Let’s Build an Open Directory of Weather Stations

Christian Lamprecht
Oct 8, 2020 · 2 min read

Today, Meteostat takes the next step in the effort of making meteorological data open and accessible for everyone. We are launching a GitHub repository which serves the purpose of collecting information about public weather stations worldwide. From now on, everyone is able to download and contribute to the full list of weather stations available via Meteostat.

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If you want to add a new weather station, update some information or correct an error, you can either correct/update the affected file(s) & create a pull request or fill an issue & describe your concern. Your pull requests will be reviewed by the Meteostat team. Once they are merged into the master branch your changes will be visible in all Meteostat products within a few days.

Essentially, every weather station is represented by a simple JSON file. Let’s take the weather station at John F. Kennedy airport as an example. You can view the JSON file here. It sits in the stations directory and contains an object. The file is named after the object’s first property: the Meteostat id of the weather station.

The name property is an object which contains the name of the weather station in multiple languages. The English name must always be present. It is defined using the en property of the name object. You can define names in other languages by adding new properties to the name object. The property keys must equal the ISO-639–1 code of the respective language.

Next in line is the country property. That’s the ISO 3166–1 alpha-2 country code of the weather station. Same goes for the region property which needs to be filled with the ISO 3166–2 state or region code.

The identifiers object holds the weather station’s IDs as defined by organizations like the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Some of the identifiers might not be shipped in the data dumps as they are only required for Meteostat-internal communication with public data interfaces.

The location object is crucial. It defines coordinates through the latitude & longitude properties and also contains the station’s elevation. Last but not least there is the history array which holds previous locations, identifiers or names of the weather station.

Data Access

Meteostat provides both a full and a lite dump of its weather station directory. The collection is available under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License.


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