Decoding Weather Observation Decoding Weather Observation


Here is a description of each of the fields within the observations:
[DAY/TIME]:
This is the day and time that the user submitted the report. Since reports are received from numerous time zones, the only logical format for the time is Z time or GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). The current date and time in GMT is displayed prior to the observations listing so you can easily determine how current each observation is.

[CITY]:
The city or town from which the user reported.

[ST] (State or Province):
If the report is from either Canada or the United States, a two-letter state or province abbreviation is included. Here is a listing of the abbreviations for these regions:

 
United States:
AK - Alaska             AL - Alabama            AR - Arkansas
AZ - Arizona            CA - California         CO - Colorado
CT - Connecticut        DC - Dist. of Columbia  DE - Delaware
FL - Florida            GA - Georgia            HI - Hawaii
IA - Iowa               ID - Idaho              IL - Illinois
IN - Indiana            KS - Kansas             KY - Kentucky
LA - Louisiana          MA - Massachusetts      MD - Maryland
ME - Maine              MI - Michigan           MN - Minnesota
MO - Missouri           MS - Mississippi        MT - Montana
NC - North Carolina     ND - North Dakota       NE - Nebraska		
NH - New Hampshire      NJ - New Jersey         NM - New Mexico
NV - Nevada             NY - New York           OH - Ohio
OK - Oklahoma           OR - Oregon             PA - Pennsylvania
RI - Rhode Island       SC - South Carolina     SD - South Dakota
TN - Tennessee          TX - Texas              UT - Utah
VA - Virginia           VT - Vermont            WA - Washington
WI - Wisconsin          WV - West Virginia      WY - Wyoming

Canada:
AB - Alberta            BC - British Colombia   MB - Manitoba
NB - New Brunswick      NF - Newfoundland       NS - Nova Scotia
NT - NW Territories     ON - Ontario            PE - Prince Edward Island
PQ - Quebec             YK - Yukon              SK - Saskatchewan

[COUNTRY]:
The country from which the user reported. If your country does not appear on the listing, send me email, and it will be added.
[TMP]: - Temperature
[DEW]: - Dewpoint
[HUM]: - Relative humidity in percent
[HIX/WC]: - Heat Index (if temp > 70F) or Wind Chill (if temp < 70F)
[WIND]: - Wind direction, speed, and maximum gust.
[PRSS]: -Pressure (Reduced to Sea-Level).
[SKY]:
Cloud cover is reported as either CLR, SCT, BKN, OVC, or X. These correspond to Clear, Scattered (Partly Cloudy), Broken (Mostly Cloudy), Overcast (Cloudy), and Obscured, respectively.
[WEATHER]:
The actual weather (including precipitation) is compressed into a series of codes:

L = Drizzle R- = Light Rain R = Moderate Rain R+ = Heavy Rain RW- = Light Rain Shower RW = Moderate Rain Shower RW+ = Heavy Rain Shower

S-- = Flurries S- = Light Snow S = Moderate Snow S+ = Heavy Snow SW- = Light Snow Shower SW = Moderate Snow Shower SW+ = Heavy Snow Shower

IP- = Light Ice Pellets IP = Moderate Ice Pellets IP+ = Heavy Ice Pellets IPW- = Light Ice Pellet Shower IPW = Moderate Ice Pellet Shower IPW+ = Heavy Ice Pellet Shower

ZL = Freezing Drizzle ZR- = Light Freezing Rain ZR = Moderate Freezing Rain ZR+ = Heavy Freezing Rain ZRW- = Light Freezing Rain Shower ZRW = Moderate Freezing Rain Shower ZRW+ = Heavy Freezing Rain Shower

A = Hail

T = Thunder or Lightning

M = Mist

F = Fog

H = Haze

K = Smoke

BS = Blowing Snow

BD = Blowing Dust

BY = Blowing Spray


[COMMENTS]:
Anything you might find even remotely interesting. Can include precip totals, highs and lows, precipitation starting and ending times, and often the email address of the user. You should also note that comments entered by the user will not be converted. Regardless of whether you view the observations in metric or non-metric, the comments section will remain as the user entered it.

You can use METAR abbreviations to compress your weather-related comments.


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