I know that METAR data are available at hourly intervals from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (see e.g. the report for Karpathos Airport, Greece ). However, I would have thought that at the age of the internet it would have been possible to obtain (near) real-time data regarding an airport's weather. Is such a service available? Is there a better (more frequently updated) internet-accessible source for global METAR data than NOAA?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ METARs aren't meant to be real time because of how they are used, if you want real time data you'll have to look at other sources. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Aug 4 '16 at 22:15
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ A METAR is a prepared report (admittedly usually automated), not a snapshot of single data points. They average/aggregate data over the reporting period to remove extreme or very temporary readings. And METARs also provide SPECI reports if something significant changes in between the regular updates, so there's no reason to think that a 45 minute old METAR is completely inaccurate. Having said that, in theory I suppose you could generate on-demand METARs using rolling data, but I don't know if they exist. You might ask on earthscience.SE too if you don't get a good answer here. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Aug 5 '16 at 0:42
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, I believe the METAR's published by NOAA are updated on their server quite frequently (certainly more than once ever hour). However, in most countries, a METAR is only published every 30 or 60 minutes. So it is not a matter of NOAA not being up to date, it is a matter of METAR's not being published more frequently. $\endgroup$ – expeditedescent Aug 5 '16 at 5:08
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ That's because KJFK METAR's are only issued once every hour! The database is up to date. A METAR is only published by the airport once every hour (except in the case of sudden weather changes). There is nothing wrong here - that is simply how METAR's work. $\endgroup$ – expeditedescent Aug 5 '16 at 7:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is a matter of time before automated weather stations broadcast live because that's not difficult. They could broadcast averaged data. But is there a need, for a pilot, to have instantaneous data for an airport distant of 100 or 500 NM? They would be more interested by the forecaster briefing on the weather expected at the time they will be there. $\endgroup$ – mins Aug 5 '16 at 8:31

You might know this already, but if you want to get an AWOS/ASOS report minute by minute, you can call most of the automated sites. In the US the phone number is listed in the A/FD.

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ is correct. However, if you tie up a line for a long time other pilots won't be too happy not getting current weather. $\endgroup$ – wbeard52 Aug 5 '16 at 23:35
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you! I was looking for internet-accessible data, but this suggestion may be useful to others. $\endgroup$ – Diomidis Spinellis Aug 6 '16 at 7:03
  • $\begingroup$ As @DiomidisSpinellis says, it doesn't answer the question $\endgroup$ – rbp Aug 6 '16 at 17:04

Although METARs don't provide real-time weather, you can programmatically obtain the current METAR using the ADDS Text Data Server

Here's a sample result for KDEN:


KDEN 061653Z 31004KT 10SM BKN025 OVC120 22/14 A3014 RMK AO2 SLP134 T02220144,KDEN,2016-08-06T16:53:00Z,39.85,-104.65,22.2,14.4,310,4,,10.0,30.138779,1013.4,,,TRUE,,,,,,,BKN,2500,OVC,12000,,,,,MVFR,,,,,,,,,,,,METAR,1640.0

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. That's still the hourly METAR, but it's useful to know. $\endgroup$ – Diomidis Spinellis Aug 7 '16 at 23:42
  • $\begingroup$ METARS are by definition hourly, except SPECIs $\endgroup$ – rbp Aug 7 '16 at 23:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.