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Features October 2015 Issue

Inside METARS and TAFs

A typical ASOS visibility sensor consists of a projector (background) that casts a beam detected by the sensor (foreground)

Inside METARS and TAFs

We use these coded reports every day, we know what’s in them, and we know how to decode them. But what are they? Who makes them and where do they come from?

METARs and TAFs have long been the mainstays of aviation weather. You’ve probably got a handy decoding guide on your desk or bookmarked in your web browser, so we won’t focus on that. However we’ll fill you in with background information—ranging from trivia to amuse other pilots on a long haul, to important tidbits that will provide insight and some options in rough weather.

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