2.7. METAR Data


Meteorological Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR) is a format for observational weather data, which typically comes from airports or permanent observing stations around the world.

Iowa State University maintains an archive of METAR data: https://mesonet.agron.iastate.edu/request/download.phtml

Note: METAR data is also available via other sources (e.g., MADIS, NCEP prepbufr files); however, ISU provides a long archive and does not require an account.

Recommended use

METAR data are commonly used for near-surface verification of standard meteorological variables, such as temperatures, dew point temperature, wind speed, visibility, precipitation, and precipitation type.

File format


Location of data


Access restrictions


Spatial resolution, grid, or coverage

Point observations with locations spanning the globe

Temporal resolution

Typical reporting time is hourly, but can vary based on weather event and other meteorological and non-meteorlogical reasons

Starting and/or ending dates

Varies based on reporting station

Data latency

Archive is updated in near-realtime (however, it is not operational and subject to downtime)

Variables available

Air temperature, dew point temperature, relative humidity, heat index/wind chill, wind direction, wind speed, altimeter, sea level pressure, 1-h precipitation, visibility, wind gust, cloud coverage, cloud height level, present weather code(s), ice accretion, peak wind gust, peak wind direction, and peak wind time

METplus Use Cases

Link to METplus Use Cases for this dataset.



Current Dataset: VxDataMETAR


Data Labels: DataTypePoint, DataLevelSurface, DataProviderISU, DataApplicationPrecipitation, DataApplicationShortRange, DataApplicationMediumRange