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    Listening to a websocket stream can be very simple, but unlike Mesonet API it is not as easy as typing a formatted URL into a browser. Here we have collected some very bare code examples you can use to get started with listening to WebSockets in your applications.


    Javascript (and NodeJS) is a popular, native language for working with WebSockets in a browser or server environment. The WebSocket object/class is a native part of the language, and creates a very simple interface for receiving WebSocket Messages. Learn More

    var my_token = "Your API Token";
    var stream_server = "wss://";
    var query_arguments = "units=english&stid=KIAD,KDCA&vars=air_temp,relative_humidity";
    // first you should define a function that is called every time a message is received
    function message_received(message_event) {
    	// this function will be called every time there is a new message. And 
    	// the message will be given to the function as a special object.
    	// First you should extract the JSON object from the message
    	var message_json = JSON.parse(;
    	// and now you can process your streamed data. Use the `type` key to 
    	// determine what kind of message it is
    	if (message_json.type == "auth") {
    		// auth messages contain your session ID, which you can use to 
    		// reconnect where you left off if you have network trouble
    	} else if (message_json.type == "data") {
    		// this message contains a list of observations
    		var ob_index;
    		for (ob_index in {
    			//... handle your new observations
    	} else if (message_json.type == "metadata") {
    		// this is metadata!
    // we had to define that function first, but now we can connect to the socket
    // and set that function to be what is called when a message is received. 
    // and create the socket - this connects and starts listening almost immediately.
    var socket = new WebSocket(stream_server+my_token+"/?"+query_arguments);
    socket.onmessage = new_message;


    This is a terminal utility built on NodeJS, that you can use to direclty watch a websocket from a command line. When specifying a URL with parameters in the command line, remember to enclose the URL in quotes. Learn about wscat.

    wscat -c "wss://{Your Token}/?{Arguments}"


    There are a number of Python implementations of websockets, and they all work largely the same. This quick example uses websocket-client (pip install websocket-client), but others, including Tornado have the feature built-in.

    from websocket import create_connection
    import json
    my_token = "Your API Token"
    stream_server = "wss://"
    query_arguments = "units=english&stid=KIAD,KDCA&vars=air_temp,relative_humidity"
    # then you simply create your connection
    ws = create_connection(stream_server+my_token+"/?"+query_arguments)
    # and then you need to read for new messages from the connection. Do this
    # using an infinite while loop.
    while True:
    	data = ws.recv()
    	json_data = json.loads(data);
    	# and now do things with your received data, before going back to 
    	# the socket for another message.

    You can learn more about websocket-client here. Learn about tornado.websocket here.