We have had a number of our customers ask for more details about how they can set up a Personal Weather Station (PWS) to feed into Aeris, our weather service, to get more accurate and personalized weather reporting for their Rachio controller.
What kind of PWS integration is available?
The Aeris weather service can receive weather observations from three types of weather stations:
- Official weather stations - government sponsored weather stations, typically located in airports. Aeris provides this data as part of its weather feed, and Rachio's Weather Intelligence and Seasonal Adjustment features use this information.
- PWS that report to the PWSWeather network, which is a joint venture between Aeris and WeatherForYou.com. This network supports tens of thousands of PWS's across the world, as well as near 'real-time' reporting. Additionally, the weather data from each station is hosted at PWSWeather.com and WeatherForYou.com for consumption in any Web browser.
- Officially sanctioned PWS's that have registered with NOAA's Citizen Weather Observation Program (CWOP). CWOP uses the Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System (MADIS) to collect & process the weather information from around 7,000 PWS across the US and around the world. Stations in the CWOP network typically report hourly observations, and the observations are typically about 20 minutes behind.
Aeris can optionally provide these weather observations as part of its feed. Since this data isn't as reliable as the official weather stations, we allow our users to decide whether they want to use it or not.
How to integrate with CWOP?
If you'd rather have a purchased solution that takes care of the details for you, consider the Ambient WeatherBridge.
But I should always be using local PWS data to get the more accurate weather information, right?
Not necessarily. There are a lot of PWS out there, and if the station nearest you is set up correctly, calibrated properly, and maintained regularly, that hyper-local data can give you better performance for your Rachio controller. Unfortunately, in a small percentage of cases the PWS nearest you may be unreliable, or not set up correctly, and give false readings. We are constantly looking for these stations, and notifying our weather provider about them to get them fixed or removed from the feed. When PWSWeather stations are added to the mix, opening the system up to tens of thousands more stations, the opportunity for more local data increases, but so does the chance of coming across a bad station (a mixed blessing for sure).
So, for those who are looking for the absolute most up-to-date and local data while willing to risk some bad data, a PWS is the way to go. If you're more concerned with consistency & reliability, you may want to skip the PWS and put your trust in the official weather station for your area.