Metar & Taf

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METAR, TAF and NOTAM decoder for all 68,065 airports is about METAR and TAFs. Both are prepared for aviation and contain weather information that pilots need. They mainly contain information about the weather, but also information about the runway conditions. But what's the difference and how do you use them?


A METAR (METeorological Aerodrome Report) is an observation and provides information about the current weather. Sometimes a METAR also gives a short-term forecast. A TAF (Terminal Area Forecast) provides a forecast for a longer period, for example 8, 24 or 36 hours. In addition to the METAR and TAF, there is also a SPECI (special). This is prepared when the weather has changed such that an interim observation is issued.

What is a METAR?

A METAR (METeorological Aerodrome Report) is an observation and provides information about the current weather. A TAF (Terminal Area Forecast) provides a forecast for a longer period, for example 8, 24 or 36 hours. Both are prepared for aviation and contain weather information that pilots need.

This is how you read a METAR


A METAR is prepared by a meteorologist or automatically. Sometimes a METAR is automatically prepared and then checked or supplemented by a meterologist. Most weather stations provide a new observation every half hour. Distribution

After compilation, the METAR is distributed in an encrypted format. That seems very outdated in the year 2024, but it is not. A lot of information can be passed on with few characters. This is done in a standardized way to avoid misunderstandings. The information from one round (cycle) of all approximately 4,200 measuring stations together is still about 3 Mb. Limitations

Yet encrypted METAR and TAFs do have their limitations. Sometimes it is difficult to quickly visualize all the information it contains.

  • A METAR or TAF can be set up with other units than you are used to and you have to convert.
  • 50 codes are used for weather phenomena and the condition of the runways. You don't use most of them on a daily basis, which makes it difficult to remember them all.
  • Times are in UTC (Coordinated Universal Time): the time in London without daylight saving time. For countries far removed from this (North and South America, Asia, Australia), this provides quite a bit of calculations.
  • A METAR does not provide information about wind components. You cannot see at a glance whether there is a head or tail wind. You also cannot see whether there is a crosswind: from which direction, at what speed. You can of course calculate this with a few rules of thumb or a sine / cosine, but that is not convenient.

These shortcomings are overcome by METAR decoders such as

Interactive map

The interactive map shows the most recent data from all METAR stations in the world. Click on a field to view the METAR, TAF and NOTAMs. If there is no METAR station on that airport, we will show the closest METAR in combination with the runways of the chosen space. In addition to a decoded METAR and TAF, you will also see the crosswind components.

Free account

Sign up for a free account to set and save your preferences. You can set a home base to center the map automatically and you can change all units. Certain functions are only available for logged in users, such as extensive historical METAR data.


The information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. Operational use is at your own risk.

  • METAR, TAF and SIGMET data is downloaded from the NOAA.
  • NOTAM information is provided by the FAA.
  • Airport data, runway and country information is combined from several open source databases, with amendments from our contributors.
  • Airspace data is provided by
  • Precipitation layer is provided by


Leaflet, Rainviewer
© OpenStreetMap contributors
© OpenMapTiles


  1. SLVR - Viru Viru International Airport
  2. SLET - El Trompillo Airport
  3. LPPT - Humberto Delgado Airport (Lisbon Portela Airport)
  4. SBGR - Guarulhos - Governador André Franco Montoro International Airport
  5. SBSP - Congonhas Airport

Color codes

The color codes you see on the site are calculated based on the visibility values and cloud base. These color codes do not tell anything about the temperature, wind, type of clouds and other warnings. On the map above you only see the first letter of the color code. (Visual Flight Rules, Marginal VFR, Instrument Flight Rules, Low IFR)

Code Visibility Ceiling
VFR Flight Category VFR > 5 mi > 3,000 ft
MVFR Flight Category MVFR 3-5 mi 1,000‑3,000 ft
IFR Flight Category IFR 1-3 mi 500‑1,000 ft
LIFR Flight Category LIFR < 1 mi < 500 ft
Unknown UNKN Incomplete or expired data


SIGMETs are severe weather advisories. They warn pilots for icing, mountain waves, ash clouds, heavy turbulence and thunderstorms. Current SIGMETs are drawn on the map with yellow polygons or circles.

If only one coordinate could be extracted from a SIGMET, a circle with a 25 km radius is drawn around it. In case we couldn't extract coordinates, the SIGMET will not be shown on the map.

CLD Radioactive cloud
DS Dust storm
ICE Icing
MTW Mountain wave
SS Sand storm
TC Cyclone
TS Thunderstorms
TURB Turbulence
VA Vulcanic ash

Other markers

When an airport has no METAR you see one of these markers:

  • Microlight airfield Microlight airfield
  • Gliderfield Gliderfield
  • Heliport Heliport
  • Weather service Weather service
  • Other Other