(MI, PR, DR, BL, BC, SH, TS, or FZ), and a two-letter
weather descriptor. When more than one type of
precipitation is falling at the same time, up to 3 two-
letter precipitation descriptors may be combined in the
same group. Obscurations are normally only reported
when the prevailing visibility is less than 7 miles. Note
that no intensity qualifier may be coded with VC. Table
3-2 provides a list of METAR/SPECI code weather
phenomena type entries.
How many types of observations are in the
What elements make up the identification section
of a METAR observation?
How should a wind direction of 183° a wind
speed of 105 knots, and gusts at 120 knots be
Q13. How should a variable wind of 090° to 150° at 15
knots be encoded?
What does the symbol VVVVVSM indicate?
How should the RVR information "left runway
02, visibility 1,000 feet, varying 3,000 feet" be
What does the symbol BR indicate?
Q17. How should heavy showers in the vicinity be
Q18. What does the symbol PO indicate?
Sky Coverage/Height Group
Either the group NSNShShShS is used up to three
times to report cloud layer coverage and height or the
group VVhshshs is used to report conditions when the
sky is obscured. The abbreviation "SKC" is used when
the sky is clear.
CLOUD COVERAGE / HEIGHT.
NSNSNShShShS. This group is used to report coverage of
cloud layers or cloud masses, not specifically for
individual cloud types. The summation principle is
used to evaluate sky coverage in ascending order, as
discussed in chapter 1. The same sky coverage
abbreviations for NSNSNS are also used on the form; that
is, FEW for 1/8 to 2/8 coverage, SCT for scattered
(3/8 to 4/8), BKN for broken (5/8 to 7/8), and OVC for
overcast (8/8). The cloud base height, hShShS, is
encoded in hundreds of feet, as discussed in chapter 1.
At mountain stations, if the layer is below station level,
the height of the layer will be coded as ///.
This group may be used six times for masses of
clouds at six different levels. When CB or TCU clouds
are observed, the cloud abbreviation is added to the end
of the group, as in "BKN035CB." Stations overseas are
Table 3-2.METAR/SPECI Code Weather Phenomena Type Entries
DR Low Drifting
SG Snow Grains
IC Ice Crystals
PE Ice Pellets
GS Small Hail
VA Volcanic Ash
FC Funnel Cloud
NOTE: The weather groups are constructed by considering columns 1 to 5 in the table above in sequence, i.e.,
intensity followed by description, followed by weather phenomena. Example, heavy rainshower(s) is coded as