Weather History and Forecasts in Wolfram|Alpha

August 14, 2009
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The Wolfram|Alpha Team
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Does this summer seem hotter than last year’s? Are you debating between a trip to Miami or Florence in the springtime? Or perhaps heading to Tokyo in November, and wondering how to pack? Wolfram|Alpha has a number of helpful tools to answer your weather questions, by retrieving current conditions, forecasts, and historical data from weather stations located all over the world.

For example, simply enter “weather” into the computation bar, and Wolfram|Alpha’s geoIP capabilities identify your approximate location and produce the latest records from your nearest weather station. The “Latest recorded weather” pod may feature information like the current temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and conditions, such as clear, thunderstorms, or fog. Go ahead and click here to give it a try for your area.

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You can explore the “Weather history & forecast” pod further to gather information such as temperature, cloud cover, conditions, humidity, wind speed, incident sunlight intensity, and historical temperatures for a specific date. By using the drop-down box in the header of the pod, you can adjust the time window for the current day, or next week, or take a look back in time to view these conditions over the last month, last year, last 5 years, and so forth. The length of available weather history may vary by location.

Are you looking for a warm location to visit next spring? Try Wolfram|Alpha to compare the patterns of different locations. For example, if you query “Weather Florence, Italy, Miami, Florida”, Wolfram|Alpha will show comparative results for those cities.

In this particular example, we asked Wolfram|Alpha to plot weather history recorded over the past year for Florence, Italy and Miami, Florida. If you’re looking for a warm place to visit, it’s nice to know you can expect Miami, Florida to be about 9 degrees Celsius or 17 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than Florence, Italy.

Wolfram|Alpha computes weather trends for Florance, Italy and Miami, Florida

Wolfram|Alpha can also give you a snapshot of a location’s climate. For example, query “climate Tokyo” and Wolfram|Alpha will graph temperatures and precipitation in Tokyo recorded between 1946 and the present. The blue area in the chart below represents the temperature range at certain times of the year over time, with the deep blue line signifying the average temperatures. If you’re planning a trip to Tokyo in November, you can likely expect temperatures to range between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius.

Wolfram|Alpha generates climate charts for temperature and precipitation for Tokyo

Have you found interesting ways to use Wolfram|Alpha to explore the weather? Join members of the Wolfram|Alpha Community site discussing weather trends and events taking place in their areas.

5 Comments

this is great information thanks!

Posted by bob sorg August 15, 2009 at 12:11 am Reply

Would love it if you would add some more statistical information about the historical weather like standard deviation. When people want to know what the likely weather is someplace simple averages and outlier highs and lows are limited in meaning. And even making it so that a non-statistics person could understand would be good too: e.g. 90% of the time, the high will be at least X and the low will be no lower than Y would be quite helpful.

Love Wolfram | Alpha!

Posted by Paula August 30, 2009 at 7:39 am Reply

I advise students to use W|A to check work done the hard way so that they can redo the work immediately if they have made a mistake. If doing exercises the hard way means you have not answered all the questions then answer the rest using W|A explaining what you have done. In employment later W|A will enable you to work faster and achieve more. Knowing how tasks are done the hard way will help you spot glaring errors so you benefit from knowing both methods. Go for 100%. 40% will not get you far in the real world.

Posted by Brian Gilbert September 9, 2009 at 8:43 am Reply

A friend of mine who lives in Port Angeles WA was complaining that people who live near her sister in Fort Lauderdale, FL have an inaccurate understanding of how much it rains in Washington. I did the search , looked at the 5-year data, and must say that the precipitation numbers look quite suspect to me, particularly for Fort Lauderdale. I’m curious as to the source of this data, and how it’s being validated.

Posted by RockyF September 13, 2009 at 6:45 pm Reply

It doesn’t work for Brazil or any country in Latin America. Any news on when we can expect detailed wheather information on our part of the world?

Posted by Tom August 4, 2010 at 4:38 pm Reply
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