. Laura

Sun Dec 31, 08:08:00 PM PST  
Blogger Toni444 said...

I'm trying to contact you with Google Hangouts ... is it possible we get a German version?



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Tue Jan 02, 01:51:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kevin

As a UK Davis/WU user I would like to try your alexa skill BUT it is not available on the UK skill lists (for US only). Can you please change this change this ?

Regards

Stephen

Tue Jan 02, 10:56:00 AM PST  
Blogger omar2002 said...

This Skill looked promising, but I am stuck at trying to enter the API key

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Tue Jan 02, 10:55:00 PM PST  
Blogger boonmee said...

Soon, I'll update the app to allow station identification based on location. This will make the process of station identification easier. In the meantime, have you tried using a NATO phonetic alphabet to identify your station?

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Wed Jan 03, 02:41:00 AM PST  
Blogger Chuck said...

Hi Kevin,
Is there a way that you can manually enter my weather underground api key and sta id key? Alexa keeps responding that weather underground doesn't know my api key. My api key is 04e595f6, sta id key is KTNLENOI14. Thanks for your help. By the way, yours photographs are AWESOME!

Thu Jan 04, 12:27:00 PM PST  
Blogger veganguy74 said...

Has anyone encountered Alexa repeating the city of the selected PWS? For example, Alexa states the correct temperature or rainfall or whatever I ask and then ends the report with “Location, Philadelphia in Philadelphia.” That is, “CityName in CityName,” a repeat of the city. Any ideas?

Sat Jan 27, 11:51:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job! Works great! Thanks for the time you put into this!

Sun Feb 25, 03:17:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Adam said...

Nice job. Have you thought about creating a skill for Google Assistant?

Mon Feb 26, 08:01:00 AM PST  
Blogger Pete Seabolt said...

Got it working, thanks

Sun Mar 11, 08:47:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Frankie M said...

My alexa app would always identify the location of my PWS as being in Lee Boulevard Heights which is a suburb of Washington DC near Falls Church, VA, the same as listed in my Weather underground page. Within the last couple of days when I ask Alexa for current conditions it now identifies location as Washington. Why would this change have occurred? I did not change it and still as it was on WU. Any explanation would be welcome. Is it normal for the configuration to end up identifying your blog for additional help?

Wed Apr 04, 12:28:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Kevin Key said...

Hi all.

I'm aware of the recent issue where my Weather Underground Alexa skill is no longer reporting the Station Location. There is either a glitch with the Weather Underground API* or they decided to make an unannounced change to it. Unfortunately, the API* doesn't contain the station name anywhere at the moment. :(

I really don't know why Weather Underground has done this. And, if it's a glitch, why they haven't fixed it yet. I'm not 100% certain about the rest of you, but I'm still getting correct data from my own station on my own Alexa - despite it only announcing the city name of my station.

The best I can do in the meantime is to have my Alexa skill speak your Station ID instead. Hopefully sometime in the next day or two. Sorry for the lack up responses and updates as I've been quite busy with other things lately.

Thu Apr 05, 12:37:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Kevin Key said...

Hi all,



In regards to my Alexa skill no longer reporting your specific station name, I just found out why this is the case. Here's what Weather Underground has to say about this issue:



Unfortunately for now, we are removing the PWS name (from the API). This is in response to some new EU privacy rules which we are bound to follow to operate in Europe. While taking the time to address the EU issues we decided to beef up our privacy protections for everyone everywhere.



We want to make sure we maintain the right balance of protecting our users, and disseminating useful information, We expect this balance will evolve over time as our community of PWS owners weigh in on our stance.



In the meantime, I've modified my Alexa skill to report your Station ID instead.



Kevin

Sat Apr 07, 12:18:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Jack said...

Fascinating, Kevin! Thank you for chasing this down. I suspect this is just one small example of the unintended consequences of the new EU GDPR rules.
Well done.

Sat Apr 07, 02:26:00 PM PDT  
Blogger StuartP said...

Kevin,

Any chance you could make this skill download available from amazon.co.uk?

Stuart

Sun Apr 08, 03:17:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Kate Martin said...

Checking in from Canada .... any way to make this skill workable in Canada. Even using an amazon.com account, I can't enter my API key for a PWS located in Canada.

Mon Apr 09, 01:02:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Don Krupicka said...

I have sent two emails to WU regarding this Station ID/API change and requested them to at least reverse the change for US users if not everyone. In the meantime, how can I continue to use My Personal Weather skill in Alexa? It still requires and API when I try to set it up.

Wed Apr 11, 07:23:00 AM PDT  

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