CHAPTER  3 SURFACE OBSERVATION CODES INTRODUCTION The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an  international  organization  located  in  Geneva, Switzerland. Operating as part of the United Nations, its purpose  is  to  provide  international  exchange  of meteorological, oceanographic, and geophysical data and to conduct research in these areas. Most members of the United Nations are also members of the WMO, and have agreed to an international exchange of data in code forms specified by the WMO. These codes are used throughout the world and are known as the WMO International Codes. International codes have been established  for  reporting  surface  weather  conditions, aviation   weather   conditions,   upper   atmospheric conditions,  climatic  conditions,  oceanographic conditions,  earthquakes,  and  volcanic  activity.  In  this chapter, we will discuss weather logs for recording observations, the applicable reference sources, and the four surface observation codes. Now let’s take a closer look at the WMO regions and code forms. WMO REGIONS AND CODE FORMS LEARNING  OBJECTIVES:  Recognize  the seven WMO regions. Distinguish between the various  regional  and  national  codes.  Identify the four different code forms used by weather observers. Identify the primary references for weather  observations  used  by  Navy  and  Marine Corps  personnel. The WMO has divided the world into the following seven  regions: Region  I  -  Africa Region  II  -  Asia Region III - South America Region IV - North and Central America Region V - South-west Pacific Region VI - Europe Region VII - Antarctic Within each region, certain codes are used that are not used in any other region. These codes are called "Regional  codes."  When  information  is  included  in these  codes  that  does  not  conform  to  international  code formats, the format difference is called a "Regional coding practice." Many countries are contained in each WMO region. When a particular country elects to report additional information in an International code that does not conform to either the Regional coding practice or to the International code format, it is known as a "National coding practice." Similarly, when a particular country chooses not to use an International code but reports conditions by using their own code, the code is known as a "National code form." The  WMO  International  codes  are  explained  in detail  in  WMO  Publication  306,  Manual  on  Codes, Volume I, International Codes. This publication has been republished by Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (CNMOC) as NAVAIR 50-lP-11. (See appendix IV, WMO Code Tables.) A more complete listing of regional and national coding practices  is  contained  in  WMO  Publication  306, Manual on Codes, Volume II, Regional Codes and National  Coding  Practices.  Both  publications  have been  distributed  to  all  Navy  and  Marine  Corps observation sites. Weather observers throughout the world record and report surface weather observations in four different international code forms. The four code forms are METAR Code; SPECI  Code; Land  Synoptic  Code;  and Ship  Synoptic  Code. A modified version of the METAR and SPECI code is used by federal agencies in the United States. Surface Weather  Observations  and  Reports,  Federal Meteorological  Handbook  No.  1  (FMH-1)  is  a publication  developed  by  the  National  Oceanic  and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for use by the National   Weather   Service.   It   contains   detailed instructions for the METAR and SPECI codes as used in 3-1


   


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