Of all the cool things Google Home and smart speakers can do, reporting the weather is among the coolest (or warmest, depending on the season). Being able to get an accurate, reliable weather forecast on-demand just by asking for it is amazing, but if all you're doing is , you're missing out. Google Home can actually give you even better and more useful information than just today's temperature and humidity, if only you ask the right questions.
Google smart speakers and displays use data from The Weather Channel by default, but that doesn't mean it's the only one available to you. By knowing what to ask, you can access vastly more information than the standard Google Home weather report. You can get info on air quality, sunrise and sunset times, wave conditions, river levels and even atmospheric conditions on Jupiter, if you're planning any interplanetary travel.
Here's how you can access all the useful, fun and sometimes otherworldly weather information Google Home can give you beyond just the standard weather report.
Check these settings first
Most of the time you'll probably want the weather report for the part of the world in which you live, so you'll want to make sure Google Home knows exactly where that is. Here's how to make sure your home address is set correctly.
1. Open the Google Home app on your tablet or smartphone then tap on Settings.
2. Under the General heading, make sure the Home address listed matches your actual home address.
3. If the address listed is wrong, tap on the address, tap Remove address, then tap Remove address again to confirm.
4. From Settings > General, tap Set address then tap Street address to input your correct address.
You'd think just knowing what country you live in would be enough for Google Home to select your preferred weather unit, but that's not always the case. If you think in Fahrenheit but Google Assistant reports the weather in Celsius (or vice versa), here's how to change the Google Home setting for weather units.
1. Open the Google Home app on your tablet or smartphone and tap on Settings, then scroll almost to the bottom and tap More settings.
2. Scroll to near the bottom of the list and tap Weather: preferred weather unit and choose either Celsius or Fahrenheit.
Go beyond temperatures
Weather comprises a lot more than just what the day's highs and lows are expected to be. Air quality, wind strength, water levels and length of daylight all play a role in describing the weather, as do many other metrics Google Home can report on. Here are some of the many data points you can ask Google Home about:
- AirCheck: Find out the local air quality by asking, "OK, Google, what's the air quality index today in Paducah [or your city]."
- UV Index: Know how much sunscreen you're going to need by asking, "Hey, Google, what's the UV index today?"
- Mr. Breezy: Say, "Hey, Google, talk to Mr. Breezy" to get wind strength and direction for your area.
- Sunrise and sunset: Say, "OK, Google, what time does the sun set tonight [or rise tomorrow]?" and Google Home will answer based on the city you're in.
- Seaside Buoy: Before you load up your surfboard and head to the beach, say, "Hey, Google, ask Seaside Buoy how big are the waves today in San Clemente [or another beach]."
- Rivers.run: Find out if a canoeing, kayaking or white water rafting trip is in the forecast by asking, "Hey, Google, ask Rivers.run if the Lower Gauley [or another river] is running today."
Get the most accurate forecast for your area
Depending on where you live, Weather.com may or may not give you the most accurate weather report. Sometimes different services seem to get it right more often than others in different parts of the country or world. If you've noticed Google Home's responses to your weather questions sometimes miss the mark, try out these other services instead.
- AccuWeather: If you'd like a more interactive weather experience, just say, "Hey, Google, ask AccuWeather for the forecast." AccuWeather's artificially intelligent meteorologist will then ask you a few questions to set up a personalized weather report.
- The Weather Network: Just say, "OK, Google, talk to The Weather Network" and follow the prompts to get your current conditions and forecast from this weather service based in Canada.
- Ambient Weather: This Arizona-based company made a name for itself by developing streaming technology for weather centers across the country. Say, "Hey, Google, ask Ambient Weather to give me a report."
Here are a few of the other weather services that currently work with Google Home. Just ask, "OK, Google, talk to [name of service]" to access them. Try a few out to see which one works best for your neck of the woods:
- Weather Hippie: Alert-based weather information.
- Flying Weather: Airport and aviation-oriented weather reports.
- Weather Girl: Hyper-local weather data, down to the street address.
- NOAA: Culls data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
- How's the weather on Saturn: Real-time information on our solar system's second biggest planet.
Skip weather facts and get direct advice
Be honest, you don't really care about the numbers when it comes to the weather. What you really want to know is how to dress, or if you need a jacket, or whether to leave your umbrella at home or take it with you. If there's a specific reason you want to know today's forecast, chances are you can directly ask what you'd like to know.
- Dress Right: Just say, "OK, Google, ask Dress Right what I should wear today?" and answer a few questions about your style to set up a profile. Then, whenever you want to know whether to bundle up or not, just ask.
- Can I wear shorts today: Exactly what it sounds like. Ask, "Hey, Google, can I wear shorts today?" and you'll get a straightforward answer, yes or no. If shorts aren't your thing, try "OK, Google, can I wear a skirt today?" for a similarly direct answer.
- Barbecue Forecast: Some folks grill year-round whether it's sunny or snowing. If you're not one of those people say, "OK, Google, I want to talk to Barbecue Forecast" to find out whether or not you should get the grill going today.
Hearing the forecast on your smart speaker is one thing, but seeing it on a display takes weather to a whole new level. If you're considering picking up a Nest Hub ($40 at eBay) or Nest Hub Max, check out our guide to setting up your new smart display. Did these weather tips not work for you? You can troubleshoot the three most common Google Home problems here. Also check out our complete list of every Google Assistant command we've discovered so far.