Tag Archives: metars

We’re excited with Flight condition Statistics

By now, you should know we’ve been working on metar statistics (there are 3 other posts, or so)

The fact  is that lots of information can be gathered from METARs through time (temperature, wind, dew point and cloud base profiles…)
At one point, we were even asked to evaluate forecast reliability (through METAR-TAF difference)

But for now, we elected to keep it simple and monitor how much an aiport is in VFR conditions.

My initial intention was for the stranger pilot to be able to get an idea of how ‘bad’ an airport could be in a particular month, or time of day.
So we started saving flight condition statistics back on Dec the 1st, 2008. So far, we’ve stored over 30 Million flight condition reports !!!

Well, let me tell you that we’ve found database and server load challenges… But we’ve kept up.

And recenlty, we’ve started to analyze whether all of that storage made any sense. Let me show you…

Below we have a chart for LELL flight condition statistics from Dec’08 to Jun’09:

LELL flight condition statistics
LELL flight condition statistics

Here you can easily see what a nice airport LELL (Sabadell in Spain) is to fly to in VFR conditions:
The percentage represents the number of VFR, MVFR, IFR or LIFR METAR reports (according to this flight conditions definition)
On the horizontal axis you have each month (with time of day inside). So we can see that back in February, the morning and night METAR reports had less VFR conditions than those around noon. You can also see that the closer you get to the summer months, the more VFR conditions existing at LELL.

Let’s see what this looks like at the famous low visibility LIMC (Milano Malpensa in Italy):

Flight condition statistics at LIMC
Flight condition statistics at LIMC

What a difference!

Here, we can see that back in the December-January period on average only about 40% of the METARs where reporting VFR conditions.
Here too, the closer we get to summer time, the better it gets.

What we see seems now worth the time and effort we put into gathering statistics.

We’re not quite ready to share this sort of reports with the general public, but have started working on it.

As usual, please let us know how you like it.

Do you own a weather station?

We would like you to let us know if you have a weather station.
Lots of airports have a meteorologist making metars; but still lots of them don’t.

For the latter, we at Meteo·Mobile try to find other sources of meteorological information.

One such source is private weather stations that can be accessed remotely in some way (many modern Wx stations -like Joe’s Davis Vantage– have a web server embedded).

Another source of weather information is a webcam. Not all webcams are good for this (many point directly to the ground hiding the sky). Some webcams are combined with a weather station. Those are great!

When we find this type of accessible meteo stations, we list them in the nearby airports that don’t have metar info.

When an aviator looks for weather info for one of these airports she will at least find your weather station. That way she does get some weather info that most likely helps her make a sound decision about the flight she is about to start.

So, if you want to list your weather station in nearby airports and airfields, please let us know through a comment on this post, using our contact form, or e-mail us.

Thanks.

Metar

When you ask for a Metar, this is what you get:

metar

Above we can see the Metar itself with a couple of things that help better check that we’ve gotten what we were asking for. Name it the Date and age of the weather report. Also , if the weather report is ‘old’ we will get a red warning stating so.

Next, we get a series of links to get other Wx reports. You can get the Metar, the last 4 Metars, the Taf, All of the previous, or you can also ask for the Navigation info only.

Next, we’ll get the station’s information tha you can see here:

  • Station name and country
  • Current UTC time
  • ICAO and IATA designator for the airport
  • Links too the map and kml of the airport
  • GPS coordinates
  • Sunrise and Sunset times


Next, we’ll get the ‘Extra information‘. This a spaced reserved for pilot input; that’s where we hope that in the future you’ll find the other pilot’s advice on what to do when you go there. Anyone can use the Share your POI’s link to send us information (POI stands for Point Of Interest).
You can use that to send us:

  • Your club’s web site
  • Your favorite local FBO
  • Your local webcam

Here we have a link to all of the weather charts that include this particular airport and the Geographic information:

  • A Google map
  • A list of the nearby alternates (5 unless you specify differently in your settings)
    For each alternate you get it’s ICAO designator, the distance and true course FROM this airport.
    Also the type of alternates that you get depend on your settings. There, you can choose whether you want to see any airport or only those with weather information.

Now look at the alternate’s names.
You’ll see some are in lower case, those don’t have METAR reports. The ones in UPPER CASE do have METAR reports. And the ones underlined have extra information (supplied by other pilots).

And finally you get a form to ask for another Metar for another aiport.