FTP METAR download

Hi Brian,

Suggestion: being able to download METAR’s via ftp,
the metars I use for Northern Ireland from the noaa site are usually, updated every few hours and in the case blow a lot longer
Belfast city airport example:
when using http http://weather.noaa.gov/pub/data/observations/metar/decoded/EGAC.TXT
is still showing last night (at this moment) more than 12 hours later!

Belfast / Harbour, United Kingdom (EGAC) 54-36N 005-53W 0M
Oct 03, 2005 - 04:20 PM EDT / 2005.10.03 2020 UTC
Wind: from the SSW (200 degrees) at 5 MPH (4 KT) (direction variable):0
Visibility: greater than 7 mile(s):0
Sky conditions: mostly cloudy
Temperature: 51 F (11 C)
Dew Point: 46 F (8 C)
Relative Humidity: 81%
Pressure (altimeter): 30.42 in. Hg (1030 hPa)
ob: EGAC 032020Z 20004KT 150V220 9999 FEW036 BKN043 11/08 Q1030
cycle: 20

but when using ftp ftp://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/data/observations/metar/decoded/EGAC.TXT

Belfast / Harbour, United Kingdom (EGAC) 54-36N 005-53W 0M Oct 04, 2005 - 03:50 AM EDT / 2005.10.04 0750 UTC Wind: from the SSW (210 degrees) at 6 MPH (5 KT) (direction variable):0 Visibility: greater than 7 mile(s):0 Sky conditions: mostly cloudy Temperature: 50 F (10 C) Dew Point: 41 F (5 C) Relative Humidity: 71% Pressure (altimeter): 30.42 in. Hg (1030 hPa) ob: EGAC 040750Z 21005KT 150V240 9999 FEW025 BKN033 10/05 Q1030 cycle: 8

it’s 30 minutes ago, and they are updated usually every 30 minutes

anyway of adding ftp as a choice for downloading metars? (for updating WD icon and mesmaps)
a check box to choose between ftp or http on the control panel/ftp/ftp metar download page
or a place to put in ftp://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/data/observations/metar/decoded/ “STATION ID.TXT”


It may not be as bad as you think. Many airports don’t have flights at night, so don’t publish METARs after the last flight of the day. For example, my local airport (Blackpool) publish METARs up to approx 2000 and then restart at approx 0700 the next day.

So it’s quite possible that the 2020 METAR from Belfast is the last one of the night and the 0750 is the first of the morning, i.e. the 2020 METAR would still be the one you’d download until the 0750 one arrived.

Also many METARs are only updated every hour, so when you posted your message at 0950 BST (0850 UTC) it’s likely that the 0850 METAR wouldn’t have arrived at NOAA yet, meaning that the 0750 METAR was still in operation. Also the 0750 METAR probably wasn’t available from NOAA until 0800.

So whilst the HTTP download is still further behind than the FTP download, it may be less than an hour slower. Having said that, Belfast may be publishing METARs every 30 minutes (the fact that there are times ending in 20 and 50 is a good clue). So both are somewhat delayed…with the FTP download appearing soonest.

I have been wondering if the speed of the NOAA updates is slowing down as a result of the number of people who are hitting the NOAA web site grabbing data for web sites. I’ve seen people setting WD up to grab METARs every few minutes…when in many cases they won’t see an update more often than once an hour. All those extra hits must add up to a fair amount of extra load on the NOAA servers…and it’s not just WD that’s grabbing data. There are many other packages that display METAR data direct from the NOAA server.

Maybe the EGAC was a bad example, its from 5:50z/utc until 22:50z/utc
the EGAA (Belfast International) Metar is updated 24 hours a day, every 30 minutes, and on the http server its usually a couple of hours behind
and not updated at night, but it is updated on the ftp server. and usually available within 10 minutes of the report time.

the main reason I’d like to see the ftp option, is because the noaa http does not update at night, and its always been slow to update


It would be good to have an alternative to HTTP. I was just pointing out that there can be other reasons for METARs to be some way behind. I’ve done a number of investigations into when things arrive when putting the MML data together.

Hi Chris,

no worries, I know you where.

I’ve been playing about with the metar’s for just under a year, it gets frustrating when the noaa http site
is up to 6 hours behind the ADDS and NOAA ftp site, and not having a way of getting their data on WD
thought I must admit noaa is getting a bit better than it was a year ago

the ftp option would nice to have

ok, sounds like a good idea
i will see if i camn get an anymous ftp session to work like i already do for the forecast download, today

I suspect the ADDS data might come from the experimental XML server http://weather.aero/tutorials/dataserver/DataServer.php (which is an interesting URL…I’ve never seen the .aero TLD before!)

Cheers Brian,
would be great to get that

.aero a new one on me too,
like I said in a different post to one of the questions
don’t know where the ADDS data comes from in the MetWeather program http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/mweather.html
but its the fastest to update, if anyone could open it and have a loook at the programming, might answer that one


good news
i have this working
will upload a new ftpupd.exe version with a new full install WD in the next hour or so :slight_smile:
(and i also have added back ability to select the metar download location)

Thats great, :smiley:

look forward to trying it out


I’m on board also. Lets see what happens.

10.29b full install should be ready soon
working well for me so far :smiley:

so that you can get the new ftpupd.exe needed to also be used to use ftp download fro WD mesomap metars, download latest from here:

sounds like its a winner
from your last post
hopefully others who have complained about the out of date metars download the latest full install and set to use FTP for the metar download :wink:

I’ve been checking it through the day, while at work, and updating great,

now if I could just figure out why the main temperature/humidity sensor on my wmr928
has started transmitting about once an hour, instead of the normal times, hopefully
just the batteries.

why do these things happen when you’re at work and can’t do anything about it lol #-o


[quote author=windy link=topic=11476.msg86973#msg86973 date=1128587164]
hopefully others who have complained about the out of date metars download the latest full install and set to use FTP for the metar download

Same happening here too,
but using the custom tags, all the data coming through ok


there must be CR in the FTP version of the file, and so the file ends up having more than 1 line
i will see if i can fix that


Just noticed a warning that the ftp service if government use authorised use only
when downloading and it logs on.

just to let you know, don’t know what you think on that, whether to take out the ftp or not
or if its a standard thing


if you hear a helicopter coming…run…fast!!!


its just standard :wink: