Wednesday, February 29, 2012

METAR code - lesson learned

KWRL 281412Z AUTO 13004KT 1/4SM +SN FZFG VV007 M05/M06 A2971 RMK AO2 P0000 FZRANO

A couple of days a go I posted this weather report on my Facebook account just cause I found it to be noteworthy. Low visibility, snow, freezing fog are all abbreviations I have only seen in the AIM section that decodes METARs and a looooooooong time ago in NJ. 

A friend of mine asked me about FZRANO and honestly I thought the answer was that there was "no freezing rain", I hear it as I fly along listening to the ASOSs but I should have looked it up. My friend said he did and found that the detector that detects freezing rain was not available - GOOD TO KNOW! I am not doing that kind of flying but having a complete understanding of METARs/ASOSs makes me a more informed pilot. 

This link has the information and more!

SENSOR STATUS INDICATORS: RVRNO: RVR missing; PWINO: precipitation identifier information not available; PNO: precipitation amount not 
available; FZRANO: freezing rain information not available; TSNO: thunderstorm information not available; VISNO [LOC]: visibility at secondary 
location not available, e.g., VISNO RWY06; CHINO [LOC]: (cloud-height-indicator) sky condition at secondary location not available, e.g., CHINO