How to load historical weather data into Tableau Desktop?

Downloading historical weather data for multiple locations provides a fast and simple way to enrich your business data in Tableau Desktop with relevant weather parameters to analyze their impact. This article shows the necessary steps to quickly and easily generate the weather data for any location of the world and how to load it into Tableau Desktop.  The tutorial includes as well step-by-step instructions how to construct the query in the Visual Crossing Weather web interface.

Step 1 – Log into Visual Crossing Weather Services and upload your locations

The first step is log in to Visual Crossing Weather Services. if you don’t have an account, you can create a free one. The necessary steps are outlined in detail in How do I load weather forecast data into Tableau Desktop?

Step 2 – Request Historical Weather Data

On the query type selection page you can select the type of data you want to download.

The options are forecast, weather history queries, historical data summary reports, and hourly data.  The tutorial will follow the steps for the option ‘Historical Data’. Please see those or reach out to us if you need more information on the other options or browse our tutorial and video section for more details.
Select the ‘Historical Data’ option, chose your time frame and click the ‘Request Weather Data’ button .

Step 3 – View and download the historical weather data

The default view for the query results is the weather calendar.  This view provides a simple overview of the result data. To see all columns you can switch to the ‘Raw Grid’ mode as well. To further analyze the data you will need to download the full data set by clicking the ‘Download all data’ button.

Step 4 – Load your historical weather .csv file into Tableau Desktop

This follows the standard upload mechanism of Tableau Desktop. You can find the details as well in our How do I load weather forecast data into Tableau Desktop? Tutorial under Step 7 and Step 8.

Step 5 – Review and link your weather data

Tableau Desktop now displays the full data set containing the weather metrics for the selected time frame. The metrics include common values such as temperature, precipitation, and wind as well as less common value such as heat index, cloud cover and wind gusts.  For more information on the details regarding our weather metrics, please see our Weather Data Documentation. In the same view you can add additional tables containing business data to relate your relevant measures for the selected locations.

Step 6 – Create weather data analysis

Now that the weather data is loaded into Tableau and you can start your business analysis in worksheets, stories and dashboards using the full functionality of your Tableau environment. Like in the below example visualizing the heat index in combination with the location performance.

Closing thoughts

As you can see, importing both weather forecast and historical weather data into Tableau is very straightforward. If you have any questions, please let us know below in the comments or send an email to support.

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