Sysmetrix also uses METAR.
METAR information is retrieved by parsing a METAR coded string from an actual web page at NOAA, so it's unlikely it will ever go down unless they change the URLs or the page format. The problem with METAR is that it does not include forecast information, only very detailed current conditions, which are reported by airports all over the world.
The other problem is that because the information relies on airports and not weather stations, METAR does not support as many locations as, say, Weather.com.
Now let me say something about the Weather providers: I fully understand them wanting to get paid for the information. That is not the problem. The problem is HOW MUCH they want to charge for that information - they're absolutely crazy! Weather information is simply NOT worth its weight in gold, unless you're a weather service of some kind and make all your profit from that.
Let me give you an example regarding Weather.com. I think it will make your hair stand, it sure did mine:
Had a look at their Pricing Wizard page for PC gadgets. They want $977.98 per month for 2,000,000 monthly data requests, which is their maximum permitted number of requests. That's an outrageous price, IMO.
Furthermore, 2 million requests per month may seem like a lot, but if you take into account that the forecast in Winstep applications is updated every hour, then you'll know that each running copy of Nexus or Xtreme would be making 24 requests per day.
2,000,000 / 30 days = 66,666 requests allowed per day. Divide that by 24 hours/requests and, at most, those 2 million permitted requests per month would only be enough for 2,777 copies of active Winstep applications. Even if weather forecast requests were cached and only performed once every 24 hours, those 2,000,000 requests would only be enough for about 66,000 Winstep users.
It's nearly impossible to say how many Winstep applications are in use today, as, besides the regular user base, lots of people are constantly installing and uninstalling Winstep Xtreme and Nexus. But it's a LOT more than 66,000, that's for sure.
So, not only is the price they're asking outrageous (even for a commercial application like Winstep Xtreme: Winstep is in the business of selling Windows customization applications, NOT weather information, which is just a commodity for its users), as they also impose unreasonable limits.
And I personally know the current price of bandwidth, and I can tell you it does NOT justify in ANY way the price they want. Not even close by an order of magnitude.