Welcome to PWS Connect!

PWS Connect allows personal weather station owners connected to the Weather Underground, Davis WeatherLink, or Aeris/PWS Weather services to easily stay up to date with their weather station data. The app supports iPhone widgets and all Watch complications, and will continuously update weather information to let you track hyper-local weather conditions at a glance. The app maintains a continuous 24-hour log of all key weather station data including barometric pressure, temperature, humidity, wind chill, heat index, precipitation amounts and rates, and wind speed and direction.

The weather graphs are fully interactive on both the Watch and iPhone so you can easily see exactly what happened and when.

The app also supports notifications for wind, heat index, freezing conditions, rain, and storm conditions to alert you to weather-related events at a specific personal weather station.

 

Finding and selecting personal weather stations

To display weather station information, the app will need to be set to a personal weather weather station of your choice. To select, review, or modify personal weather stations you wish to track, tap the "Station" button on the main screen. This will take you to a new screen that lists weather stations have previously selected, and allows you to add new ones, delete existing ones, or to change the ordering of your preferred weather station list.

Initially, this list will be blank. Tap the "Add new/edit" button. This will take you a screen allowing you to select the weather services and specific stations you wish to use.

Please note that you must be a weather station owner contributing to the weather service you wish to use in order to obtain access to weather station data.

Gaining access to the weather station data requires obtaining and entering one or two API keys to enable communications with the desired weather data providers. Weather Underground requires a single API key; Davis and PWS/Aeris Weather both require an API key as well as an API secret key.

 

To enter the needed keys, tap on either the "API key/ID" or "API secret" buttons. This will bring up another menu that will let you enter the needed key(s). These keys can be obtained via the web links provided immediately below the key value entry area. This link will open a web page that will navigate you to the appropriate Weather Underground, Davis WeatherLink, or Aeris Weather pages where you can access the needed API key information. Note that you will need to be signed into the weather service provider to access your API key information. If the key information on the page is blank, use the "Generate new key" button on the web page to create new keys. With Davis, you will be using the "API Key V2" key and secret pair; with Weather underground, you will only need the single API key. Copy and paste the keys into the appropriate fields in the PWS Connect app. Once you have entered your API key (and API secret if needed), select "Done editing keys" or "go" on the keyboard to return tho the previous menu. If you have entered valid keys, the key information will be displayed in green, and the map will show valid weather stations new your location. If your keys are not valid, they will be displayed in gray, and you will not see weather stations on the map. Please make sure that you copy and paste all the digits and characters in the API key or API secret. If available, please use the web page's "Copy to Clipboard" buttons to make copying your API keys easier. Please note that the Weather Underground API key expires after six months and will need to be regenerated using the "Regenerate Key" option to be able to continue receiving weather station data. Initially enabling Aeris/PWS Weather API keys will require a few additional steps; please see the Notes section for more detailed information.

Once you have entered valid keys for the service of your choice, the map will display available weather stations near your current location. Map pins identify the locations of personal weather stations near you. You can pan and zoom the map to locate a weather station you wish to select. Tapping on a map pin will give you additional name and location data about the weather station. If you tap on the green "+" button next to the station name and location information, the station will be added to your active weather station list. If the station has already been selected, the pin menu will have an "X" button which you can use to remove the weather station from your active weather station list. Selected weather stations will have green pins, unselected stations will be identified with red pins.

If you select a weather station from the map, it will automatically be used as your current station. You can also specify which weather station you want to track by simply tapping on the desired station in your station list before exiting the station list menu. A highlight will indicate which station in the station list is desired as the active station.

For convenience, you can change the order of stations in your station list using the "Edit list" button. When edit mode is enabled, you can freely re-order your station list, or remove stations you no longer want on the list. When you are finished adding or removing stations and selecting your desired active weather station, tape "Done". Note that you can also delete stations at any time by swiping left on a listed station.

To make any of the stations in your weather station list the active station, simply tap on it. The active station will be highlighted to indicate that it is the active station.

Note that if you activate a different station than one you had previously been monitoring, the previous station data will be reset.

 
API keys.png

Example of successful Davis Weatherlink API key and secret entries

Map-example.png

Example of Aeris PWS Weather station map with two selected stations.

Graph display and navigation

 

Once you have selected an active weather station, PWS Connect will start displaying the personal weather stations weather data. Because weather station data providers have different approaches and policies regarding how much detailed historical data they provide, it may take up to a full day to build up a full 24-hour historical log of data.
 

The interactive graphs on the iPhone and the Watch allows you to fully explore weather station data. The weather data graphs support three types of gestures: tap, tap-hold-drag, and swipe. These gestures were designed to operate the same way on the iPhone and Watch versions of the app to let you easily switch between the two devices.

When you are zoomed into the graph, swiping left and right allows you to scroll the graph to the left or right.

 

A single tap gesture will activate a vertical orange cursor at the approximate tap location. When the orange cursor is displayed, the data value corresponding to the cursor location will be displayed directly under the graph.

 

The tap-hold-drag gesture allows you to drag the cursor to the desired location on the screen to show the exact data value you're interested in seeing. To use this gesture, tap and hold your finger down at a place of interest on any of the weather graphs. The orange cursor will appear under your finger, and you will also feel a haptic "tap" letting you know that you are now in "tap-hold-drag" mode. Keeping your finger on the screen, you can now slide your finger left or right to move the orange cursor as your finger moves. As with the single tap activating the cursor, the data value corresponding to the cursor location will be displayed directly under the weather graph.

 

On the Watch, you can also use the Digital Crown to easily and accurately change the location of the cursor when it is displayed on the screen. Simply active the cursor with a tap or a tap-hold-drag gesture, and rotate the Digital Crown away from you to move the cursor to the right, and towards you to move the cursor to the left.

 

Due to screen size limitations, controlling zooming into the graphs works differently on iPhone and Watch versions. On the iPhone app, use the slider at the bottom of the main screen display to select the desired horizontal scale represented as a time interval. On the Watch, you can zoom in or out of the graph using Digital Crown when the cursor is inactive (i.e. not currently displayed).

The app displays five weather graphs: barometer, temperature, wind, rain, and humidity.

On the Watch, these five graphs are displayed on individual screens that you can navigate to by swiping left and right on the button edge of the screen (the area where seven small gray and white dots are displayed indicating which screen you are currently displaying).

On the iPhone, the five graphs are displayed one above the other on the main screen, and you can swipe up and down to navigate between them. You can display two full graphs on the iPhone at the same time.

Note that whenever you activate and display the app on either the Watch or iPhone, the graph screen will initially display the full range of the data the app has collected so far (e.g. will be automatically zoomed out).

To minimize clutter and to present as much rich information as simply as possible, three of the graphs show multiple types of data in a single composite graph. The graphs also use color gradients where applicable to highlight trends.

In addition to showing measured temperature, the Temperature graph also shows dewpoint as an overlaid dot graph, and wind chill or heat index if conditions are cold or hot enough to warrant displaying wind chill or heat index as a third overlay using triangles to be able to distinguish the three separate measurements. The shaded area under the temperature graph is color-coded to indicate temperature (starting with blue being cold, and then progressing through gray, yellow, orange, and red as the temperature increases).

The Wind graph shows average wind speed as a smooth line graph, and wind gusts and wind direction using small arrows that indicate wind direction and gust speed. The shaded area under the wind graph is color-coded to indicate wind intensity using the Beaufort scale ranging from light blue (light breeze) to red (batten down the hatches!).

The Rain graph shows both rainfall rate as discrete dots, and rainfall amount as a smooth line with blue shading under the curve.

The Humidity graph shows percentage humidity with no other data, and is shaded from dark gray through green, yellow, and orange as the humidity increases to 100%.

The Barometer graph shows barometric pressure with no other data, and is shaded to show decreases in pressure with red shading, and increases with a green shading with a gray baseline.

 
iPhone-graph.png
Watch-baro-graph.png

Example graph displays with combined graphs on the iPhone on the left, and separate graphs on the Watch.

The data displayed is identical between the two devices, and navigation is as similar as possible.

Watch-temp-graph.PNG

Notifications

 

The notifications area on the options screen allows you to set weather-related notifications for the currently selected weather station via the "Storm", "Wind", "Heat", "Freeze", and "Rain" buttons and value sliders. Note that these options are only accessible if notifications for the app are enabled on your iPhone via Settings/Notifications/PWS Connect

Storm

 

When the “Storm” option is enabled, the app will monitor the barometric pressure over the desired 1-3 hour time range and will issue an alert if the barometric pressure drop is greater than 4 hPa per three hours (approximately 0.04 inches of mercury per hour), or a rise greater than 6 hPa per three hours (about 0.06 inHg per hour). PWS Connect will send a notification, and will also set a notification badge on PWS icon on the phone. The storm alarm will also be displayed in the large graphic Watch complication, iPhone widget, and main screen of the iPhone app using a “⚡️” symbol to denote a storm condition with a large drop in pressure with potential precipitation, and a "💨" symbol to indicate a large rise in pressure and potential high wind. Note that a significant drop or rise in barometric pressure does not always indicate that storm or windy conditions are developing. You can change the time period used to monitor and trigger a storm condition notification using the "Storm time" slider to the right of the "Storm" button.

Wind

The wind alert will alert you of reported wind gusts greater than the value you set with the slider to the right of the button. The alert value can be between 5mph and 90mph. The wind notification waits for three hours until it will trigger again. If you want it to trigger sooner after receiving a wind notification, toggle the "Wind" notification off and on, or set a new Wind notification value. This will allow the notification to trigger as soon as the wind trigger condition has been detected.

Heat

The heat index alert will alert you of calculated heat index values greater than the value you set with the slider to the right of the "Heat" button. The alert value can be between 80°F and 105°F. The heat index notification waits for 24 hours until it will trigger again. If you want the Heat Index notification to trigger sooner after receiving a heat index notification, toggle the "Heat" notification off and on, or set a new Heat Index notification value. This will allow the notification to trigger as soon as the specified Heat Index condition has been detected.

Freeze

The freeze alert will alert you of a weather station temperature below the value you set with the slider to the right of the "Freeze" button. The alert value can be between 38°F and -20°F. The freeze notification waits for 24 hours until it will trigger again. If you want the Freeze notification to trigger sooner after receiving a freeze notification, toggle the "Freeze" notification off and on, or set a new Freeze notification valueThis will allow the notification to trigger as soon as the specified Freeze condition has been detected.

Rain

The rain alert will notify you of precipitation amounts that exceed the value that you set. The range can be from a trace amount to three inches. Once the rain alert triggers, it will not alert again until the running 24-hour accumulation total dips below the notification threshold. If you want it to trigger sooner after receiving a Rain notification, set a rainfall trigger amount greater than the current value.

 
Notifications.png

Notifications menu area showing all five notifications set and active.

Units

Units for weather-related value can be set to any desired combination of metric and imperial measures. To change a unit value, tap on the desired unit button to change, and while holding your finger down, slide up or down until the selection displays the desired unit value. Barometric units can be set to inHg, hPa, or mb; temperature can be set to Celcius or Fahrenheit, rain can be set to inches or centimeters, and wind can be set to KPH or MPH.

 
Units.png

Units settings area showing temperature setting being changed

Phone widget

The phone widget can be set to display any one of five weather graphs. You can change this setting any time, and your selection will be immediately reflected by the widget. To change the widget graph, tap on the "Phone widget" setting button, and while holding your finger down, slide up or down until the selection displays the graph you want your phone widget to display. This can be Barometer, Temperature, Wind, Rain, or Humidity.

 
Widget-menu.png

Phone widget setting showing widget graph preference being changed

Stats

The Stats screen displays a handful if useful statistics of weather data over the past 24-hour period.

 

Watch Complications

 

PWS Connect supports all available Watch complication styles and has been designed to convey as much glanceable information as possible.  The two large Watch complication styles provide graphical displays of weather trends similar to what is displayed by the widget and interactive graph screens. The graphs were designed to be effective in spotting weather trends at a glance on your wrist. The non-graphical complications provide glanceable current data as well as trend information where space permits. Directional trend arrows are used to convey trends for barometric pressure, wind, temperature, and humidity trends over the past two hours, with each arrow represent one hour. Barometric complications also provide a forecast icon and/or message based on the current barometric pressure.

While all the complications provide useful at-a-glance information, the large graphic complication provides the richest amount of data and is recommended for the optimal PWS Connect experience. PWS Connect supports multiple complications introduced with WatchOS 7 and later. This means that you can select multiple weather graphs in different watch faces to be able to easily move between - for example - a Watch face with a barometric pressure graph, and one with temperature graphs. Multiple PWS Connect complications can also be combined in a single Watch face.

 

Notes

Aeris/PWS Weather API keys

 

In order to create and obtain API keys to access your weather station data on the PWS Weather network, you first need to create a developer account on Aeris Weather. As a PWS contributor, you will have access to the free PWS Contributor package. Next, you need to register an app to obtain API keys. Go to the apps section of your Aeris Weather account and select "New Application". In the popup, enter "PWS Connect" in the "Application Name" field, and enter "*" for "Application Namespace". Select "Save Application". You should now see "ID" and "Secret" values for the PWS Connect on the page which you can now copy into the app.

Forecast parameters

 

The app uses the following values (shown here using inHg units) to calculate the forecast:

 

pressure < 29.0575   : Stormy

pressure < 29.4709   : Rainy

pressure < 29.8843   : Change

pressure < 30.2978   : Fair

pressure >= 30.2978 : Dry

Battery life

Development of this app has focused on conserving battery life as a core principle.  It makes minimal use of GPS hardware with as little background processing as possible, and only updates Watch complications when necessary to maintain functionality and usability.