METAR Weather Codes … Decoded

I’ve been spending the past hour working on my Computer Systems assignment (its a METAR, TAF, and FD decoder). I’m at the point now where I have to convert the weather codes into human readable format. Ie, make it so that “SN” is displayed as “Snow”.

Most of the codes are straight forward:

SN = Snow

RA = Rain

VA = Volcanic Ash

DZ = Drizzle

There are some that, at first, didn’t make any sense:

GR = Hail

BR = Mist

FU = Smoke

PO = Dust

I thought to my self.. Hail, in French is: grêle. So I looked up the French equivalent of “mist” and “smoke”, and low and behold:

GR = Hail = Grêle

BR = Mist = Brume

FU = Smoke = Fumée

PO = Dust = poussière

Now, the only ones I cant figure out are:

MI = Shallow

BC = Patches

GS = Snow Pellets

If anyone knows what “real” word those codes are abbreviations of, please let me know. Knowing the “real” word actually helps me remember what the codes mean!

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5 thoughts on “METAR Weather Codes … Decoded

  1. Why was this stolen from another flight instructor’s webpage and posted here without proper reference? Blake is a thief?

  2. Glenn,
    Can you give me a url of the site you claimed I plagiarized from?
    If you will notice, I posted this article March 4, 2006.
    The URL that Navin Peter, the page indicates it was posted June, 2008.
    If I use anyone elses work, I am sure to credit them.

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