Big Sky

better weather for Alexa

Big Sky Premium

Get the Most out of Big Sky with Premium

Radar Animation

Big Sky offers world-wide radar animations. "Alexa, ask Big Sky to show me the radar!"

Personalized Address Labels

You can add up to four additional addresses and assign them any labels you like. "Alexa, ask big sky for the wind speed at the boat."

Custom Weather Alerts

Get the weather information you want most, when you want it. You can schedule notifications for different kinds of extreme weather: hot, freezing, windy, rainy, high u. v. index.

FAQ

Thanks for using BigSky. Below you'll find topics to help you get the most out of the skill.

Big Sky Premium

Premium adds additional capabilities to Big Sky, turning it into a truly personalized weather service.

  • Additional Addresses, Custom Labels: You can add four additional addresses to get the weather at locations around the world. Then add custom labels to these address, like "mom's house" or "the beach." 
  • Custom Weather Alerts: You can schedule 5 different weather alerts to let you know when the next 24 hours is likely to bring: hot, freezing, windy, rainy, or high u. v. index weather.
  • Radar Animation: Premium users can get world-wide live radar animation, with 3 levels of zoom. 
  • Future Upgrades Premium users automatically receive all future upgrades and all new premium features as soon as they are introduced.

To get weather for your additional address, you just use the label you assigned to the address, e.g.

  • What's the weather at the beach?
  • What's the wind speed at the marina at 3:00 p. m .?
  • What's the high temperature tomorrow at mom's house?

To set up a Custom Weather Alert, just say, "Alexa, tell big sky to add a custom weather alert." You'll be walked through the steps for choosing the alert type and time.

To get radar for your default location, just say "Alexa, show me the radar." For radar at other locations: "Alexa, show me the radar over Detroit," or "Show me the radar at the beach."

Currently, BigSky Premium is 99 cents a month. Amazon Prime users pay 80 cents a month.

Just say, "Alexa, tell Big Sky I want to try Premium."

There is a free 1 week trial, and you can cancel your subscription at any time.  "Alexa, tell Big Sky I want to cancel Premium."

Weather Info

To get current weather information for your default location, just say "Alexa, open Big Sky."

 Or, "Alexa...

  • ...open Big Sky"
  • ...ask Big Sky for the weather tomorrow"
  • ...ask Big Sky for the weather on Friday"
  • ...ask Big Sky for the weather in three days"
  • Ask Big Sky for the weekend report
  • Ask Big Sky for the weekly forecast

You can get the following hourly information for up to 48 hours out. You can specify the hour ("10:00 am"), duration ("in three hours"), day and hour ("tomorrow at noon") for the following values

  • Precipitation: will it rain? will it snow? 
  • Temperature
  • Apparent Temperature
  • Dew Point / Humidity
  • Barometric Pressure
  • U. V. Index
  • Wind

You can get the following daily weather info for one week out.

  • Precipitation: Will it rain / snow tomorrrow? How much will it rain / snow tomorrow (will give downfall or accumulations.)
  • Temperature. (Highs and lows for the day.)
  • Dew Point / Humidity
  • Air Quality
  • Barometric Pressure
  • U. V. Index
  • Wind Speed
  • Sunrise / Sunset

Unfortunately, at this time Amazon does not allow 3rd party skills to be included in routines.

They also don't allow 3rd party skills to tailor information in flash briefings for individual users.

These are highly requested features. Please send feedback to Amazon and request that they allow 3rd party skills full access to the Alexa platform.

Setup Options

The content of a basic report changes based on conditions, but usually includes: weather for the next hour, and then the day's forecast. If precipitation is possible, it will include precipitation probabiliities. If there's a weather alert, it will give you a very brief summary.

Basic forecasts will always prompt you if you want more details.

If you ask to hear more details, you'll hear sunset and sunrise times, times for the high and low temperatures for the day, and current wind speed and humidity details.

Just what it sounds like! A detailed report will give you everything the basic report does plus:

  • Sunrise / Sunset times
  • Precipitation Report
  • Current Wind Speed
  • Humidity + Dew Point

"Alexa, tell Big Sky I want to update my options."

This will send a card to the Alexa app. Click on the link in the card, and you can update your options and edit your addresses (and custom labels.)

Weather Notifications

Big Sky will send you a notification whenever the National Weather Service issues a moderate or severe weather alert for your area.

Notifications will only be sent during waking hours, with the exception of warnings for imminently dangerous events (e.g, hurricanes, flash floods, evacuations orders, etc.)

Please Note: Big Sky Notifications should not be depended on to give timely alerts for weather events. They are not sent in real time, but are sent several times an hour. In addition, settings on your Alexa device or in the Alexa app can prevent you from receiving alerts!

You can schedule a notification when the weather for the next 24 hours is predicted to be:

  • Hot (> 85 degrees fahrenheit)
  • Freezing
  • Windy ( sustained winds > 15 mph)
  • Sunny  (U. V. Index > 9)
  • Rainy  (> 80% chance of rain)

To schedule a custom weather alert, just say "Alexa, tell big sky to add a custom weather alert."

Custom weather alerts can be scheduled on the hour.

You can schedule when you recieve Alexa notifications (not just for Big Sky) by setting "do not disturb hours." These are set on a per device basis. Check out the Amazon info here.

There are several ways to turn off Big Sky notifications.

  • Turn off all notifications: You can revoke notifications permissions for Big Sky completely in the Alexa app. Go to Settings -> Notifications -> Skills, and find Big Sky
  • Turn off Severe Weather Notifications Only:  Just say, "Alexa, tell Big Sky to turn off Severe weather alerts."  You can turn them back on, too: "Tell Big Sky to turn on severe weather alerts."

TroubleShooting

Occasionally, of course, weather reports are wrong. But if your report is consistently bad, very likely you're getting the forecast for the wrong location. Maybe there was a typo in the address you entered. Or maybe the address you entered is being misinterpreted. Here's how to fix it.

Big Sky uses Google location services to map the address you enter to a longitude and latitude. Check the address you gave Big Sky in Google maps. Make sure that your location is accurate on the map. Then, tell Big Sky sky to "update my options", and re-enter that address, making sure you're entering it without error. This should fix the problem.

You've linked the skill, but every time you launch it you're told you need to link your account. This usually happens when you have more than one profile associated with your Alexa device, or you have more than one Amazon account.

Account linking works with the Alexa profile that is logged in. If you have multiple profiles in your household, say “Alexa, switch profiles” to switch profiles on your device.

Great! I love to hear suggestions and do my best to implement them. Please get in touch with me!

Still have questions or problems. Please get in touch with me at: sarkonovich@gmail.com