As Kevin notes, the release of NOAA Weather data in XML is a big deal. Not only will this make it easier for the smaller guys to start offering weather related services, it means that anyone with with a few free hours and some scripting skills can build the applications that nobody else offered.

Having written the Geo::METAR perl module ages ago (I'm so behind on patches, it's not even funny), I really get why having this in XML rather than some ancient non-human friendly format is important. The METAR spec is a pain to deal with. I'm honestly surprised that the FAA still mandates that pilots learn to read METAR coded weather reports.

Like Kevin, I also wish there was a REST interface to the data too. The old METAR feeds had that much going for them.

Posted by jzawodn at December 06, 2004 09:25 AM

Reader Comments
# Ross Wither said:


on December 6, 2004 10:02 AM
# Darren said:

A few years ago, we built a couple of Web services based on the METAR batch files from the NOAA:

I haven't seen usage stats recently, but I remember being amazed at how popular they were.

on December 6, 2004 10:26 AM
# Jeremy Flint said: has been offering XML feeds of its weather forcasts for a while now. I used them, along with some ASP, to create the weather information used on this site:

You have to download their SDK kit, but other than that, it is pretty easy.

on December 6, 2004 12:15 PM
# B said:

I saw Wired's article on this over the weekend. It's definitely a start in the right direction, but there needs to be a REST version. And now I finally understand why REST can be a good thing. This web service could be a simple, what, five param query? I may put together a RESTified gateway for this, since I've been wanting to learn a little about web services and Java, anyway...

on December 6, 2004 02:43 PM
# MrChucho said:

I actually used your Geo::METAR code as a starting point for a Quicksilver plugin I wrote :) Unfortunately, Cocoa doesn't natively support Regular Expressions, so it was a bit of a hack. So, I was pretty excited to see that the data is now available in XML. So, I've updated my plugin. It's available from my blog. I think you use Quicksilver, so you might check it out.


on December 6, 2004 03:11 PM
# Stephan Segraves said:

The only thing I do not like about RSS weather is that I want to display the output in my own format, rather than the HTML they provide.

The XML file that is available via NOAA is nice (I've been using it for a while) but I think they could format it better and have predefined conditions (or a list of possible ones).

To be honest I do prefer the feed but after NOAA messes with theirs a little more I will probably completely move to it.

on December 6, 2004 03:37 PM
# Jared said:

I'd like to add weather to my latest news. I don't understand how to use this XML weather thing from the government. I'd like a user to be able to enter a zip code, save it in a cookie so when they come back it has there weather all there for them. I have php4.3.somethign/mysql on my site ( go to latest news) that is where i'd like to add it. Thanks for your time.

on January 31, 2005 01:22 PM
# Ballenger Motorsports said:

Jeremy Flint,

I saw the script in use on your page and it looked pretty good. I'm looking to add it to my site, . When I clicked on the "Get Forecast" link, I got an error? The historical weather information showed up correctly but I guess the current information didn't. I'm just wondering if this method is valid or not?

on January 31, 2005 01:30 PM
# neurophyre said:

Do you happen to know if it's prohibited to use the NOAA XML feeds to post weather on commercial sites? I can't seem to find anything about it on the site.

I'm thinking no, because most works of the US Government are public domain, but if you happen to know for sure I'd love to hear about it.

on September 25, 2005 10:29 PM
# neurophyre said:

Another comment.. the NOAA NDFD feed is of course much easier to use, but it doesn't include as many data sources yet. I can get METAR from an airfield 9 miles away, but NDFD is something like 20 miles.

on October 20, 2005 07:01 PM
# shmai said:

easy access to weather data from! you can visit:
Its easy than you are using.

Let me know if you have any Question?

on October 13, 2009 06:40 AM
# Shmai said:

This is classic asp script will allow you to monitor your current local weather via a XML feed.
It parses the XML data and then outputs formatted HTML. You need to acquire a Partner ID and License Key from
This service is completely free, and they only want your email. Visit this URL to sign up.

on October 26, 2009 05:12 AM
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