Aircraft Owners and Pilots AssociationProtecting Your Freedom to Fly
ASI Safety Quiz
METARs: Beyond Translation
If you think the only trick to a METAR is translating it, you may be missing out on some important information.
For example, the local METAR tells you that there's an overcast layer at 1,500 feet. That's good information to have, but knowing whether the ceiling is reported in MSL or AGL will affect cloud clearances. It could mean the difference between sitting in the FBO and being up in the traffic pattern. Or maybe a thunderstorm is reported in the vicinity...but what, exactly, is the "vicinity"? Your go/no-go decision would benefit from knowing if it's five miles or 50 miles away. Once you're aware of these details, the METAR becomes a much more useful tool.
Take this Sporty's Safety Quiz to learn more.