Tag Archives: weather

ansiweather: One-line weather report, with frills

If it seems like most of the titles thus far are in the early part of the alphabet, that is only to be expected. There hasn’t been much of a chance to pull in titles from the latter half, after scraping through everything after about section N onward.

So just by virtue of time and random chance, a lot of what I have is in the A through M portion. I hope that doesn’t disappoint. πŸ˜‰

Here’s ansiweather, which might seem a bit minimalistic at first.


Mmm, color. πŸ˜€ Let’s get a close-up, and give ansiweather a chance to shine.


Whoa! Okay! That’s too close. But I think you can see one of ansiweather’s high points there: the use of specific weather ideographs as embellishments.

ansiweather also allows for forecast data, specific date formats, and of course, specific locations. All condensed into a single-line display.

Pretty cool. Colorful, terse, customizable, lightweight. I can find nothing wrong. Except of course, that those little umbrellas and clouds probably won’t show up in a virtual console. That’s a mighty small complaint though.

At this point, ansiweather is probably either a stroke of genius to you, or something so completely understated as to be rubbish. But consider adding ansiweather to …

  • vtclock, which allows you to pipe in the results of a command. Now you have a weather clock for your desktop;
  • Your .bashrc / .bash_profile, or maybe even somehow part of /etc/issue, which would give every console a weather report at login. This one might take a little effort to produce.
  • ticker or ticker, either of which will scroll that information across your console, vertically or horizontally;
  • figlet, or for real craziness, toilet … say no more;
  • or even just watch, which will allow you to paint it into a corner and update at set intervals. If you use a graphical desktop, try a terminal emulator set to be completely transparent, forced to the root desktop, reshaped to only one or two lines, and updating ansiweather at intervals. It’s like conky, without conky. πŸ˜‰

You might also consider cramming this into a terminal multiplexer, either as a specific panel or “desktop widget,” or through some sort of built-in status bar. Let me know if you figure that one out.

At first ansiweather might seem like a triviality, but like a lot of things with Linux, it’s not the tool that matters. It’s how you use it. πŸ˜‰

weather, weathercli and weatherman: Whither the weather?

I can never be sure, but it seems all the fun text-based weather applications have already been accounted for. 😦

There was cursetheweather, which did a great job breaking out the forecast in a professional manner. And there was weatherspect, which did the same thing but went in totally the opposite direction, making the forecast much more amusing.

What’s left appears to be in a rather scattered state. First, here’s the aptly named weather.


As you can see, weather does a decent job of drawing forecast information from the web, and displaying it in an attractive table. No color, but we can’t have everything, can we?

There’s more to weather than just the -i flag, but I didn’t take the time to go through the entire configuration. What I’ve seen in other screenshots suggests it doesn’t look too much different from the -i version, it just saves you retyping that each time. πŸ˜‰

weather is in Arch as just “weather,” but it appears in Debian as “weather-util,” which leads to some confusion. There is also a “weather-util” in AUR, and it draws from the same package as “weather.” But at the time of this writing, “weather-util” in AUR was unable to actually retrieve meteorological data.

weathercli is another tool that’s in AUR, but not in Debian. weathercli may also not be 100 percent working any more. Best I could tell from the mangled output, this pulls weather from weatherbug.com, and attempts to reformat it into a table similar to weather’s output.

I say “attempts,” because all I got was random HTML spattered over the screen, and an empty output form at the end. I tried to pump that into a text file and open it in a browser, but it wasn’t much to look at.

I see timestamps on weathercli that reach back to 2009, so I expect it has simply fallen out of use, and can’t parse weatherbug.com’s output any longer.

weatherman is probably the program weathercli wanted to be — a text-based interface to weatherbug.com.


This is also in AUR, but not in Debian. I like weatherman best, out of this small set, just for the extended forecast option. It does a good job parsing locations outside U.S. zip codes, and it knows enough to use Celsius or Fahrenheit, depending on the location.

But sometimes I just want a five-day breakdown of what to expect, and weatherman is the one that appears to do that in the most approachable format.

Of these three (four?), weatherman is the one that appears to be best-attended too. The github page shows updates within the last couple of months, and that’s always a good thing. Especially when some of these have obviously fallen by the wayside.

For straightforward weather data, any of these is a good tool. For something a little more professional and colorful, cursetheweather is my suggestion. And for something really fruity and entertaining, you’ll have to drop back to weatherspect.

Or you could just install them all. Why not? What’s holding you back? πŸ˜‰

snow.sh, snow.py: More weather for you

This one is not so much an application as a simple shell script. Given the time of year though, snow.sh is fun to watch.


Its big brother, snow.py, does much the same thing, but uses a range of characters that actually look like snow.


Visually an improvement, but I should mention that if I try to use snow.py on my framebuffer machine, I get a flurry of … inverted question marks. πŸ˜€

Before you dismiss this as a three-second diversion, consider including it in screen‘s blanker options, as your terminal screensaver for winter moods. According to your hemisphere, of course. … 😐

All the same, thanks go to sontek, and to a reddit submission that brought them to my attention.

cursetheweather: Exactly that

Occasionally I have to step back from the keyboard, and take stock of real life.

That’s when it’s time to put down the network monitors, the obscure text editors, the automatic kernel configurators, and get some information that really affects my day-to-day existence.

That’s when it’s time … to check the weather. Lucky for me, without looking out of my window, I can know the ways of heaven.


That’s the aptly-named cursetheweather, doing what it does best … and the only thing it does, that I can tell.

But it does it right, and for that I can find no fault. It’s the weather, it’s drawn up pretty, and it refreshes at periods.

It does take a little effort to get it going right. You’ll have to track down your weather codes from the actual Internet (oh, so much effort) and jam them into cursetheweather’s craw (the horror, the horror).

But once that’s done, it will spin happily into eternity, checking the weather until either the power, the hardware or the planet fails.

Now I’ve had my hand in much better weather display systems, some of which were my own invention, all the way down to the hardware.

But cursetheweather does its job well, and doesn’t pretend to do something else. That, I like most of all.