Weather Intelligence Plus

So, the Gen 3 hardware is listed as having “Weather Intelligence Plus” (WI+) for “hyperlocal” weather data. The details are scant so far, and some quotes on various news sites add more confusion. Some seemed to indicate their is new specialized hardware, but others that it is just a software feature with new data aggregation.

Before I preorder the new hotness that is Gen 3, I have a few questions:

  1. Is WI+ a hardware feature? Are there new weather sensors (barometer, etc.) inside the Gen 3 hardware?
  2. If there are new hardware sensors, does indoor vs. outdoor mounting matter?
  3. If there are not new sensors, is WI+ coming to Gen 1 and Gen 2 hardware??
  4. If there are not new sensors and WI+ is not coming to Gen 1 and Gen 2, why not?
  5. If this is strictly a software feature chosen to be tied to Gen 3 hardware (presumably because you can’t just give new features away for free and still expect to make money), can Gen 1 and Gen 2 users get some WI+ love for some reasonable fee ($20?) sonwe don’t have to go to the trouble of upgrading?

I’m with you on this! I am expecting it is software based and went looking for these same answers.

Can someone in Rachio respond to this? I’m not going to consider upgrading until I have the facts.

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If Weather Plus is subscription model and works with Gen 2… and its features are valuable for my situation… sign me up (plus support Rachio!). Would love to have an alternative to my cheapo, error prone weather station. Nearest reliable Wx station is 28 miles to the north and very different in topography (but close enough and on the right side of the windy west Sacramento Valley)

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I agree. This seems to be more of a cloud calculation rather than a hardware feature. The only reliable sensor they could add would be a barometer, as it is usually the only thing that is reliable outside and in (temp, humidity, wind, rain, etc need to be outside sensors…) and I do not see how a barometer can make weather that hyperlocal.

I would not mind paying extra to receive this service… good way for Rachio to raise funds while still being eco friendly (why get rid of a perfectly working Gen1 or Gen2 for a cloud calculation). They can offer it as an upgrade in the Apple or Google App stores.

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I was in Costco today and they are selling the Rachio 2 with Weather Intelligence Plus. Since it is obviously compatible, what is the path for those of use with a Rachio 2 to add Weather Intelligence Plus?


I wonder if that is some sort of manufacturing error (someone put the stickers on the Rachio 2 instead of 3’s). The Rachio website clearly says that Weather Intelligence Plus is a Rachio 3 exclusive (

Would be nice to hear back an official word.

ouch, that has to be a mistake with the Rachio 2.

Has anyone seen a Rachio 3 box? I would be surprised if it didn’t mention WE+ on the box already (wouldn’t need a sticker). But who knows. I was wondering if this is some kind of special deal with Costco to help blow out the Rachio 2’s. If so, it would be a cheaper way to get WE+ for current Rachio 2 owners. Just buy a new one for $149 at Costco that comes with WE+.

Hey @cheezmo @Bioreef @boldblue737,

We are offering Weather Intelligence Plus on all Rachio 3 models and as a special Costco model! Hope that helps.

McKynzee :rachio:

So if I want to add WI+ to my gen 2 I can do it by buying another gen 2 from Costco? I already have the hardware and don’t want to add to a landfill. This leaves me with a very poor impression of Rachio. My next sprinkler controller will be from a company that does not lock out features, forcing one to throw a perfectly good product in the trash adding to our landfills.


You get Weather Intelligence Plus but you don’t get support for Wireless Flow Meter. If you don’t need the wireless flow meter this is a no-brainer purchase. Any way its a good deal :slight_smile:

Wi+ is something that we will see how it compare with the existing Wi.

Except those of us who already have a Gen 2 unit. That’s not quite a no-brainer.

I would be interested in a modest upgrade fee to add WI+ to my existing unit. This Costco model seems to indicate that is possibility.

I think Rachio is realizing that they can’t rely on new hardware sales alone to keep thing going - they need us early adopters to upgrade periodically. Nest (Dropcam) and other companies have realized that subscription fees are where the sustainable business model is. I don’t like subscription fees anymore than the next person, but I also don’t like unnecessary software limitations and needless (frequent) hardware upgrades.

A lot of us early adopters may be saving water, but we aren’t going to be saving any money if we feel the need to pay for full hardware upgrades every couple of years…


I would be interested in upgrading my current Gen2 with Weather Intelligence Plus as well.


I would like to echo earlier comments, I would be more than willing to pay an upgrade fee to get Weather Intelligence Plus if it would get me more accurate weather information and help save water.


I am in the process of possibly buying a weather station to install but if this new service doesn’t require that then I would just purchase an upgraded Rachio.

bigjohn97: weather intelligence plus requires a Rachio 3 or the purchase of an Rachio 2 from Costco with a specially marked box. it does a smart analysis of local weather stations combined with weather forecasts to estimate weather at your location specifically. before you just picked the closest station and that’s what weather it used, now for example i’d assume it does smarter guessing by using lets say a weather station 1 mile south of you and another 1 mile north of you and averaging them together for what you actually got.

ALL THAT SAID… a properly installed and accurate weather station that is ON your property will ALWAYS give you the most accurate data for your Rachio. as great a feature as weather intelligence plus is, you can bet my Rachio 3 is set to use my Davis Vantage Vue station located in my backyard and NOT weather intelligence plus.

I agree the most accurate reading is going to be on your own property, I am just not sure i am ready for the overhead of running my own device rather than just using a WU device that is closer to be than the nearing working PWS device.

The closest PWS device doesn’t seem to detect rainfall correctly and the nearest non-pws station is about 5 miles away.

However there is a WU device that does detect everything needed for the Rachio that is just a couple of blocks away.

SO WI+ is compatible with Gen2? I do hope you will enable this for other Gen 2’s, that is why we paid a premium for your product. to receive updates, not be excluded from future cloud updates. This is very upsetting to me and even more so since the Gen 3 was announced a mere month or so after the return policy on my Gen 2 passed. Please do not do this to your Gen 2 owners as this can end up putting a very bad experience on an otherwise great product.

@franz is it safe to assume that Weather Intelligence is based on the Weather Underground API and using that community to inter/extrapolate data that is more accurate than standard NOAA data?

How, if at all, is Weather Intelligence any better than my own WU PWS?

Your PWS will always have the best precipitation (assuming it is working) which is very important for our models.

Evapotranspiration and forecasting are not derived from PWS stations.


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