How Do I Get a 7-day Forecast?
There are many types of forecasts and many lengths of forecasts. However, as we choose from our myriad of options the one thing that is clear is that the longer the forecast, the less accurate. However the one that stands out as the most-used on a daily basis is the 7-day forecast. This allows a person to know how to plan for an entire week. It could be a week of business or someone trying to plan for a week of work as well as their weekend. Since humans tend to think and organize in weeks, it makes perfect sense that the weekly forecast is the most utilized.
Here is how you can get a quick 7-day forecast:
- Visit the Forecast Dashboard at: https://www.visualcrossing.com/weather-forecast
- Click on the Location in the upper left of the page and enter in your location such as “Herndon, VA”
- Scroll past the current weather line highlighted in purple and click on any daily entry to get hourly data.
Scijinks.gov describes forecast accuracy as the following:
” A seven-day forecast can accurately predict the weather about 80 percent of the time and a five-day forecast can accurately predict the weather approximately 90 percent of the time. However, a 10-day—or longer—forecast is only right about half the time. “
One thing we know is that as the predictive models get more sophisticated and as they are able to build consensus across models, the accuracy improves greatly.
Data Downloads and Web Query Access
For more advanced uses of the 7-day forecast you will want to fetch the data rather than viewing a simple dashboard. Many options exist from downloading data files to pulling data directly into applications through an API. To get started, first obtain a free account at: https://www.visualcrossing.com/weather/weather-data-services#/login
Next, you will want to follow the instructions for downloading either CSV or running a Web Query directly for the data:
For API usage you have many options for how you will access the data. We recommend you can search for other tutorials on retrieving your forecast through API here: https://www.visualcrossing.com/resources/?s=forecast+api
Likewise you can search for very specific options such as “Weather API Python”. There are tutorials to meet all of your scripting or application needs.
You may even find that 7-day or even 15-day forecasts are simply not enough. Even though your accuracy may drop to 50% or lower, it may still be beneficial to plan for weather conditions further out. As you do this you will be limited to generalized conditions and climate. One option is to use longer term modeled forecasts but you may quickly find that your odds of success will mirror that of simply understand what the typical conditions are. To find a “Typical” or “Average” forecast you may try using a Statistical Forecast that uses history data to give averages and ranges of weather data. Some of those options can be found here:
For a more technical approach to downloading and estimating what the weather will be on any given day, please read our blog:
Embedding a 7-day Forecast in a Blog Entry Like This
Many users will simply want to download and display a forecast for their web visitors. This can easily be accomplished through widgets, images and good forecast data. Please follow the tutorial here to show how this can be done in WordPress:
If you require help on any of the forecast options please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org