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Important changes to locationforecast and nowcast

tags: nowcast - locationforecast - weathericon - turbulence - sigcharts

After several months in beta, Nowcast 2.0 is finally officially launched. Both this and Locationforecast have now got a definite date for termination of the old versions.

Continuation of XML format

Based on popular feedback we have decided to continue the XML format for Locationforecast and Nowcast into the foreseeable future. For this purpose we have added a /classic XML variant to Nowcast, which is basically identical to the version 0.9 format. This means porting from the old version should be much faster than rewriting to use JSON.

To support the XML format in the future, we will extend it to include the new symbol codes as introduced in Weathericon 2.0. Please use this instead of the numerical codes which are now deprecated. Starting today the symbol elements will look like this:

<symbol id="PartlyCloud" number="3" code="partlycloudy_day"/>

You can then link this to the partlycloudy_day.png icon which can be downloaded in Weathericon 2.0.

Some future additional changes to the XML format are to be expected. Some time within the next six months we will remove the following elements from the XML format; please don’t use them in your clients:

<temperatureProbability unit="probabilitycode" value="0"/>
<windProbability unit="probabilitycode" value="0"/>
<symbolProbability unit="probabilitycode" value="1"/>

Termination of old versions

Now that both products have been finalized, we have decided it is time to say goodbye to the old versions, hailing from 2014 and 2016 respectively. On March 1st, 2021 the following products will no longer be available:

Please update your systems to use the new version if you haven’t already. If you keep running into 403 Forbidden errors, remember that according to the Terms of Service you must identify yourself with a unique User-Agent HTTP request header with contact information.

New version of Yr.no

As some of you may have noticed, yr.no now points to the new version (formerly the mobile site) and the old layout has been moved to retro.yr.no. The latter site is expected to be turned off in the summer of 2021; at the same time the old Yr API (varsel.xml/forecast.xml) will disappear. By this time users must have converted to use Locationforecast/2.0 for continued service.

The Yr developers at NRK are working on making a downloadable dump of the existings locations database, mapping place names to lat/lon coordinates. We’ll be back with more information on this once we have something to report.

Minor changes to other products

Sigcharts has gotten a new parameter validdate which makes it possible to see which day a plot is valid for. This is now included in the available list.

Turbulence has had some airports removed and Vigra airport added. We have also enabled search by ICAO code instead of location name; this will become the default search method in the future (which means the links in available will use icao instead of location parameters). We recommend updating your clients to use this at your earliest convenience.

—Geir Aalberg, 15 December 2020