Importing Weather Data into WOW

There are two ways to import data into WOW:

Choose the method that is most appropriate for you, and follow the instructions carefully. If you have any questions or problems, please contact the WOW support team using the links at the bottom of every page.

Bulk Import

The bulk import facility is provided to allow you to insert a large amount of data into WOW in one go. This could be a whole day, a month or even a year in any intervals of time you might have.

In order to import data, you will need a file that conforms to either:

  • The Weatherlink® format, which means you will need either Davis WeatherLink® software, or software that is capable of exporting to the same format (to export the relevant data, please refer to your software's user manual). Once the export is complete, you should have a .txt file, which consists of a number of columns separated by either a tab character or spaces. An example Weatherlink® format file is available here: Download an example WeatherLink® file
  • The WOW 'csv' format. This is the same format that is used to export data from a Site's 'Table View'. An example 'csv' file is available here: Download an example WOW file.

Once you have your file for import, follow the instructions for Entering an Observation via File Upload (you can reach this by clicking "Enter an Observation" and then on "Bulk Upload").

Please note: Files are processed on a first come, first served basis and some large files can take a long time. As a guideline, a day's worth of data could take 10-15 minutes and a years worth could take 6-7 hours when WOW is experiencing a heavy load. No checking for duplicates is currently undertaken either, so you'll need to manually remove any overlapping data. Any duplicate data left in the imported files will also be duplicated in WOW. If you're unsure or have problems, please contact the support team using the links at the bottom of every page.

Automatic Weather Stations

WOW provides a simple API for you to automatically upload data into WOW. The easiest solution for most users is to use a piece of software that supports this API, and some of these are listed below. If you would prefer not to use these or are writing your own, please see the details further down the page about the API.

Before you attempt to upload you will need 2 numbers. The first is your Site ID. This is an arbitrary number that is used to distinguish your site from another. This number appears (in brackets) next to or underneath the name of your site on the site information page, for example (956916003) for pre-June 2016 sites or (6a571450-df53-e611-9401-0003ff5987fd)

The second item you require is the Authentication Key. This is a 6 digit number that is used to ensure data is coming from you and not another user. If you do not know (or have not created) theAuthentication Key, go to the Edit pages of any site you own and the value is an option under the Site Details section. Create and enter a 6-digit numeric PIN of your choice (it is not supplied by the kit manufacturer). The Authentication Key may also be referred to as the 'AWS Pin'.

You must take note of both these numbers before continuing, otherwise you will not be able to upload weather data to WOW.

Supported Software

A number of popular pieces of software are known to support uploading from automatic weather stations to WOW. This is the preferred option for most users.

They all manage the automatic uploading of observations into WOW for you. For support and instructions on how to do this, please contact the developer or visit their support pages. This list is not exhaustive and other software may be available.

Please note that the Met Office does not maintain any of this third party software so if you are having problems with a particular package then please contact the software suppliers direct.

If you are a developer and would like your tool added to this list, please contact the support team via the links at the bottom of every page.

Using the API directly

If you're a developer and would like to use the API directly, details are provided below.

Upload URL:

WOW expects an HTTP request, in the form of either GET or POST, to the following URL. When received, WOW will interpret and validate the information supplied and respond as below.

The URL to send your request to is: http://wow.metoffice.gov.uk/automaticreading? followed by a set of key/value pairs indicating pieces of data.

Response and Errors

All requests will return a status code. A success is indicated by 200. Anything else is a failure. A human readable error message will accompany all errors in JSON format.

Mandatory Information:

All uploads must contain 4 pieces of mandatory information plus at least 1 piece of weather data.

  • Site ID - siteid:
    The unique numeric id of the site
  • Authentication Key - siteAuthenticationKey:
    A pin number, chosen by the user to authenticate with WOW.
  • Date - dateutc:
    Each observation must have a date, in the date encoding specified below.
  • Software Type - softwaretype
    The name of the software, to identify which piece of software and which version is uploading data

Date Encoding:

The date must be in the following format: YYYY-mm-DD HH:mm:ss, where ':' is encoded as %3A, and the space is encoded as either '+' or %20. An example, valid date would be: 2011-02-29+10%3A32%3A55, for the 2nd of Feb, 2011 at 10:32:55. Note that the time is in 24 hour format. Also note that the date must be adjusted to UTC time - equivalent to the GMT time zone.. This is especially important for users outside the UK, and British users must also take note of the difference between British Summer Time and UTC

Weather Data:

The following is a list of items of weather data that can be uploaded to WOW. Provide each piece of information as a key/value pair, e.g. winddir=225.5 or tempf=32.2. Note that values should not be quoted or escaped.

Standard Unit Key Alternative Unit Key Value Standard Unit Alternative Unit
winddir Instantaneous Wind Direction Degrees (0-360)
windspeedkts windspeedmph Instantaneous Wind Speed knots Miles per Hour
windgustdir Current Wind Gust Direction (using software specific time period) 0-360 degrees
windgustkts windgustmph Current Wind Gust (using software specific time period) knots Miles per Hour
humidity Outdoor Humidity 0-100 %
dewptc dewptf Outdoor Dewpoint Celsius Fahrenheit
tempc tempf Outdoor Temperature Celsius Fahrenheit
rainmm rainin Accumulated rainfall in the past 60 minutes Millimetres (mm) Inches
dailyrainmm dailyrainin Inches of rain so far today Millimetres (mm) Inches
baromin Barometric Pressure (see note) Inches
soiltempc soiltempf Soil Temperature Celsius Fahrenheit
soilmoisture % Moisture 0-100 %
visibility Visibility Nautical Miles

Frequency of submitting observations

It is recommended that the interval between automatic observations from your AWS is at least 5 minutes.

Pressure & MSLP:

Some weather stations record Mean Sea Level Pressure, and some record Station Pressure (also referred to as Air Pressure). The Site Definition in WOW will be used to determine which pressure measurement to use. If your site specifies a unit for Air Pressure, and MSLP is marked as 'Not Captured', then baromin will be treated as an Air Pressure reading. Otherwise it will be treated as an MSLP reading. To edit your site definition and ensure the correct pressure is selected, visit the edit pages of your site and the options for pressure will be near the bottom. Ensure one is set to 'hectopascals (hPa)' and the other is set to 'not captured'. WOW will then automatically work out the other measurement and store it for you.

Example URL:

http://wow.metoffice.gov.uk/automaticreading?siteid=123456&siteAuthenticationKey=654321&dateutc=2011-02-02+10%3A32%3A55&winddir=230&windspeedmph=12&windgustmph=12&windgustdir=25&humidity=90&dewptf=68.2&tempf=70&rainin=0&dailyrainin=5&baromin=29.1&soiltempf=25&soilmoisture=25&visibility=25&softwaretype=weathersoftware1.0

Standard vs. Alternative units

The table below details the units used for each of the 2 views available - Standard and Alternative.

Data Item Standard Alternative
Total cloud cover okta (/8) (as Standard)
Wind direction degrees (as Standard)
Wind speed miles per hour (mph) knots (kn)
Dry bulb temperature degrees Celsius (C) degrees Fahrenheit (f)
Wet bulb temperature degrees Celsius (C) degrees Fahrenheit (f)
Maximum temperature for 24hr period degrees Celsius (C) degrees Fahrenheit (f)
Minimum temperature for 24hr period degrees Celsius (C) degrees Fahrenheit (f)
Grass minimum temperature degrees Celsius (C) degrees Fahrenheit (f)
Concrete minimum temperature degrees Celsius (C) degrees Fahrenheit (f)
10cm soil temperature degrees Celsius (C) degrees Fahrenheit (f)
20cm soil temperature degrees Celsius (C) degrees Fahrenheit (f)
30 cm soil temperature degrees Celsius (C) degrees Fahrenheit (f)
50 cm soil temperature degrees Celsius (C) degrees Fahrenheit (f)
100 cm soil temperature degrees Celsius (C) degrees Fahrenheit (f)
Snow depth in whole cm centimetres (cm) (as Standard)
Rainfall in mm and tenths millimetres (mm) (as Standard)
Sunshine in hours and tenths hours (as Standard)
Relative Humidity % (as Standard)
Gust knots (kn) miles per hour (mph)
Pressure hectopascal (hPa) millibar (mbar)
Sea level pressure hectopascal (hPa) millibar (mbar)