What is METAR And How To Read METAR Report?

The Meteorological Terminal Aerodrome Report (METAR) is a weather report issued by a weather station to the ATC of the airport which is then communicated to the pilot. It is also disseminated through the internet. It provides information about the current weather conditions, including visibility, wind speed, direction, and other essential information to pilots. The METAR report is significant for aviation. For example, if the METAR report states that there is a very dangerous weather condition in which flight operation is not possible then the pilot should plan according to the situation.

1. What is a METAR Report?

A METAR is a weather report that pilots use to determine the weather at airports. The information in the report may be used to make flight plans and determine the appropriate route to fly. It contains all the essential weather parameters.

2. The Importance of METAR Report

It is a crucial tool used by pilots to prepare for their flight and to know the weather conditions before they take off. It is also useful in the case of an emergency landing if you need to see if it is safe to fly or not. METAR is a report issued by the local meteorological office that gives you all the information about the weather conditions, such as the temperature, wind direction, clouds, precipitation, visibility, etc. METAR reports are also available online and can be accessed with your smartphone or via computer.

3. How to Read a METAR?

METAR report is a weather report sent from a weather station to a regional or national weather service and the ATC of the airport. It contains the latest conditions at the weather station, including temperature, pressure, visibility, cloud cover, relative humidity, wind speed, etc.

METAR is written in a simple way in the following format:

METAR    Airport  TIME(UTC)   Wind Speed and direction   Visibility   Weather phenomena  Clouds Temperature/Dew point  QNH   Relative humidity.

For Example METAR LUDO 060300Z  00000Z  OOOOOKT  4000 FU  FEW035 27/24  Q1005   RH 84% =


Airport Name: LUDO

Wind speed and direction: 0000 direction. Direction is given according to the 360 degrees of the compass.

Visibility:  4000 meters

Weather phenomena: Smoke Haze abbreviated as FU.

Clouds: (FEW)1-2 octas at a height of 3500 feet above the ground level of the station.

Temperature/Dew point: 27-degree celsius and dew point is 24 degrees Celcius.

QNH: QNH is 1005 MB.

Relative humidity: Relative Humidity is 84%

Station Code:

The station code is assigned by ICAO  to every airport or weather station that issues METAR. These station codes are recognized all around the world and help to communicate all around the world due to it’s uniqueness.

Date and Time:

The date and time are reported in the format described above. The first two digits represent the date and the last four digits are for time. 060300Z is for 06 of the month and 0300Z UTC time.

Wind Speed and Direction:

Windspeed and direction are reported in 5 digits format. Wind speed is measured in knots of MPH. The first three digits are for wind direction and the last two digits represent wind speed. Wind direction is reported in degrees.


Horizontal visibility V.V. is reported as prevailing visibility in a METAR. There are landmarks assigned that help the observer to find the correct visibility.

Weather Phenomena:

There are different weather phenomena that are reported in METAR. Haze, smoke haze, Mist, Fog e.t.c are only reported in METAR when the visibility is 5000 meters or less. Rain/thunder and other prominent phenomena are reported irrespective of any visibility criteria.


Clouds are reported as FEW, SCT, or BKN with their heights in ascending order. FEW is for 1-2 octas, SCT is for 3-4 octas, BKN is for 5-7 octas, and overcast is for 8 octas of cloud. Cloud height is reported in ft above the ground level.FEW035 means 1-2 octas of clouds at a height of 3500 ft above the ground level.

Temperature/Dew point :

Temperature and dew point are reported in whole rounded whole numbers in degree celsius. Minus is represented by M in METAR. For example temp: 10-degree celsius and a dew point of -1 degree celsius is reported as 10/M01 in METAR.


QNH is a pressure in hPa at the station. Digital barometers have the inbuilt function of QNH value.  For stations having mercury barometers, the value of QNH is to be calculated from the value of the barometer reading and the temperature of the attached thermometer using a conversion table.

Relative humidity:

The relative humidity is the measure of water vapor content in the air. It has a maximum value of 100% when the dry bulb temperature is equal to the wet bulb temperature. The relative humidity is reported in two digits after RH.i.e RH 50% e.t.c


In conclusion, the METAR report is a weather report issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) /MET office that is sent to pilots and air traffic controllers. The report provides information about the current weather conditions in the area of the airport, including temperature, wind speed, visibility, precipitation, and other important weather data. It also provides information about any special weather conditions or forecasts for the next few hours. The METAR report is sent to pilots and air traffic controllers every hour or half-hourly and is a valuable tool that is essential for flight operations.

Holds BS Degree in Electrical Engineering and MS Degree in Meteorology and currently working in the field of meteorology as an assistant weather forecaster. Love helping people know what the weather is doing. Researcher of the weather conditions and make forecasts for several different locations.

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