Topic

Reading the Weather – METARs

Topic Progress:

METARs

METARs are a snapshot in time, a simple observation of what the weather was doing at a particular moment.  They are an excellent tool to tell you if the weather is okay right now, but offer no forecast into the future.

REMEMBER:

  • They are a direct observation of what is happening at and over top of the observation station at the field the moment the data is collected.
  • They are typically issued every hour, unless there is rapidly changing conditions, and then they may be issued more frequently.

Example 1 Decoded:

KSRQ 180253Z 06011KT 10SM CLR 23/21 A3005 RMK AO2 SLP175 T02330206

METAR for: KSRQ (Sarasota-Bradenton I, FL, US)
Text: KSRQ 180253Z 06011KT 10SM CLR 23/21 A3005 RMK AO2 SLP175 T02330206
Temperature: 23.3°C ( 74°F)
Dewpoint: 20.6°C ( 69°F) [RH = 85%]
Pressure (altimeter): 30.05 inches Hg (1017.7 mb) [Sea level pressure: 1017.5 mb]
Winds: from the ENE (60 degrees) at 13 MPH (11 knots; 5.7 m/s)
Visibility: 10 or more sm (16+ km)
Ceiling: at least 12,000 feet AGL
Clouds: sky clear below 12,000 feet AGL

 

Example 2 Decoded:

KMIA 180253Z 04004KT 10SM FEW025 BKN070 OVC120 28/23 A3002 RMK AO2 SLP166 T02830233  $

METAR for: KMIA (Miami Intl, FL, US)
Text: KMIA 180253Z 04004KT 10SM FEW025 BKN070 OVC120 28/23 A3002 RMK AO2 SLP166 T02830233  $
Temperature: 28.3°C ( 83°F)
Dewpoint: 23.3°C ( 74°F) [RH = 74%]
Pressure (altimeter): 30.02 inches Hg (1016.7 mb) [Sea level pressure: 1016.6 mb]
Winds: from the NE (40 degrees) at 5 MPH (4 knots; 2.1 m/s)
Visibility: 10 or more sm (16+ km)
Ceiling: 7000 feet AGL
Clouds: few clouds at 2500 feet AGL, broken clouds at 7000 feet AGL, overcast cloud deck at 12000 feet AGL
QC Flag: SOME DATA ABOVE MAY BE INACCURATE!!!”$” is an indication the sensor requires maintenance.