What is the Difference Between METAR and SPECI?

We know that the weather is very important for us and our lives. Every day we see that the weather is different and influences our daily activities. For example, if the weather is sunny or rainy, we choose other clothes, prepare different meals, etc. There are many types of weather reports, but one of the most famous is the METAR, which is used by pilots to find the best flight routes. The METAR forecast is issued every hour or half-hourly and it contains information about the current weather conditions and how the weather will change in the next few hours.

The METAR report gives more information about the current weather conditions in the air and is a routine report, while the SPECI is a special weather report which is reported on sudden changes in weather conditions. These two types of reports are used by pilots and can be accessed online, and there is also the possibility to get both forecasts on your smartphone. Therefore, it is important to know which one should be used depending on the purpose. A METAR is issued once every hour at the same time. A SPECI is issued when there is a change in the forecast. It gives a specific warning if the weather changes abruptly. There is an alert period when there is a sudden change in the weather and it may cause a problem for the flight. A METAR may be issued at any time but it is usually issued at the same time each day. This is called a routine METAR. There is also a special METAR called a “SPECI”. This is issued when there is a sudden change in the weather or a phenomenon that is hazardous to air travel.

Difference between METAR and SPECI:

METAR is a routine weather report which is used by pilots to get information about the weather of the aerodrome. SPECI is a special weather report, it is not issued as a routine. When there is an abrupt change in weather or there is a phenomenon that is hazardous to aircraft then SPECI is issued. METAR forecasts are issued every day, even when the weather is clear. However, there are also weather forecasts like the SPECI forecast that are issued only if the weather conditions are poor. For example, if the weather forecast is classified as GUSTY (heavy and rapid wind), or if there are thunderstorms, then the SPECI report will be issued. The SPECI report contains detailed information about the weather situation, which can help the pilot plan a safe flight.

If you have ever flown with a pilot who has been in a weather situation, you know that they are always looking for the METAR. They are always looking for the METAR because it tells them the current weather conditions. METAR is issued at airports. SPECI is issued when there is a hazard is created by weather. The METAR is issued by the meteorological offices at the airport.

Format of SPECI:

The format of SPECI is the same as that of METAR, the only difference is that instead of METAR SPECI is written in the beginning.

SPECI is written as SPECI  AIRPORT CODE  Date and Time  Windspeed and direction visibility weather phenomena  Clouds amount and height  Temperature/Dew point  QNH  RH.

Example: SPECI LUDO 180000Z 00000KT 4000 DU FEW035 SCT100  28/26  Rh 80%=

Here Airport name: LUDO

Date 18 of the month

Time: 0000Z

Visibility 4000 meters

Weather phenomena: Dust in suspension (DU).

Clouds: FEW clouds at 3500 ft and Scattered clouds at 10000 ft.

Temperature: 28 degree celcius.

Dew point: 26 degrees Celcius.

Rh 80%.

Trending forecast is also appended in METAR for  2 hours weather forecast.


METAR and SPECI have their own importance and significance in the aviation industry which can not be denied. METAR is used to report the weather conditions for pilots. This report includes wind, clouds, temperature, dew point, humidity, and visibility. The main purpose of the METAR report is to keep pilots informed of the current weather conditions so that they can make informed decisions while flying.

The main advantage of METAR is that it allows pilots to know what the weather conditions are right now. There is no guesswork when using METAR. The report has specific instructions for each airport. The report includes the location of the airport, its name, date and time, wind speed, direction, visibility, cloud amount and height, temperature and dew point, and a summary of the weather conditions. It is a great tool that can save pilots a lot of time and money. This report can also help pilots plan their flight itineraries.

SPECI awares the pilot of any severe weather. This can help pilots avoid thunderstorms and other bad weather conditions. It can also help them avoid landing at airports with dangerous weather. In addition, the pilot can use this report as a guide when planning his or her flight route.

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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