METAR is the weather report issued by the meteorological office and communicated to the Air Traffic Control unit of the airport when they are aware of approaching or departing aircraft. The word “METAR” is a combination of “Meteorological” and “Airport”, as well as “Report”. METAR is a standardized text file format used for communicating weather information to pilots and ATC units. Wind speed and direction are very important and significant for smooth flight operations therefore extra care and accuracy are needed to report wind speed and direction in METAR.
Wind Reporting Format in METAR:
In METAR wind speed and direction is reported in group:
dddffGf(m)f(m) KT or MPH dndndnVdxdxdx
ddd indicates wind direction in degrees.
ff indicates wind speed.
G indicates wind gust
f(m)f(m) is for the speed of wind gust
dndndnVdxdxd is for indication of wind direction if in 10 minutes wind speed varies more than 60 degrees but less than 180 degrees and mean wind speed is 3Knots or more.
How To Report Wind Speed In METAR:
Wind speed is reported in the ff group of the wind indicator group in METAR. Wind speed is reported in Knots or MPS which is indicated on the METAR. Wind speed is reported in two digits in ff group. for example, if the wind speed is 10 knots it is reported as 10KT in ff group.
How to Report Wind Direction In METAR:
In METAR wind direction is reported in degrees in steps of 10 degrees. Values which not lie in an exact multiple of 10 are rounded to the nearest value.
Starting from North rotate antilock wise the compass to get values in degrees.
North =360 degrees.
North East= 50 degrees.
South =180 degrees
South East= 230 degrees
Southwest =310 degrees etc.
If the wind speed is 10 knots in the Northeast direction then it is reported as 05010KT.
How to Report Wind Gust In METAR.
Wind gust is reported in METAR when wind gusts by more than 10 knots than the mean wind speed in the last 10 minutes of observation. Wind gust is reported by appending wind gust speed after G in the wind indication group. For example, if the wind is 05 knots in the SE direction and gusts up to 25 knots then it is reported in METAR as 23005G25KT.
When to Report VRB in METAR:
Variable wind speed VRB is reported instead of wind direction when:
- Wind speed is not more than 3 knots.
- wind direction changes rapidly by more than 180 degrees and it is not possible to find the wind direction.
For example, if wind speed is variable 02 knots it is reported as VRB02KT
When wind speed is calm or no wind then it is reported as 00000KT.
When the wind direction changes more than 60 degrees and less than 180 degrees and the mean wind speed is 03 knots or more then the two extreme wind directions are indicated with a letter V in between the two extreme directions. for example, if the wind speed is 10 knots in the SW direction, Gustin is up to 25 knots and direction is varying in between SE and SW. It is reported in METAR as 31010G25KT 230V310
How To Report Wind Speed More than 100 Knots In METAR:
When the wind speed is more than 100 knots we have to report the wind speed as follows:
Wind speed is indicated as P99KT for a wind speed of more than wind speed of 100 knots.
Let’s take an example if the wind speed is 101 knots in the S direction. It is reported as 180P99KT.
In conclusion, to report wind speed and direction in METAR, the following steps must be followed: The airport must be equipped with meteorological equipment. The air traffic controller must be informed of the approach of an aircraft. A pilot must be able to read the METAR. The wind speed and direction must be indicated in the METAR. The wind speed and direction should be indicated in the METAR in the same order as they are mentioned in the wind tables.