How to Turn Your Linux OS Into a Weather Monitor

Written by kevin walker
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If you have ever wanted your own dedicated weather forecast, you can create one easily by combining two Linux programs: Weather-Util, which downloads weather data from your local weather station, and Watch, which prints data from Weather-Util to the screen and updates it automatically whenever it changes.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Install the "weather-util" package. The precise steps to accomplish this will depend on your Linux version. In Ubuntu, you can type the following into the terminal:

    sudo aptitude install weather-util

    Alternatively, it can be manually downloaded from the first reference.

  2. 2

    Find the nearest METAR station ID to your home. There is a list of stations available at the first resource. You want the station name (probably the city name), state code, and station ID (under the ICAO column). For example, my own home near Dallas, Texas, has a station name "DALLAS_FT_WORTH," the state "TX," and the station ID of "KDFW."

  3. 3

    Run the weather command by typing the following in the Terminal:

    weather --forecast -v --city=dallas_ft_worth --st=tx --id=KDFW

    This will print out all the information about current weather conditions and a forecast for the next two days according to the METAR station at Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport. Replace the ID, city, and state with those you found in the station list from step 2. The "-v" flag indicates that the results should be "verbose," or contain all available information about the weather, rather than a simple summary.

  4. 4

    Type the following if you want a constant feed of information that fills the screen and updates automatically as new data becomes available:

    watch weather --forecast -v --city=dallas_ft_worth --st=tx --id=KDFW

    This feeds the weather command to the "watch" command, which automatically updates the screen to reflect any changes.

Tips and warnings

  • You can read more about the weather and watch commands by typing "man weather" or "man watch" at a terminal.

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