What Are METARs?

What are METARs?

Meteorological Terminal Aviation Routine Weather Report

METAR is a format for reporting weather information. A METAR weather report is predominantly used by aircraft pilots, and by meteorologists, who use aggregated METAR information to assist in weather forecasting.

Raw METAR is the most common format in the world for the transmission of observational weather data. It is highly standardized through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which allows it to be understood throughout most of the world.

Listening to a METAR sent by voice is what pilots do all the time. I usually have to listen to the message being transmitted a few times to capture all of the information.

If you listen for a METAR, don’t worry about formatting the data in any specific way. Just capture the important things in the report:

Airport, Time, windspeed/direction, visibility, cloudcover, barometric pressure, temperature and dew point. If there is more data, capture that also, and just make a note of what it is.
That information can be relayed to a MARS member and we can format it for the DoD and relay it to the served headquarters. You can do this anytime. A good resource to know how to find the frequency to listen for this data is : https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/weather/asos/?state=MA

If you try this, let me know.

-Tom Kinahan, N1CPE

[Tom Kinahan is the Army MARS Region 1 Executive Officer. He can be contacted at: tom.kinahan@verizon.net]