NOAA Unreliable w/ Indigo

Discuss the NOAA Weather plugin.
CraigM
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NOAA Unreliable w/ Indigo

Post by CraigM »

The best HA $ I have spent is a weather station. I no longer have to rely on conditions from miles away or a service going down. I now have exact conditions as it relates to just my property.

Unfortunately, I must rely on weekly forecast data, and finding a service that is accurate, reliable, and integrates with Indigo has been an ongoing pain.

I don't know what's going on with NOAA, but when it's working it's fine and when it's not it's useless.

Several weeks ago my NOAA forecast data in Indigo is stuck and not updating on control pages.

• The forecast day names (Monday-Tuesday etc) for the week are correct.
• The text descriptions (Sunny-Cloudy etc) are all stuck on Sunny.
• The icons are all stuck on Sunny, even the night icons (example Period 3= Tomorrow DAY, and Period 4=Tomorrow NIGHT) The whole week shows the same SUNNY icon, day & night.
• The forecast temp readouts (xxº) for the whole week haven't updated in weeks.

If I go to the NOAA website (https://forecast.weather.gov/) all the temps & icons are correct for the same location that Indigo is using. Why is the Indigo data not the same as the official website?

Indoor and outdoor temps are critical to my HA setup. When the data is garbage, every trigger and schedule (HVAC, Irrigation etc) gets thrown off. When you live in an area where the summers are 105º-120º, this causes BIG ISSUES real fast.

Does anyone have suggestions on the "best' service for Indigo? or how to fix the issue in Indigo?
CraigM
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Re: NOAA Unreliable w/ Indigo

Post by CraigM »

MORE INFO:

If I go to the NOAA FORECAST device in Indigo, and scroll through the custom states the data all seems correct (Icons, H/L temps and forecast short)

So why doesn't the control page reflect that data?
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DaveL17
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Re: NOAA Unreliable w/ Indigo

Post by DaveL17 »

The plugin has no control over what's displayed on the control page and doesn't communicate directly with any control pages. When Indigo displays each page, it reads the source data and acts accordingly. That said, one thing that MAY be happening (if it has to do with images) is there may be cached versions that are causing the problem. If it's Indigo Touch, go into settings and clear cache. If it's a browser, you can try clearing the cache there.

Otherwise, I'd start with how the elements are defined in the control page editor.
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CraigM
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Re: NOAA Unreliable w/ Indigo

Post by CraigM »

DaveL17 wrote:The plugin has no control over what's displayed on the control page and doesn't communicate directly with any control pages. When Indigo displays each page, it reads the source data and acts accordingly. That said, one thing that MAY be happening (if it has to do with images) is there may be cached versions that are causing the problem. If it's Indigo Touch, go into settings and clear cache. If it's a browser, you can try clearing the cache there.

Otherwise, I'd start with how the elements are defined in the control page editor.
1) Indigo Touch has never had this problem before with images, it just started a few weeks ago.
2) Your solution (on the other post) to use refreshing images w/ a direct url to the NOAA API works, but unfortunately is not acceptable because every time you go to that control page, 13 images have to re-draw (update) and that just looks bad. Also, Indigo shouldn't need to go fetch the icons externally when they are all sitting in Indigo's own directory.
3) Cache Clear (IT) was one of the first things I tried, it did nothing.
4) "how the elements are defined in the control page editor" Pretty basic, defined as a DEVICE STATE, and has been that way for years.
5) All the Custom States listed under the NOAA Forecast DEVICE in Indigo are there and accurate and written as icon_01= /icons/land/night/skc?size=medium etc.

Let me know if more info is needed to help diagnose.
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jay (support)
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Re: NOAA Unreliable w/ Indigo

Post by jay (support) »

Ok, there are two topics which seem to be somewhat tangential, so let's separate them.

In this topic, your report is that the forecast icons aren't working - is that correct? This is because NOAA changed the icon data format in the forecast API. Before, it was a full URL, but now it's just a path. This affected how we parse that field and caused it to appear "stuck", which was the last time we got it in the format we expect. We don't know if this is an intentional change (why anyone would change an API like this is beyond us), but we're going to beef up the data parsing so that it will try to parse it both ways (in case they decide to switch it back in the future). We will release this fix with Indigo 2024.1. We don't have a firm release date, but I hope that we will be done with our backend system changes in the next few weeks, then we can turn our attention to getting Indigo Touch 3.0 and Indigo 2024.1 out.

Dave's workaround (from the other thread) should work. It might result in an unsightly initial launch, but once the page is loaded it should be fine. So this workaround should be good enough for the time being.
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jay (support)
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Re: NOAA Unreliable w/ Indigo

Post by jay (support) »

Oh, and concerning the icon sizing issue: we simply provide the icons as they are supplied (in a zip archive) by NOAA. We don't control the sizes ourselves, and we do not edit those in any way. We just download the zip file and move the images into the right place. We do not want to get in the business of "fixing" NOAA's images every time they change it. It's difficult enough to keep up with API field changes...

I really wish there were a better/more reliable source of free weather data. But there really doesn't seem to be. Poor @DaveL has released at least 2 other plugins (and has taken over the NOAA plugin maintenance so that's three) for weather data only to have those sources/services stop working for one reason or another.
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CraigM
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Re: NOAA Unreliable w/ Indigo

Post by CraigM »

jay (support) wrote:Ok, there are two topics which seem to be somewhat tangential, so let's separate them.

In this topic, your report is that the forecast icons aren't working - is that correct? This is because NOAA changed the icon data format in the forecast API. Before, it was a full URL, but now it's just a path. This affected how we parse that field and caused it to appear "stuck", which was the last time we got it in the format we expect. We don't know if this is an intentional change (why anyone would change an API like this is beyond us), but we're going to beef up the data parsing so that it will try to parse it both ways (in case they decide to switch it back in the future). We will release this fix with Indigo 2024.1. We don't have a firm release date, but I hope that we will be done with our backend system changes in the next few weeks, then we can turn our attention to getting Indigo Touch 3.0 and Indigo 2024.1 out.

Dave's workaround (from the other thread) should work. It might result in an unsightly initial launch, but once the page is loaded it should be fine. So this workaround should be good enough for the time being.
UPDATE: As of today 7/9/24
-The REFRESHING URL method (https://api.weather.gov) of fetching icons is now displaying NO icon
-The normal method of fetching icons locally from within Indigo is working again

The folks at NOAA don't seem to understand (or care) about the impact when they change their code. Keep this in mind when you "beef up the data parsing so that it will try to parse it both ways"
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DaveL17
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Re: NOAA Unreliable w/ Indigo

Post by DaveL17 »

Yep, NOAA has reverted that XML node to what it was previously (apparently without word or warning).

We'll do what we can to accommodate both scenarios in the plugin, but it's not really possible to guard against arbitrary changes to the API.
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