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"

31 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 SRUN POR said...

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Wed Jun 21, 07:56:00 PM 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  
Anonymous Sanowar said...

Thanks for a great article. It's really amazing. I think it's helpful for everyone.I got my best idea.Thanks for sharing.

Sat Aug 12, 02:23:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Anil Jacob said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Mon Aug 14, 09:39:00 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  

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