For MesoWest data users looking to download weather data infrequently or for one-time usage, the switch to using our new API-based download page should be painless, in fact the new download page is even faster and more user friendly than the old one.

For our users who regularly get data from us, you’ll notice that the interface has changed a bit. We also put a much bigger engine under the hood. We have moved our download page to use our Mesonet API to deliver your data faster along with all of the available variables that we have for each station. Our legacy page besides being slow and taxing on our database server, limited the data you could retrieve. The new API will expand user’s abilities to quickly and flexibly integrate the MesoWest data to fit their needs and applications.

Updated interface

For users who prefer to download data from the web-portal mesowest.utah.edu shown below, the procedure will be nearly identical. From the main page, one can find the weather stations of interest by navigating through the actual map or by using the Station Search Option in the top-left corner.

fig1

Once on a station page as before, one can select the Download Data link from the left-side toolbar. The new download station data page shown below has a similar look along with the some new options and the legacy options too.

fig2

Updated and cleaner CSV results

The retrieved data is still displayed in a CSV format as before. It is similar to the previous format with some slight changes in the station information, variable name list, and date and time stamp. It will also start with the oldest observation from your time period at the top and the most recent observation at the bottom. The older version gave the option between descending or ascending date-time. We made the choice to discontinue the XML and Microsoft Excel™ because the CSV format is accessible in nearly all data programs (XML is available via the API).

fig3

Updated Variable Units

Users should note slight updates to the units of the reported variables. The only affected variables are wind speed, wind gust, and pressure. The table below summarizes the new reporting units. The option for metric units will now report all variables according to SI standards. For the option of English units, we are now reporting wind speed and gust in knots as to follow aviation standards. The conversion from knots to the old reported unit of miles per hour is a simple scalar multiple. We will also now report pressure for the English units in millibars rather than inches of mercury.

Variable Old English unit Updated English unit
Wind speed mph knots
Wind gust mph knots

Routine Data Users

For routine data users the switch to SynopticLab’s API will give you more flexibility in your data requests. You will pass arguments specifying your data request to a query string parameter; in other terms you will make your data request by entering the specifics in the API URL. You make the request and then the API will quickly package the information you have requested. There are many different arguments you can pass to the API to specify the data you want returned.

All requests will begin with the base URL:

https://api.mesowest.net/v2/

From the initial request address, the user adds argument parameters and his or her API token (available to users by SynopticLabs here). For example lets say we are interested in downloading air temperature data for the Salt Lake City Airport based on a start and end date. This request would be a /stations/timeseries request. The URL would then be the root address + api token + arguments. The following example returns in our default JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) format.

https://api.mesowest.net/v2/stations/timeseries?token=YOUR-TOKEN-HERE&stid=kslc
    &start=201506010000&end=201506020000&vars=air_temp

If you change the YOUR-TOKEN-HERE to your own API token and leave the rest as is, this URL should provide you with the air temperature data for WBB during the specified times. The unspecified format is a JSON dictionary but when requesting one station’s data, the user can change the format to a more familiar CSV format if desired. They simply must add the argument &output=csv. The following example returns the same query as before but in a CSV format.

https://api.mesowest.net/v2/stations/timeseries?token=YOUR-TOKEN-HERE&stid=kslc
    &start=201506010000&end=201506020000&vars=air_temp&output=csv

For our examples we were just interested in air temperature. You can pass many different arguments and requests to the initial URL. For a complete documentation of the different resources that can be appended to the root address, see the API Reference page. To further understand what different search queries and arguments will return, play with SynopticLabs API Explorer.