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Why do have to read weather like this?

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Old April 23rd 05, 11:25 PM
George Patterson
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No, but my dogs sure can. It confuses the crap out of them
(literally) when the 6 o'clock news gal, and her music, are out of
sync with their stomachs.

Same with my cats. Furthermore, one of my cats "owns" my stepson. We have
custody of Peter on weekends. Meercat knows how many days are in a week and,
consequently, what day Friday is. She hangs out near the front door all
afternoon every Friday. If, for some reason, Peter doesn't come home on Friday,
Meerie goes into fugue state. It gets really nasty during summer camp time.

Then she'll bite Peter for being late when he finally does show up. :-)

George Patterson
There's plenty of room for all of God's creatures. Right next to the
mashed potatoes.
Old April 24th 05, 12:10 AM
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"Nathan Young" wrote in message
.. .
On Fri, 22 Apr 2005 19:55:22 GMT, Nathan Young

It is not as trivial as it should be. METAR decoder software is
difficult to write because of the special weather statements that can
be included in a METAR entry (things like RVR, multiple precip types,

Simple parsers can grab winds, date, time, and cloud conditions. But
to be all-encompassing requires a bit more. I found a package (via
NOAA?) that would do METAR decodes, and it included approximately 30KB
of source code, which seemed like a lot for the extra bit of
functionality it provided.

My memory was hazy. I found the original link from which I grabbed
the source code.

The link is broken, but it lists the source code as 49k compressed or
413k uncompressed source code.

I did a quick search and came up with:

This link works and the METAR source files are near the bottom of the page.
One link I found describes the source code as having some issues.
I'm of the opinion that there is a smaller better way.

Old April 24th 05, 05:26 AM
Brian Burger
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On Fri, 22 Apr 2005, Nathan Young wrote:

On Fri, 22 Apr 2005 12:37:54 -0500, wrote:

KHSV 221553Z 19009KT 6SM BR FEW020 BKN035 OVC100 19/18 A2986 RMK
AO2 TSE00RAE11 SLP104 TS MOV NE P0000 T01890178=

I know, and I can read it. And someone is going to say that they
prefer it that way.

I prefer it this way. Once you are used to it, it is shorthand, and
is quicker to read than the longhand version, which would read
something like this...

Not only that, the basic format is international. Everything before RMK is
pretty standard worldwide, so I (a Canadian) don't have to know exact
details of how the US does their weather reports. I can just run through
the standard code.

The US NOAA/FAA ADDS wx website allows you to check *any* airport or wx
reporting site w/ a standard code. The reports aren't all "translated"
into the US standard encoding system, but the fundamentals should be
readable by anyone with a private pilots license.

Besides, I really can read the coded versions far faster than the "plain
language" versions, and that's true of many, many pilots. Get a half-dozen
airports onto one screen (or sheet of paper) and compare them all at a
glance, more or less.

Huntsville International Airport, April 22, 1553Z weather. Winds
[email protected], 6 statute miles visibility in mist. Few clouds at 2000
feet, broken cloulds at 3500 feet, overcast clouds at 10,000 feet.
Temperature 19 deg C, dewpoint 18 deg C, Altimeter 29.86...

Or even longer versions. Check how NavCanada does "plain language" wx
reports for seriously verbose
www.flightplanning.navcanada.ca) The code versions are three
lines; the "plain" ones are half a screenful...

The encoded METAR/TAFs might have started as a reaction to low-bandwidth
telegraph/teletype machines, but they're still a remarkably effecient way
of delivering wx data to trained people!

Old April 26th 05, 01:26 PM
John T
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Peter Clark wrote:

Should be trivial to write for those who know how to do such things.

If I could have a dollar for every time a client said that...

Of course, that line is usually followed by something like "why do we need

John T


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