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Display current METAR and TAF for airports


Display current METAR and TAF for airports 

In this topic, you learn how to add basic weather layers that depict current METAR conditions and TAF for airports and interpret the information they provide. 

We estimate that this will take 4 minutes to complete.

Detailed explanation 

Airport specific weather information -- METAR and TAF 

The Basic weather package that is part of an N-Tracking subscription includes three weather layers that present airport-specific weather information:


  • Current METAR (Meteorological Aerodrome Reports) Weather Depiction and METAR for airports both provide current METAR observations at an airport; issued at hourly or half-hourly intervals.
  • TAF (Terminal Aerodrome Forecast) for airports displays expected meteorological conditions at an airport during a specified period (usually 24 hours).

In this example, you learn how to enable and disable the display of layers that add airport-specific weather information to the N-Tracking map.

In this example, the colored zones on the map indicate that some weather layers are already enabled. Use the "Show" option for the ACTIVE LAYERS panel to see which layers are enabled.

Interaction 1 Click the ACTIVE LAYERS Show/Hide button.

N-Tracking displays the list of active weather layers, including as applicable, the flight level and a time stamp reflecting UTC by default. (If your administrator has chosen a preferred time zone, the time for that time zone is shown).

 You can leave this list of weather layers open or closed as you prefer. This ready access to the list of enabled weather layers means no second-guessing about whether or not you're missing information.

Use the Layers button to access different weather layers. 

Interaction 1 Click the  Layers button.

Interaction 1 Click the BASIC tab.

Interaction 1 Click the Current METAR Weather Depiction slider.

The Meteorological Aerodrome Reports (METAR) are predominantly used by pilots. Colored dots represent airports and the color of the dot indicates which class of flight rules apply at the current time.

Red: Instrument flight rules (IFR)

Yellow: Marginal visual flight rules (VFR)

Purple: Low IFR flight rules

Green: Visual flight rules

Zoom in to locate more easily the airport(s) of interest to you. 

Interaction 1 Click Zoom in (+).

Zoom in far enough that you have a good separation between the colored dots that represent airports and you can have a closer look at the airports providing METAR information.

For this example, zoom to 20 nm. (In your operational environment, this would require several clicks.)

Interaction 1 Click Zoom in (+).

For this example, hide the list of active layers. 

Interaction 1 Click Show/Hide.

Hover your mouse over the highlighted red dot that represents an airport where Instrument Flight Rules apply. 

N-Tracking displays on-screen the applicable weather information for airport (KSGJ), where Instrument Flight Rules apply. 

Let's repeat the steps targeting for a displayed purple dot. Hover your mouse over the dot, representing an airport where Low IFR Conditions apply. 

N-Tracking displays on-screen information from the three different weather layers that apply for the KCTY airport:

  • the turbulence forecast
  • current US Convective SIGMETs
  • Low IFR Conditions. 

If you want to copy the contents of the convectivesigmettext field to include it in a message, click the dot to open the Weather pane in the upper right corner of the map.

With the Weather pane open, you can triple click on column text to copy it to your clipboard (and copy from there to your message).

End your exploration of the Current METAR weather depiction there and add a different weather layer to the map. 

Interaction 1 Click the  Layers button.

Disable the Current METAR Weather Depiction layer. 

Interaction 1 Click the Current METAR Weather Depiction slider.

For the next part of this example, the map zoom level changes to 200 nm

Interaction 1 Click the METAR for airports slider.

As needed, click the vertical scrollbar on the right of the BASIC tab to scroll down and display the TAF for airports option. 

Interaction 1 Click the vertical scroll bar.

Activating the terminal aerodrome forecast (TAF) displays similar colored markers (dots) to the METAR. A TAF is valid for a period of 30 hours. TAFs are issued four times a day at six-hour intervals. 

Interaction 1 Click the TAF for airports slider.

    Some airports provide TAFs and METARs. In this case, the associated marker may change color. Hovering over or clicking such a marker (dot) displays both the METAR and TAF information.  

Adjust your zoom level to 20 nm for better visibility. 

Interaction 1 Click Zoom in (+).

For this example, the mouse hovers over the green dot at the lower right corner of the pop-up. The pop-up displays the METAR and TAF information. -- Visual Flight Rules apply for airport KPEQ and wind is blowing at 6 knots.

In this example, the mouse hovers over a yellow dot (KE41 station). Marginal VFR conditions apply.

 No TAFs have been issued for this airport.

You have completed your exploration of the airport-specific weather layers that are provided in the N-Tracking basic weather subscription: Current METAR Weather depiction and METAR; (which act the same) and TAF for airports.

You now know how to enable and disable these layers on the N-Tracking map and how to interpret the information they provide.

 To learn about more weather information you can add to the N-Tracking map to assist you in your work, consult the sections

  • Adding regional weather to the map and
  • Adding weather hazard information to the map.


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