Apple "Weather" temp errors distort temperature profile

I live outside of Nashville, and the Apple “Weather” data that ecobee fetches for the outdoor temperature is very often wrong by 5 degrees or more. This is frustrating for many reasons, not least of which that it provides garbage data to the temperature profile calculations. I have checked everything to make sure ecobee is fetching data for the right location, and the simple fact is that Apple just routinely gets it wrong here. My own personal weather station and the many others in the area report results that are largely consistent with one another and which vary significantly from what Apple/ecobee reports.

It would be super cool if beestat could fetch external weather conditions from a user-provided PWS data source rather than from the ecobee. That data is readily accessible in standardized data formats, and it would likely be superior to the data that ecobee records.

Of course, it would be even better if ecobee supported the entry of a registered PWS station name as the weather data source, but that would be too easy.

I have the same problem, but with microclimates here in coastal CA, it’s very common for the Ecobee-reported temperature to be wrong by 15F at all times of the year. This morning, it says the low here was 49F. There was frost on the ground here, and local weather stations had between 29F and 35F within a Km of our home. I don’t think the low was as warm as 49F anywhere in the Bay Area, unless perhaps very close to the water (SFO?), whereas we live high in the hills west of Stanford. At one point, I reported this issue to Ecobee support and asked whether there was a way to control where the data pulls from. I received no reply.

Meanwhile the temperature shown on my Apple devices (e.g. an Apple Watch) which is where you are saying this data comes from, does not agree with what the Ecobee reports. In fact, it is usually pretty close to what I get from other local weather stations, within a few degrees F. So, I’m puzzled by the assertion that Ecobee gets its data from Apple, because that is clearly not what I see here. If it is getting data from Apple, it is poorly localized relative to what Apple delivers to its devices.

In any case, I am wondering where this data actually comes from, and whether there is any way to get beestat to ignore Ecobee’s weather data and pull data from elsewhere. As you say, this adds so much noise to the data that anything depending on this weather information is complete garbage. Between this issue and lots of solar heat gain in our home, none of the analysis features make any sense at all.

An ecobee support tech was who told me that they get their weather data from the same source as Apple Weather. I know Apple bought an app called Dark Sky a while back and integrated it into their updated Weather app. Maybe that was where ecobee was getting the weather data.

In any case, it would be helpful to have beestat (and ecobee, of course) grab local weather data from a specified PWS. This would substantially improve the accuracy of the data for me.

The Wikipedia on Apple Weather is illuminating, if not definitive:

So, depending on when you talked to the tech and how current their information was, the data source could have been any of a few possibilities, and who knows what it is now. My guess would be the Weather Channel, which has poor geographic granularity. Interestingly IBM owns both TWC and Weather Underground, where the latter gives them access to much more specific PWS data. It really does seem like a problem that should be easily solvable. Ecobee should be the ones solving it, but for purposes here, beestat could also.

I’m not sure any sort of PWS integration is on ecobee’s road map, and historically I’ve always just dealt with the side-effects of the times when they are inaccurate. Can you elaborate on how a PWS works? Are you hosting your own software that any authorized third party can simply connect to and download data from? I’m not super familiar with these but might be interested in building this out if it’s standard enough.

There are downsides, of course. If the ecobee weather data is replaced then you do lose the ability to see (in beestat) when certain outdoor temperature thresholds have been met. Maybe worth it though. Let me know!