How to download the weather forecast for all US Zip codes

US ZIP Codes act just like postal codes in other countries – they provide an easy and structured way to locate an address within a city and state. They are easy to remember and provide a reasonably precise geographical location. This makes them valuable for businesses and other organizations that want to collect information about their customer locations.

One common desire is to be able to relate ZIP Codes to weather data such as weather forecasts or historical weather reports. In this article, we use the ‘Bulk download’ feature of Visual Crossing Weather to retrieve the weather forecast for all US ZIP Codes.

Bulk weather data retrieval

Visual Crossing Weather enables users to retrieve data by arbitrary address or latitude/longitude. In the case of ZIP Codes however, Visual Crossing makes it easy to retrieve the more than 30000 zip weather forecast using the Bulk Weather Data feature.

The bulk weather data functionality allows the weather data server to execute very large weather data datasets on a scheduled basis. The results are then ready for download immediately using a simple download page and via the weather API request.

How to retrieve weather forecast for all US zip codes.

Retrieving the results for one of the standard bulk datasets is easy. First log in to Visual Crossing Weather Data Services. Then hit ‘Bulk’ in the top right corner:

This will list the datasets that are available to you:

In this case we see we have access to the US Zip Code 15-day daily forecast in addition to statistical weather forecast and historical weather data.

Next to each dataset type is the number of actual datasets versions available. Clicking on the type of dataset lists the datasets that we can download:

In this case, the two most recent ZIP Code weather forecast datasets are retained. The most recent is highlighted. We can hit the download button to download the dataset immediately as a CSV file. We can download in a zip file if we prefer by checking the box at the top of the page.

Using the weather API to download the dataset

The bulk data retrievals are fully API accessible. This makes using the bulk data as a part of an automated process, such as a database load, very straightforward.

Clicking on the copy link button next to the download link provides the download URL:

https://weather.visualcrossing.com/VisualCrossingWebServices/rest/services/retrievebulkdataset?&key=YOUR_API_KEY&taskId=us-zipcode-forecast-daily&zip=false 

This can then be used to retrieve the data on a regular basis for a task such as importing the data into a database.

How to access bulk weather data in my account

The Bulk Weather Data feature is an optional upgrade to the standard Corporate subscription package. Bulk weather allows users to retrieve either preconfigured bulk datasets, such as weather forecast for all ZIP Codes that we just discussed. It also allows users to provide their own set of custom locations, such as a list of store locations. These custom datasets can be made available for individual accounts and collect forecast, history or even statistical summary data. To enable bulk data for your account, contact us.

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