Wouldn't you think they'd choose HL instead?

That might confuse pilots who frequently see SS (Sandstorms),
DS (Dust Storms) and VA (Volcanic Ash).

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Related: Why is mist abbreviated BR on METARs and TAFs? $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Jun 22, 2018 at 16:25
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ "Granite Rain". No, not really, but it's a reasonable mnemonic. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Jun 22, 2018 at 21:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ And smoke is FU—from Fumée $\endgroup$
    – JScarry
    Dec 1, 2019 at 21:56

1 Answer 1


The French word for hail is grêle which is abbreviated GR. METAR is an international standard so you will see some non-English words included in the METAR.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hail in spanish is Granizo, so probably from latin :D $\endgroup$ Dec 1, 2019 at 13:32

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