METAR - SPECI Observations

luna75

I am THE Pocket Ninja
Jun 18, 2008
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what in the hell are metar speci, what do they stand for and are they some type of mean alien chinchilla things?
 

Roddy_Piper

Resident Knucklehead
Jun 15, 2008
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Re: can someone explain...

both are weather terms. i don't remember exactly what metar stands for, but it's something like meteorological report. speci is just a special metar.

metar - the normal weather sequence reported every hour by a certified weather observer.
speci - a special weather sequence reported at any time because it meets certain criteria. if you see a speci it's usually because the weather is deteriorating, or it's already bad and it's improving. you won't see a speci on a clear day.
 

Roddy_Piper

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Jun 15, 2008
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Re: can someone explain...

here's the criteria for a speci. probably more than u ever care to know about it. if u get a tower there's a chance you could be a LAWRS observer. so maybe u do care to know it.

7-13. CRITERIA FOR SPECI OBSERVATIONS
The observer shall take, record and disseminate a SPECI observation when any of the following is observed to occur:

a. Wind Shift. Wind direction changes by 45 degrees or more in less than 15 minutes
and the wind speed is 10 knots or more throughout the wind shift.

b. Visibility. Visibility as reported in the body of the report decreases to less than, or if below, increases to equal or exceed:
(1) 3 miles
(2) 2 miles
(3) 1 mile
(4) The lowest standard instrument approach procedure minimum as published in the National Ocean Service (NOS) U.S. Terminal Procedures. If none published, use 1/2 mile.

c. Runway Visual Range. (NA LAWRS) The highest value from the designated
RVR runway decreases to less than, or if below, increases to equal or exceed 2,400 feet during the preceding 10 minutes.

d. Tornado, Funnel Cloud, or Waterspout.
(1) Is observed
(2) Disappears from sight or ends

e. Thunderstorm.
(1) Begins (a SPECI report is not required to report the beginning of a new thunderstorm if one is currently reported)
(2) Ends

f. Precipitation.
(1) Hail begins or ends
(2) Freezing precipitation begins, ends, or changes intensity
(3) Ice pellets begin, end, or change intensity

g. Squall. Wind speed suddenly increases by at least 16 knots and is sustained at 22 knots or more for at least one minute.

h. Ceiling. The height of the base of clouds covering five eighths or more (e.g., broken and overcast) of the sky forms or dissipates below, decreases to less than or, if below, increases to equal or exceed:
(1) 3,000 feet
(2) 1,500 feet
(3) 1,000 feet
(4) 500 feet
(5) The lowest standard instrument approach procedure minimum as published in the National Ocean Service (NOS) U.S. Terminal Procedures. If none published, use 200 feet.

i. Sky Condition. A layer of clouds or obscuring phenomenon aloft is present below 1,000 feet and no layer aloft was reported below 1,000 feet in the preceding METAR or SPECI observation.

j. Volcanic Eruption. When eruption is first noted.

k. Aircraft Mishap. Upon notification of an aircraft mishap, unless there has been an intervening observation.

l. Miscellaneous. Any other meteorological situation that, in the opinion of the observer, is critical.
 

irishcarbomb

Epic Member
Dec 3, 2008
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Re: can someone explain...

metar - routine aviation weather report
speci - metars come out 50-55 past the hour. if they have to make one at any other time for some reason, they make it a speci
 
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luna75

I am THE Pocket Ninja
Jun 18, 2008
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Re: can someone explain...

actually im a dorky nerd, i was hoping someone would put a bunch of info up...awesome....
 

BWER

Rookie
Feb 8, 2009
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Re: can someone explain...

For the civilian side,

FMH-1: Federal Meteorological Handbook No. 1 - Surface Weather Observations and Reports

FMH-1

For the military, Air Force, side of the house,

AFMAN 15-111: Air Force Manual 15-111

http://www.e-publishing.af.mil/shared/media/epubs/AFMAN15-111.pdf

Thanks to the head of Air Force Weather in all his brilliance removed the table of contents from the 15-111 among many other things that continues to drive AF Weather into the ground.

Some fine reading there for you :D
 

raspberryroses

Newcomer
Jul 11, 2009
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Re: can someone explain...

Hey there -

SPECI stands for, essentially a SPECIAL aviation weather report.
METAR, I believe, stands for Aviation Routine METeorological report, or words to that effect. I read somewhere it was a French term.

METAR's are ROUTINE hourly weather observations which contain information about winds, present weather conditions (precip, fog, etc), sky cover, visibility, temperature and dew point, and atmospheric pressure, which are significant to safe aviation. They are usually done 5 or 10 minutes before every hour under any weather condition, clear skies to hurricane.

SPECI's are weather observations which are taken under SPECIAL situations such as severe weather situations which could be hazardous to aviation (thunderstorm, tornado, volcanic eruption!, ice pellets, etc). They are done as soon as possible when significant weather phenomena appear which therefore could be at any time during any given hour.

Hope this helps!

Regards,

raspberryroses
 
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CLEATCT2010

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2009
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Re: can someone explain...

but more often an AWOS or ASOS.
I believe the output from an AWOS/ASOS is something like every 3 minutes (depends on the system and how new it is). While it outputs often, the ATIS is only updated with the current wx information every hour (or when a SPECI warrants) and at large airports the data is looked at by a weather observer to check for accuracies and change anything that is incorrect. Most of your normal METARs are normally the exact data from the AWOS/ASOS but they aren't perfect, which is why the weather observer checks the data for accuracies.

But officially, a METAR is only published once per hour (and a SPECI as those conditions are observed).
 

heathmall

Rookie
Aug 7, 2009
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I know this is an old thread...but I was wondering if I should spend much time learning METAR before I go to the academy?