9th Dec 2014 03:00pm
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If you're someone who knows me well enough, you'd know I have an interest with the weather (and to some extent other natural disasters too), so yesterday I got bored and usually when I get bored random ideas pop into my head, and one did so, of which I think would be of use to a majority of the online UK WX scene. Ok, so maybe not so at this time of year, but definitely during the year it may be quite handy.

The main reason this idea popped into my head, was because earlier this year when various storms were happening and we had quite a few funnel cloud and tornado reports, a lot of people on various weather-based websites usually refer to METAR readings (which to those that're unsure what a METAR reading is, it's a small string of information that usually airports use to notify pilots of current conditions). For example, a METAR reading would look like this:

EGNX 070720Z 21017KT 9999 -RA SCT009 BKN033 09/08 Q1012

To those that don't understand it, the string reads as:
EGNX = 4 letter code for "East Midlands"
070720Z = [DAY][TIME MM:SS][Z = Zulu/GMT/UTC]
21017KT = [WIND DIRECTION (210 degrees)][WIND SPEED (17)][KT = Knots]
9999 = [VISIBILITY IN METRES (Though, 9999 = 10km or more)]
-RA = [- = Light][RA = Rain]
SCT009 = [CLOUDS (SCT = Scattered)(009 = 900ft)]
BKN033 = [CLOUDS (BKN = Broken Sky)(033 = 3300ft)]
09/08 = [TEMP (9c)]/[DEWPOINT (8c)]
Q1012 = [SEA-LEVEL PRESSURE (1012mb)]

It's all-in-all, a simpler way of sending information.

Now, the only problem online - as far as I know - is that there isn't a site that has all UK METAR data listed in one go/list, which is the reason I've decided to make an all-in-one "dashboard" for all the places that hand out METAR readings within the UK.

At the moment I think, well the METAR data I've seen so far, is released every 30 minutes [20 and 50 minutes past the hour], so new METAR data will be gathered every 30 minutes and will then be relayed onto a dashboard like so:

UK METAR Weather Overview

Now if a METAR reading from one of the stations does not contain any weather information, the station's block will turn black, like so:

UK METAR Weather Overview

If however you don't want your screen full of locations reporting no current weather conditions (for whatever reason), then if you clicking "NO WX DATA" in the bottom right corner will switch between showing them and not (however by default I've got them as not showing), then you'll see a more cleaner list of stations:

UK METAR Weather Overview

Now, even though in the "legend" at the bottom of the screen some things listed probably will never happen, I've included them anyway.

To test my stuff, I entered some "dummy data" and this is how it would look if one of the METAR reports flagged up any of stuff within the "legend" (full view and cleaner view):

UK METAR Weather Overview UK METAR Weather Overview

Then, once a box has been assigned whatever colour corresponds to the event it's reporting, you can click the title or code and a little box will appear showing you the current METAR reading:

UK METAR Weather Overview

I am also keeping all the METAR reports too from all 99 stations on the list, and will be adding an option soon to view all the METAR data (only dating back to when I first put this online).

There's no adverts on there either as it'd be pointless to fill it with crap, oh and also the design is as simple as simple can be - because I like things to run as quick as they can.

I'd suggest for best viewing (or if you're like me and have a separate monitor), shove it in fullscreen mode (pressing [F11] on your keyboard) and just leave it running - as it auto refreshes.

LIVE VIEW:
» http://dalehay.me/metar/

"DUMMY" VIEW (Showing what it'd look like *if* something was detected):
» http://dalehay.me/metar2/

Hope you enjoy?

 

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  • © Dale Hay, 2005 - 2016