Create a weather forecast model with ML

How to create a simple weather forecast model using ML and how to find public available weather data with ERA5!

As a data scientist at Intellegens, I work on a plethora of different projects for different industries including materials, drug design, and chemicals. For one particular project looking I was in desperate need of weather data. I needed things like, temperature, humidity, rainfall, etc. Given the spacetime coordinates (date, time and GPS location). And this made me fall into a rabbit hole so deep, that I decided to share it with you!

Weather Data

I thought that finding an API that could give this type of information was going to be easy. I didn’t foresee weather data to be one of the most jealously kept types of data.

If you search for “free weather API”, you will see plenty of similar websites with different services but not actually free and even if there is a free package, it will never have historical weather records.You really need to search hard before finding the Climate Data Store (CDS) web site.

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Intro 2: Our Thoughts create our Unhappiness

It is not events that disturb people, it is their judgements concerning them.

In last month’s post we saw how it is hard to retain happiness and how this concept might be even misleading; how trivial things can spoil our life and finally how our own thought process  can help us to get closer to our goals and to a life worth living.

In this post we will continue our conversation and will look at one of the most famous Stoic quote:

“It is not events that disturb people, it is their judgements concerning them.”


This short sentence is one of the cornerstones of Stoic philosophy, let’s see how:

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Intro 1: How to Create a Life that Flows Smoothly

It is safe to say that you – at least once in your lifetime – have experienced something that you can refer to as happiness. 

How long did it last? Not long, I imagine. Perhaps, you uneventfully transitioned to something that resembled ‘normality’, or worse, other issues came up immediately and spoiled your mood.

Even though happiness didn’t last long, it does not stop you from seeking more of it.

But what kind of happiness are you seeking? The immediate kind? Fuelled by sex drugs and rock and roll? Happiness as a reward for your hard work and sacrifice? Maybe by obtaining an object of desire, such as a new house, job, car or spouse? Or are you just, “kinda-okay” – happy to sit and wait?

The choice seems to be between obtaining happiness now, later, or not seeking it at all. With the first, you will be happy immediately and miserable later, with the second, you will be waiting agonic until your goal materialises, and maybe, in the long run, you will feel happier. With the third, you are not even trying.

These are the options, are you ready?

If you haven’t chosen to give up already, maybe there is a better option. Let’s see what ancient Greece and Rome thought about this topic! 

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Testing in Python

After having seen how to test in R.

Let’s see how to do the same in Python:

Writing a tests-oriented program

A good practice demand that we should try to write our test before we code the program we intended to.

At least, we can try to write the code in a way that is easier to test in the future. Trying to fight out natural tendency to write the tests after your code.

To do that try to follow these guidelines:


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The Psychopath Test, by Jon Ronson

A Review

What is a psychopath? Should I be scared of them? How can I know if somebody is one? Am I one?

These and many others are the questions that Jon Ronson try to answer in this book: The Psychopath Test!

This book is far from the usual philosophical book present here, but I think it is interesting to see another aspect of human mind. It’s interesting to see how genetic and upbringing can produce certain individual completely different from the great majority of human beings.

Ronson started his interest in psychopathy almost by random, by a strange book contained inside an unanimous parcel.

He is not the only one who encountered this mysterious book and, around the world, psychiatric and journalist have already received it.

This episode kicks off a spiral of research, interviews and paranoias that last for almost two years, and that is summarised in this book.

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“Stillness is the Key” by R. Holiday

Stillness is the key is the latest book by the American author and entrepreneur Ryan Holiday.

I already wrote about one of his previous books the Daily Stoics (2016) in my post on the best book for Stoicism.

With this book Holiday completes an ideal trilogy of books: The Obstacle is the Way (2014) and Ego is the Enemy (2016).

I found this book in the gift bag of the latest Stoicon in Athens, and despite having a huge backlog of books I started reading immediately. I was not particularly familiar with Holiday’s assays, as I haven’t read the other two books of this trilogy.

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Stoicon 2019 Athens, Greece

On the 5 of September took place, in Athens, the 2019 Stoicon!
The word conference of Stoicism.

I have been so lucky that I was able to assist it for the second time after last year in London. This was actually the 5th Stoicon ever done. There were: London 2014 and 2015; New York 2016, Toronto 2017 and London 2018.

The next location for 2020, is still to be decided, although, I hope that after Athens, Rome will follow.

Athens is, of course, the perfect city for hosting a conference on an ancient Greek philosophy.

By walking its street and ruins you can have the sense that this was one of the most important birthplace of philosophy, democracy and in general the western civilisation. it has been a constant trill for me.

Besides, the city offers good food and its autumn weather was better of this year summer here in the UK!

The conference

This year conference was hosted in the Cotsen Hall of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.

The entrance of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Photo by M. CInelli
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Review on: “On Living and Dying Well” by Cicero

If it’s possible to attain wisdom,
then we should put it to use and not just possess it.
The only limit on seeking the truth is finding it;
and to give up looking is shameful,
because what we’re looking for
is the most beautiful thing there is.

Cicero, On Ends, 1.1-12

If you, like me, had the to translate Cicero in school, you probably hate the guy! The first thing you would, in every Latin test, was to glance a the author name and hope that was not Cicero. Anything but Cicero!!! Such his texts are hard to translate!

Despite, be the name of the book I want to suggest you is titled On Living and Dying Well. I’m still more frightened by the name of the author.

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Alpha parameter doesn’t work on geom_rect!!! Sort of…

The parameter alpha in the R package ggplot2 is used to express the transparency of the fill colour of the function geom_

However for the function geom_rect it might not work as aspected.

In my latest work, I tried to combine different geom function but I was stuck when all was covered when I used geom_rect.
Let’s see an example:

df = 
    x = c(rep(1, 25), rep(2, 25), rep(3, 25)),
    y = c(sample(1:50, 25), sample(51:100, 25), sample(101:150, 25)),
    classes = c(rep("A", 25), rep("B", 25), rep("C", 25)))

#  x  y classes
#1 1 45       A
#2 1  4       A
#3 1 41       A
#4 1 32       A
#5 1  8       A
36 1 14       A

If we plot the data using geom_jitter and geom_boxplot we obtain the plot:

ggplot(data = df,
       aes(x = x, y = y, colour = classes)) + 
  geom_jitter() +
  geom_boxplot(alpha = 0.2) +
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More Than Happiness: Buddhist and Stoic Wisdom for a Sceptical Age

In the book “More Than Happiness: Buddhist and Stoic Wisdom for a Sceptical Age” the author Antonia Macaro offers a detailed comparison between two ancient philosophic and life inspiring practice: Stoicism and Buddhism.


In the book “More Than Happiness: Buddhist and Stoic Wisdom for a Sceptical Age” the author Antonia Macaro offers a detailed comparison between two ancient philosophic and life inspiring practice: Stoicism and Buddhism.

In my experience, when the first is mentioned or discussed the second is usually brought up. After reading this book It is clear to me, how the two philosophy offer similar solutions for how to tackle day-to-day. Although, those solution come from traditions and sensibilities way different.

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