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METAR Data Access

Current and recent METAR reports from around the world are available from the NWS either through this presentation or via anonymous FTP at METAR observations are available as individual reports or in cycle files. The information available here is represented in a meteorological code , however, extensive information is available about the METAR Code furnished by NESDIS.

Individual Reports

To display the most recent METAR report for one ore more observing locations, enter the four-character ICAO Location Indicators in the field below, separated by one or more blanks.

Enter one or more four-character ICAO Location Indicators below.
Make sure to enter one or more spaces between each indicator:


Cycle Files

Hourly files containing METAR reports are available here and via   anonymous FTP from in the /data/observations/metar/cycles directory. Files are named hhZ.TXT where hh is the cycle hour of all the METAR reports found in that file. (See the METAR Cycle discussion below.)

All reports received are placed in these files as they are received. The files are updated approximately every five minutes as data becomes available. Reports may be duplicated within the files and multiple reports received from a station may appear in a file. SPECI reports are also included in the file.

Cycle files are deleted ten minutes before the start of cycle, for example, the file 15Z.TXT will be deleted at 1435Z in preparation for receipt of new data. This means that data up to 23 hours old is available.

File Format

Each cycle file contains multiple reports in the following format:

observation time

observation time
observation time is the extrapolated time of the observation in the form
yyyy/mm/dd hh:mm
report is the METAR observation spanning one or more lines.
The end of the report is delimited by a blank line.


Data files are available for the past 4 observing cycles and are identified by cycle.
The current time is , therefore the METAR observing cycle is .
The current cycle file may be unavailable or incomplete until the end of the cycle.

00Z 01Z 02Z 03Z 04Z 05Z 06Z 07Z 08Z 09Z 10Z 11Z
12Z 13Z 14Z 15Z 16Z 17Z 18Z 19Z 20Z 21Z 22Z 23Z

A Discussion of METAR Cycles

In the U.S., METAR reports are taken once an hour between 50 minutes past the hour and the top of the (next) hour. All the observations taken within this time are considered to be for the same cycle. For example, observations taken between 1150Z and 1200Z are all considered to be 12Z observations. In reality, observations may be taken a little earlier or a little later. In addition, observations taken due to changing conditions, known as SPECI reports, are also considered to occur for a given cycle. Our rule of thumb is that all reports taken between (hh-1)45Z to hh44Z are considered to be for the hh cycle. The following table summarizes the relationship between observation time and cycle type:

From To
00Z 2345 0044
01Z 0045 0144
02Z 0145 0244
03Z 0245 0344
04Z 0345 0444
05Z 0445 0544
06Z 0545 0644
07Z 0645 0744
08Z 0745 0844
09Z 0845 0944
10Z 0945 1044
11Z 1045 1144
12Z 1145 1244
13Z 1245 1344
14Z 1345 1444
15Z 1445 1544
16Z 1545 1644
17Z 1645 1744
18Z 1745 1844
19Z 1845 1944
20Z 1945 2044
21Z 2045 2144
22Z 2145 2244
23Z 2245 2344

Please note that outside of the U.S., METAR observations may be taken on different schedules. For our purposes, we include non-U.S. observations within the same file structure.

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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Weather Service
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Silver Spring, MD 20910
Page last modified: November 19, 2004
Page Author: Internet Services Group
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