Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Unveiling the Journey: From Tempest Weather Station to Magic Mirror - A Triumph in Weather Data Integration

Some time back, I shared my experience with the Tempest Weather Station, a fantastic tool that keeps us informed about the weather conditions at our home. This has been remarkably invaluable during the more extreme weather events this summer.

However, it's important to note that having the weather station installed is only half the battle; making the data accessible is what truly enhances its usefulness. A while ago, I implemented a solution in the form of a Magic Mirror – a project I undertook to display various helpful information for our household. The base software for the Magic Mirror incorporates weather data display capabilities, with OpenWeatherMap as the primary weather provider. Nonetheless, we encountered an issue with the data accuracy from this provider, as its temperature readings consistently skewed higher than the actual temperatures at our location.

The built-in weather module does allow for alternative weather providers, leading me on a quest to figure out how to funnel the weather data from our Tempest Weather station to one of these providers for display on the mirror. The Tempest Weather station supports data export to Weather Underground in the stock setup. However, the built-in weather module lacked the capability to interpret data from Weather Underground.

Discovering WeeWX

Since the stock weather module already integrated support for OpenWeatherMap, I decided to send the Tempest's weather data to OpenWeatherMap. However, given that this functionality wasn't native to the Tempest, I stumbled upon WeeWX – a project designed to collect data from various weather stations and present it on a customizable dashboard. Additionally, WeeWx offered the functionality to export data to local and cloud-based weather providers.

Despite WeeWx's broad compatibility with different weather stations, it didn't inherently support the Tempest Weather Station. But, taking advantage of WeeWX's plugin architecture, a solution emerged through the creation of the weatherflow-udp plugin. This clever plugin intercepted the UDP packets transmitted by the Tempest, effectively capturing and recording the data.

Once I successfully integrated the Tempest data into WeeWx, the next challenge was to export this data to OpenWeatherMap. Given that direct support wasn't available, my search led me to the weewx-owm plugin, facilitating weather data export to OpenWeatherMap. After setting up the plugin, I was able to transfer the weather data to OpenWeatherMap.

An Unexpected Glitch

Regrettably, the outcome fell short of my expectations. Despite the successful export, I encountered a hurdle when integrating this newly acquired weather station data into the default Magic Mirror weather module. Unlike choosing a specific weather station, the default module required selecting a city. This posed an issue, as multiple weather stations were registered within our city on OpenWeatherMap, leading to data from other stations displaying on our Magic Mirror.

Weather Data via MQTT

In my determination to resolve this, I delved into alternate methods to showcase our local weather station's data on the Magic Mirror. That's when I stumbled upon the MMM-CurrentWeather-MQTT plugin, an offshoot of the standard weather module that introduced the ability to override OpenWeatherMap data with locally sourced data from an MQTT server.

Taking advantage of a Raspberry Pi on our network that was already hosting an MQTT server, I saw an opportunity to utilize it for storing and delivering local weather data. Fortunately, the weewx-mqtt plugin seamlessly bridged the gap by allowing the imported weather data from the station to be sent to the MQTT server.

Once I had all the necessary MQTT plugins integrated into both WeeWX and Magic Mirror, the result was a triumphant display of our local weather data from the Tempest Weather Station on our Magic Mirror.

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