A general spatial-temporal framework for short-term building temperature forecasting at arbitrary locations with crowdsourcing weather data

Reisa F. Widjaja, Wenbo Wu, Zhi Zhou, Renhao Sun, Hannah C. Fontenot, Bing Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Weather forecasting has been a critical component to predict and control building energy consumption for better building energy management. Without accessibility to other data sources, the onsite observed temperatures or the airport temperatures are used in forecast models. In this paper, we present a novel approach by utilizing the crowdsourcing weather data from neighboring personal weather stations (PWS) to improve the weather forecast accuracy around buildings using a general spatial-temporal modeling framework. The final forecast is based on the ensemble of local forecasts for the target location using neighboring PWSs. Our approach is distinguished from existing literature in various aspects. First, we leverage the crowdsourcing weather data from PWS in addition to public data sources. In this way, the data is at much finer time resolution (e.g., at 5-minute frequency) and spatial resolution (e.g., arbitrary location vs grid). Second, our proposed model incorporates spatial-temporal correlation information of weather variables between the target building and a set of neighboring PWSs so that underlying correlations can be effectively captured to improve forecasting performance. We demonstrate the performance of the proposed framework by comparing to the benchmark models on temperature forecasting for a building located at an arbitrary location at San Antonio, Texas, USA. In general, the proposed model framework equipped with machine learning technique such as Random Forest can improve forecasting by 50% compares with persistent model and has 90% chance to outperform airport forecast in short-term forecasting. In a real-time setting, the proposed model framework can provide more accurate temperature forecasting results compared with using airport temperature forecast for most forecast horizon. Moreover, we analyze the sensitivity of model parameters to gain insights on how crowdsourcing data from the neighboring personal weather stations impacts forecasting performance. Finally, we implement our model in other cities such as Syracuse and Chicago to test the model’s performance in different landforms and climate types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)963-982
Number of pages20
JournalBuilding Simulation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • crowdsourcing data
  • machine learning
  • spatial temporal model
  • weather forecasting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Energy (miscellaneous)


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