Big Sky - FAQ


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Weather Info

Yes!  You can have Big Sky answer all of your weather queuries.  And, best of all, you won't have to say "ask Big Sky....." all the time!

"Alexa, I prefer Big Sky for my weather updates."

Important NoteIf you get your weather report in a routine, you'll need to move the weather to the end of the routine.

    To get current weather information for your default location, just say "Alexa, open Big Sky."

     Or, "Alexa...

    • Big Sky"
    • ...ask Big Sky for the weather tomorrow"
    • ...ask Big Sky for the weather on Friday"
    • ...ask Big Sky for the weather in three days"
    • Ask Big Sky for the weekend report
    • Ask Big Sky for the weekly forecast

    You can get the following hourly information for up to 48 hours out. You can specify the hour ("10:00 am"), duration ("in three hours"), day and hour ("tomorrow at noon") for the following values

    • Precipitation: will it rain? will it snow? 
    • Temperature
    • Apparent Temperature
    • Dew Point / Humidity
    • Barometric Pressure
    • U. V. Index
    • Wind

    You can get the following daily weather info for one week out.

    • Precipitation: Will it rain / snow tomorrrow? How much will it rain / snow tomorrow (will give downfall or accumulations.)
    • Temperature. (Highs and lows for the day.)
    • Dew Point / Humidity
    • Air Quality
    • Barometric Pressure
    • U. V. Index
    • Wind Speed
    • Sunrise / Sunset

    Routines are helpful if you want to change the wording of some requests. For example, you can ask "Will it rain on my drive home" instead of "Will it rain in Fairview between 4 and 6 pm?"

    Just ask Alexa, "How do I set up a routine?"

    Big Sky is powered by Dark Sky.

      Big Sky Screensaver

      Tired of the endless stream of hints, suggestions, and ads scrolling across Alexa's home screen? Big Sky screensaver replaced all that with the Big Sky weather forecast.

      • Informative Video Backgrounds: In screensaver mode, you will see Big Sky's informative and beautiful video backgrounds behind the continuously updated Big Sky weather forecast instead of suggestions for cranberry scone recipes or videos. 
      • Progress Bar: A red progress bar will indicated that time elapsed since the last forecast updated. Weather is updated every 15 minutes in screen saver mode.
      • Full Weather Information: Just swipe the screen to access additional pages of information. Windspeed, UV Index, Humidity, Barometric Pressure. It's all there, continuously updated, with Big Sky Screensaver. 
      • All of the features of Big Sky Premium: Big Sky Screensaver includes Big Sky premium for free. Get video backgrounds, live worldwide radar, labeled locations and more. All with the purchase of Big Sky Screensaver. 

      There are two different ways to start Big Sky screensaver:

      • Automatic mode: In automatic mode, the screensaver starts right after the weather report, with no additional commands required.
      • You can turn automatic on (or off) by saying, "Alexa, tell Big Sky to turn on (off) automatic mode."
      • Manual Mode: You can always bypass the spoken report and start the screensaver directly: "Alexa, tell Big Sky to start the screensaver."

      A red progress bar at the edge of the screen will display elapsed time since the last weather update. Weather is updated every 15 minutes.

      Big Sky Screensaver is included in Premium Edition. Premium Edition is currently $1.60 a month for Prime members ($1.99 for non-prime members.) Screensaver comes with a free 1 week trial, and you can cancel at any time.

      Just say, "Alexa, ask Big Sky about the screen saver."

      "Alexa, tell Big Sky I want to cancel Premium Edition."

      Big Sky Premium

      Premium adds additional capabilities to Big Sky, turning it into a truly personalized weather service.

      • Screensaver: Purchase of Premium Edition includes a screensaver. See the FAQ section on Big Sky screensaver above,.
      • Changeable Displays: Premium users can choose to display either Classic view or Widget view. See setup options below for more information.
      • Additional Addresses, Custom Labels: You can add four additional addresses to get the weather at locations around the world. Then add custom labels to these address, like "mom's house" or "the beach." 
      • Custom Weather Alerts: You can schedule 5 different weather alerts to let you know when the next 24 hours is likely to bring: hot, freezing, windy, rainy, or high u. v. index weather.
      • Radar Animation: Premium users can get world-wide live radar animation, with 3 levels of zoom. 
      • Premium Widgets: Premium widgets include two locations. Swipe up on the widget to set up the second location. Add another widget from the gallery to display both locations at once. 

      To get weather for your additional address, you just use the label you assigned to the address, e.g.

      • What's the weather at the beach?
      • What's the wind speed at the marina at 3:00 p. m .?
      • What's the high temperature tomorrow at mom's house?

      To set up a Custom Weather Alert, just say, "Alexa, tell big sky to add a custom weather alert." You'll be walked through the steps for choosing the alert type and time.

      To get radar for your default location, just say "Alexa, show me the radar." For radar at other locations: "Alexa, show me the radar over Detroit," or "Show me the radar at the beach."

      Currently, Big Sky Premium Edit is 1.60 cents a month for Amazon Prime members. (1.99 cents a month for non-prime members.) Premium Edition starts with a free 1 week trial and you can cancel at any time.

      Just say, "Alexa, ask big sky about Premium Edition."

       "Alexa, tell Big Sky I want to cancel Premium Edition."

      Setup Options

      The content of a basic report changes based on conditions, but usually includes: weather for the next hour, and then the day's forecast. If precipitation is possible, it will include precipitation probabiliities. If there's a weather alert, it will give you a very brief summary.

      Basic forecasts will always prompt you if you want more details.

      If you ask to hear more details, you'll hear sunset and sunrise times, times for the high and low temperatures for the day, and current wind speed and humidity details.

      Just what it sounds like! A detailed report will give you everything the basic report does plus:

      • Sunrise / Sunset times
      • Precipitation Report
      • Current Wind Speed
      • Humidity + Dew Point

      Big Sky allows premium users to choose between two different views

      • Classic View: The familiar and informative Big Sky screen. Information is easier to read from a distance, and there are no touchable elements on the screen
      • Widget View: More informative, with a denser display of information. Meant to be viewed closer up and interacted with. Screen is composed of touchable weather widgets. Tap a widget to expand it and view related hourly or daily information.

      Big Sky will follow the temperature unit preferences set for your Alexa device.

      Exit Big Sky, and say, "Alexa, set my temperature units  to Fahrenheit (Celsius)."

      You can also change these options in the Alexa app under 'device preferences.'

      "Alexa, tell Big Sky I want to update my options."

      This will send a card to the Alexa app. Click on the link in the card, and you can update your options including adding labeled locations, change the detail level of your weather report, change wind units, and more.

      Weather Notifications

      You can schedule a notification when the weather for the next 24 hours is predicted to be:

      • Hot (> 85 degrees fahrenheit)
      • Freezing
      • Windy ( sustained winds > 15 mph)
      • Sunny  (U. V. Index > 9)
      • Rainy  (> 80% chance of rain)

      To schedule a custom weather alert, just say "Alexa, tell big sky to add a custom weather alert."

      Custom weather alerts can be scheduled on the hour.

      You can schedule when you recieve Alexa notifications (not just for Big Sky) by setting "do not disturb hours." These are set on a per device basis. Check out the Amazon info here.

      There are several ways to turn off Big Sky notifications.

      • Turn off all notifications: You can revoke notifications permissions for Big Sky completely in the Alexa app. Go to Settings -> Notifications -> Skills, and find Big Sky
      • Turn off Severe Weather Notifications Only:  Just say, "Alexa, tell Big Sky to turn off Severe weather alerts."  You can turn them back on, too: "Tell Big Sky to turn on severe weather alerts."


      Occasionally, of course, weather reports are wrong. But if your report is consistently bad, very likely you're getting the forecast for the wrong location. Maybe there was a typo in the address you entered. Or maybe the address you entered is being misinterpreted. Here's how to fix it.

      Big Sky uses Google location services to map the address you enter to a longitude and latitude. Check the address you gave Big Sky in Google maps. Make sure that your location is accurate on the map. Then, tell Big Sky sky to "update my options", and re-enter that address, making sure you're entering it without error. This should fix the problem.

      You've linked the skill, but every time you launch it you're told you need to link your account. This usually happens when you have more than one profile associated with your Alexa device, or you have more than one Amazon account.

      Account linking works with the Alexa profile that is logged in. If you have multiple profiles in your household, say “Alexa, switch profiles” to switch profiles on your device.

      Great. Let's Chat!