FMI Open data WMS services

Web Map Service (WMS) of the Finnish Meteorological Institute provides visualized observations, weather radar images and forecast layers.

WMS services of the Finnish Meteorological Institute are not intended as primary means of accessing open data, and the usage is more limited than for the Download service. Direct use of the WMS service of the Finnish Meteorological Institute for other than evaluation purposes is not allowed because of the high network bandwidth and processing requirements. For example, if you wish to use weather radar data in your web or mobile application, you must first download the radar data using the WFS Download service and then provide the radar images to your application yourself.

GetCapabilities request returns service metadata

Information about the WMS service can be queried by using GetCapabilities request:

The machine-readable XML response includes information about the supported map layers and request parameters of the Open Data WMS. The response is also human-readable but we suggest to use some Geographic Information System (GIS) or a library for getting map layers easily. For a GIS application, user gives only the URL address of the service and the GIS application makes requests needed for getting a map layer. The address where the Open Data WMS of the Finnish Meteorological Institute is running is http://openwms.fmi.fi/geoserver/wms.

The information that the GIS application shows for a user from the response of GetCapabilities request are map layer name, title and abstract. All the information are picked from the response. For example, the description for Weather:temperature-forecast layer in the XML response looks like this:

<Layer queryable="1">
<Name>Weather:temperature-forecast</Name>
<Title>temperature-forecast</Title>
<Abstract>Temperature forecast from hirlam weather model</Abstract>


The layer description includes also some other important information like BoundingBox and CRS. The BoundingBox and CRS can be found from the layer description even if they are not shown above in the partial layer description.

As an example, some of the supported weather forecast layers:

  • Weather:temperature-forecast
  • Weather:humidity-forecast
  • Weather:visibility-forecast

As an example, some of the supported radar service layers:

  • Radar:suomi_rr_eureffin
  • Radar:suomi_rr12h_eureffin
  • Radar:suomi_rr1h_eureffin
  • Radar:suomi_dbz_eureffin

You may also request GetCapabilites directly for a specific namespace by including the namespace name into URL path. Notice, the namespace name actually corresponds the workspace name in GeoServer. For example, a request to get capabilities specifically for Radar namespace:

Namespace name is also possible to give as a request parameter:

GetMap request returns map layers

After layer information is known from the capabilities response, the layer image can be requested by including the layer name, CRS and BBOX information into the GetMap request. Also notice, layer names contain information about the namespace that the layer is part of, for example, Weather:temperature-forecast layer name informs that temperature-forecast layer is part of the Weather namespace. The namespace name is also included into URL path.

For example, get temperature forecast layer stored to Weather workspace :

For example, get a radar layer by giving the layer name prefixed with namespace name:

Loading a map layer by using QGIS application

QGIS application can be used for loading map layers from WMS without deep knowledge about the Application Programming Interface (API) of the WMS. For loading a layer it is only required to know where the service is running and some basic knowledge how to use QGIS. The Open Data WMS of the Finnish Meteorological Institute is running on http://openwms.fmi.fi/geoserver/wms.

How to load a map layer from WMS by using QGIS version 3.0.2 is described below:

  • Install and start QGIS application
  • Choose from menu Layer > Add Layer > Add WMS/WMTS Layer
  • Choose New from Layers tab
  • Write to the Name field for example: "FMI Open Data WMS"
  • Write to the URL field: http://openwms.fmi.fi/geoserver/wms
  • Press OK
  • Choose the service you just created from Layers tab
  • Press Connect
  • Select for example Weather:temperature-forecast from the list appear below
  • Press Add and after that Close

The map layer should be visible now and its name and legend be shown at the left side list.