Weather station scripts

They're free, but use at your own risk

The scripts referenced here are used in the operation of this weather station, and may be freely copied and used to support your station. Please note that you use these scripts at your own risk. No warranty is expressed or implied. I accept no liability for any damages that may ensue from their use.
You will need to configure them for your own particular weather station website.
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A Version History is available -- check back from time to time to see if there are updates to scripts you have downloaded earlier. Announcements of version updates and new scripts are made on and Weather-Watch forums and saratogaWXPHP Twitter account as they become available.

Note: Twitter widget has been disabled 3-Jul-2023 since it no longer displays the recent update Tweets.

This page was updated Monday, 07-Aug-2023 8:16 AM

Pirateweather International forecast formatting script - multilingual

This script was designed to replace the DS-forecast.php script as Apple purchased DarkSky and is only offering legacy API access for a limited time.
Fortunately, there is an API that mimics the DarkSky API provided by

Note that the Pirateweather API only provides Daily forecasts, so no night-time forecast icons are available. Pirateweather provides only English forecasts and it is only one short word as used as the icon and text description. The PW-forecast-lang.php provides translation capabilities for Saratoga Template languages for additional text added to the text forecast from data provided by Pirateweather API (i.e. Temperature High/Low, Probibility of precipation, Wind direction, speed and gust, UV index ). The PW-forecast-lang.php is provided as a separate script for easy update as new languages are added. Currently the following languages are supported (in addition to English: af,bg,cs,ct,de,dk,el,es,fi,fr,he,hu,it,nl,no,pl,pt,ro,se,si,sk,sr

In order to use this script you need to:

  1. Register for and acquire a free Pirateweather API key.
    1. Browse to and sign in to acquire an API key
    2. insert the API key in $PWAPIkey in the PW-forecast.php script or as $SITE['PWAPIkey'] in Settings.php for Saratoga template users.
    3. Customize the $PWforecasts array (or $SITE['PWforecasts'] in Settings.php) with the location names, latitude/longitude for your forecasts. The first entry will be the default one for forecasts.
  2. Use this script ONLY on your personal, non-commercial weather station website.
  3. Leave attribution (and hotlink) to Pirateweather as the source of the data in the output of the script.

Adhere to these three requirements, and you should have fair use of this data from Pirateweather.

Settings in the PW-forecast.php script

// Settings ---------------------------------------------------------------
// REQUIRED: a Pirateweather API KEY.. sign up at
$PWAPIkey = 'specify-for-standalone-use-here'; // use this only for standalone / non-template use
// NOTE: if using the Saratoga template, add to Settings.php a line with:
//    $SITE['PWAPIkey'] = 'your-api-key-here';
// and that will enable the script to operate correctly in your template
$iconDir ='./forecast/images/';	// directory for carterlake icons './forecast/images/'
$iconType = '.jpg';				// default type='.jpg' 
//                        use '.gif' for animated icons from
// The forecast(s) .. make sure the first entry is the default forecast location.
// The contents will be replaced by $SITE['PWforecasts'] if specified in your Settings.php

$PWforecasts = array(
 // Location|lat,long  (separated by | characters)
'Auckland|-36.910,174.771', // Awhitu, Waiuku New Zealand

$maxWidth = '640px';                      // max width of tables (could be '100%')
$maxIcons = 10;                           // max number of icons to display
$maxForecasts = 14;                       // max number of Text forecast periods to display
$maxForecastLegendWords = 4;              // more words in forecast legend than this number will use our forecast words 
$numIconsInFoldedRow = 5;                 // if words cause overflow of $maxWidth pixels, then put this num of icons in rows
$autoSetTemplate = true;                  // =true set icons based on wide/narrow template design
$cacheFileDir = './';                     // default cache file directory
$cacheName = "PW-forecast-json.txt";      // locally cached page from DS
$refetchSeconds = 3600;                   // cache lifetime (3600sec = 60 minutes)
// Units: 
// si: SI units (C,m/s,hPa,mm,km)
// ca: same as si, except that windSpeed and windGust are in kilometers per hour
// uk2: same as si, except that nearestStormDistance and visibility are in miles, and windSpeed and windGust in miles per hour
// us: Imperial units (F,mph,inHg,in,miles)
$showUnitsAs  = 'ca'; // ='us' for imperial, , ='si' for metric, ='ca' for canada, ='uk2' for UK
$charsetOutput = 'ISO-8859-1';        // default character encoding of output
//$charsetOutput = 'UTF-8';            // for standalone use if desired
$lang = 'en';	// default language
$foldIconRow = false;  // =true to display icons in rows of 5 if long texts are found
// ---- end of settings ---------------------------------------------------

For Saratoga template users, you normally do not have to customize the script itself as the most common configurable settings are maintained in your Settings.php file. This allows you to just replace the PW-forecast.php on your site when new versions are released.
You DO have to add a $SITE['PWAPIkey'] = 'your-key-here'; and a $SITE['PWforecasts] = array( ...); entries to your Settings.php file to support this and future releases of the script.

$PWAPIkey = 'specify-for-standalone-use-here';
This setting is for standalone use (do not change this for Saratoga templates).
Register for a Pirateweather API Key at and replace specify-for-standalone-use-here with the registered API key. The script will nag you if this has not been done.

For Saratoga template users, do the registration at the Pirateweather API site above, then put your API key in your Settings.php as:

$SITE['PWAPIkey'] = 'your-key-here';

to allow easy future updates of the PW-forecast.php script by simple replacement.
This setting controls whether to display the NOAA-styled icons on the forecast display.
Set $iconDir to the relative file path to the Saratoga Icon set (same set as used with the WXSIM plaintext-parser.php script).
Be sure to include the trailing slash in the directory specification as shown in the example above.
Saratoga template users: Use the Settings.php entry for $SITE['fcsticonsdir'] to specify this value.
This setting controls the extension (type) for the icon to be displayed.
='.jpg'; for the default Saratoga JPG icon set.
='.gif'; for the Meteotriviglio animated GIF icon set.
Saratoga template users: Use the Settings.php entry for $SITE['fcsticonstype'] to specify this value.
$PWforecasts = array(
// Location|forecast-URL (separated by | characters)
'Auckland|-36.910,174.771', // Awhitu, Waiuku New Zealand

This setting is the primary method of specifying the locations for forecasts. It allows the viewer to choose between forecasts for different areas based on a drop-down list box selection.
Saratoga template users: Use the Settings.php entry for $SITE['PWforecasts'] = array(...); to specify the list of sites and URLs.
This variable controls the maximum width of the tables for the icons and text display. It may be in pixels (as shown), or '100%'. The Saratoga/NOAA icons are 55px wide and there are up to 8 icons, so beware setting this width too small as the display may be quite strange.
This variable specifies the maximum number of icons to display in the graphical part of the forecast. Some forecast locations may have up to 8 days of forecast (8 icons) so be careful how wide the forecast may become on the page.
This setting specifies the directory to store the cache files. The default is the same directory in which the script is located.
Include the trailing slash in the directory specification.
Saratoga template users: Use the Settings.php entry for $SITE['cacheFileDir'] to specify this value.
This variable specifies the name of the cache file for the DS forecast page.
This variable specifies the cache lifetime, or how long to use the cache before reloading a copy from Pirateweather. The default is 3600 seconds (60 minutes). Forecasts don't change very often, so please don't reduce it below 60 minutes to minimize your API access count and keep it to the free Developer API range.
This setting controls the units of measure for the forecasts.
='si' SI units (C,m/s,hPa,mm,km)
='ca' same as si, except that windSpeed and windGust are in kilometers per hour
='uk2' same as si, except that nearestStormDistance and visibility are in miles, and windSpeed and windGust in miles per hour
='us' Imperial units (F,mph,inHg,in,miles)
Saratoga template users: This setting will be overridden by the $SITE['PWshowUnitsAs'] specified in your Settings.php.
This setting controls 'folding' of the icons into two rows if the aggregate width of characters exceeds the $maxSize dimension in pixels.
= true; is the default (fold the row)
= false; to select not to fold the row.
Saratoga template users: Use the Settings.php entry for $SITE['foldIconRow'] to specify this value.

More documentation is contained in the script itself about variable names/arrays made available, and the contents. The samples below serve to illustrate some of the possible usages on your weather website.

Usage samples

$doIncludePW = true;
include("PW-forecast.php"); ?>


Pirateweather Forecast for: - Saratoga, CA, USA

Currently: Tue, 25-Jun-2024 1:36pm PDT
Temperature: 34°C
Wind: NNE 8->8 km/h.
Humidity: 30%
Dew Point: 9°C
Barometer: 994.9 hPa
Visibility: 16.1 km
UV Index: 8
Sunrise: 05:49
Sunset: 20:32
Pirateweather Forecast for: Saratoga, CA, USA
Updated:Tue, 25-Jun-2024 1:00pm PDT


Daily Forecast

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday
Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear
Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear Clear

Clear. High: 32°C. Low: 13°C. Wind SW 5->9 km/h. UV Index 8.
Clear. High: 27°C. Low: 11°C. Wind NNW 8->16 km/h. UV Index 8.
Clear. High: 26°C. Low: 11°C. Wind WNW 9->18 km/h. UV Index 8.
Clear. High: 29°C. Low: 11°C. Wind WSW 6->12 km/h. UV Index 8.
Clear. High: 27°C. Low: 13°C. Wind WSW 8->17 km/h. UV Index 8.
Clear. High: 28°C. Low: 12°C. Wind WNW 9->19 km/h. UV Index 8.
Clear. High: 32°C. Low: 13°C. Wind WNW 6->12 km/h. UV Index 8.
Clear. High: 33°C. Low: 16°C. Wind W 5->10 km/h. UV Index 8.

Hourly Forecast

Timeline display based on Merry-Timeline by Guillaume Carbonneau


Saratoga, CA, USA forecast by
Sources for this forecast: ETOPO1 , GFS , GEFS , HRRRSUBH

You can also include it 'silently' and print just a few (or all) the contents where you'd like it on the page

$doPrintPW = false;
require("PW-forecast.php"); ?>

then on your page, the following code would display just the current and next time period forecast:

<tr align="center" valign="top">
<?php print "<td>$PWforecasticons[0]</td><td>$PWforecasticons[1]</td>\n"; ?>
<tr align="center" valign="top">
<?php print "<td>$PWforecasttemp[0]</td><td>$PWforecasttemp[1]</td>\n"; ?>

Or if you'd like to include the immediate forecast with text for the next two cycles:

<tr valign="top">
<?php print "<td align=\"center\">$PWforecasticons[0]<br />$PWforecasttemp[0]</td>\n"; ?>
<?php print "<td align=\"left\" valign=\"middle\">$PWforecasttext[0]</td>\n"; ?>
<tr valign="top">
<?php print "<td align=\"center\">$PWforecasticons[1]<br />$PWforecasttemp[1]</td>\n"; ?>
<?php print "<td align=\"left\" valign=\"middle\">$PWforecasttext[1]</td>\n"; ?>

Clear. High: 32°C. Low: 13°C. Wind SW 5->9 km/h. UV Index 8.
Clear. High: 27°C. Low: 11°C. Wind NNW 8->16 km/h. UV Index 8.

If you'd like to style the output, you can easily do so by setting a CSS for class PWforecast either in your CSS file or on the page including the PW-forecast.php (in include mode):

<style type="text/css">  
.PWforecast {
    font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    font-size: 9pt;

Installation of PW-forecast.php

Download PW-forecast.php and PW-forecast-lang.php from the link below.

Optionally, download the Icon set (or just the Add-on Icons if you already have the Carterlake NOAA Icon set), and upload to /forecast/images directory. If you already have the plaintext-parser.php WXSIM script installed, you can use the existing icon set (no need to download again).

Change settings in PW-forecast.php for the $PWforecast address(s) and the address of the icons if necessary and upload the modified PW-forecast.php to your website.

Ensure the permission on "PW-forecast.txt" cache file are at least 666 or 766 so the file is writable by the Pirateweatherforecst.php script

Demo: PW-forecast-demo.php (note: uses UTF-8 only mode)
Download: PW-forecast.php (Version 2.52 - 24-Feb-2023)
Download: PW-forecast-lang.php (Version 1.08 -07-Aug-2023)

Download: Icon Set (upload to your website in the /forecast/images directory)

Version history

  • Version 2.52 - 24-Feb-2023 removed conditions display 'n miles/km from' message as always zero from API
  • Version 2.51 - 19-Jan-2023 display ampm or 24h on timeline based on $timeFormat/$SITE['timeFormat']
  • Version 2.50 - 18-Jan-2023 updates for Saratoga Template and add merry-timeline for hourly display
  • Version 2.00 - 14-Jan-2023 initial release