September 10

Tropical API Archive Now Available

With the traditional peak of the tropical season underway, we have been busy with the release of the new tropical API addition to the AerisWeather API and new tropical map layers within the AerisWeather Maps Platform (AMP). Together, these products can better prepare you for imminent threats from tropical cyclones and help reduce storm risks when utilized within organizations.

Today, we are excited to announce the addition of archive data for tropical cyclones to the new tropical API. Using data from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), our API includes information for tropical cyclones starting from 1851 for the statistic basic, 1949 for the Eastern and Central Pacific, and 1945 for the West Pacific, Indian Ocean and Southern Pacific basins.

Tropical Cyclones History within the Atlantic and East Pacific Basins. Credit: NOAA

Tropical Cyclones Archive Endpoint

The tropical archive data is available via the new  endpoint. The archive responses match the active tropical cyclones endpoint, allowing you to easily implement both endpoints within your applications without changing any of the underlying data logic.

All Cyclones for the Current Year

A typical use-case is to obtain the current year’s tropical cyclones for a seasonal view, such as the new WeatherBlox tropical layout:

Example of WeatherBlox Tropical Archive View

Example of WeatherBlox Tropical Archive View

The tropical cyclones archive endpoint can return information on up to 50 cyclones in a single request. If needed, you can use the skip and limit parameters to page through the results. However, a better approach is to query by basin since a single basin shouldn’t more than 50 cyclones within a single year.  To query by basin, add the   parameter with the basin name or two-letter abbreviation. For example,    or .

To query by a specific year, we will use the search action and pass the year via the query parameter. For example to obtain the 2018 storms within the Atlantic:

The tropical API will return all information on the cyclones, including the profile and track of the system. Since this can be a lot of data for a single request, we can use the   parameter to limit the results to the elements that are needed. For example, if our presentation only needs the storm name, maximum storm type and max winds, we can use the   parameters to limit the results:

Which will return a reduced response similar too:

Cyclones for Previous Years

Similar to fetching storms for the current year, you can query cyclones for a previous year using the same search query and pass the year needed:

Information on a Specific Cyclone

If you only need information on a single tropical cyclone, then you can query by the tropical cyclone identifier.  Each tropical cyclone has a unique cyclone identifier that follows the format: , where:

  • YEAR is the tropical season year of the storm
  • BASIN is the originating basin for the storm
  • EVENTNUMBER is the event number of the storm in the originating basin which increases incrementally with each new tropical cyclone

For example, Hurricane Nate in 2017 has the cyclone identifier of

To query a tropical cyclone directly, just pass the cyclone’s unique identifier to the endpoint:

Advanced Queries

While the most common use-cases include requesting basin-wide storm listings or individual cyclone data, the tropical API offers many more powerful and unique capabilities.

Nearby Cyclones

A unique feature of the tropical API is the ability to query by a location and obtain any tropical systems that are nearby.  For example, imagine the scenario where a storm is heading towards Miami, Florida and you would like to perform an analysis to determine all cyclones whose center has traveled within 50 miles of Miami since 2000. With the tropical cyclone archive endpoint,  this information is readily available with a single query:

In the above query, we are querying the tropical archive with  , and a radius of  . The   is utilized to query storms that occurred from the 2000 season to today. Finally, we sort the results based on the start date of each storm from oldest to newest.

The result  of the query is:

  • Hurricane Ivan in 2004
  • Hurricane Katrina in 2005
  • Tropical Storm Bonnie in 2010

To limit the results above to cyclones that were hurricanes within their lifetime, just add   to the query parameter:

Query Cyclone Archive by Properties

Furthermore, you may need to filter the cyclone results based on specific properties which is handled with the query parameter. In previous examples, we have used this parameter to query by the year of the storm, but the API offers a variety of query options that can be used individually or combined.

For example, to find the category 5 storms that have occurred in the Atlantic since the year 2000, we would use 

Or, you want to return tropical cyclones based on wind speeds between 100 and 125 mph. We would first need to convert the winds to knots and use the following query:

Notice that we used a comma (,) to separate the query parameters in the above example. With advanced queries via the AerisWeather API, a comma acts as a logical  . Therefore, we are looking for tropical cyclones where the years >= 2000 AND the wind speed is 100-125 mph.

In some cases, you may which to query tropical cyclones that match at least one of multiple conditions, such as obtaining storms that were Category 4 OR Category 5. For this we use a semicolon, which acts as a logical   between the   elements within the query parameter:

Start Using Tropical Cyclone Archive Data

As seen in the above examples, the tropical API is a compelling and unique addition to the AerisWeather API.  By extending beyond just listing storms, it can assist with analytics to help power your business and application requirements.

As of today, the tropical cyclone archive endpoint is available to AerisWeather API Premium users and the free developer trial.

Check out the new tropical API and tell us how you’re using it!


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