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EZTip No. 14 - Color coding in METARs and TAFs

The EZAirport view in EZWxBrief provides access to the most recent METARs and TAFs for each airport located in the EZWxBrief domain. While these are not decoded into plain English, they are color coded based on the flight category for visibility and ceiling.

To visit the EZAirport view, find the airport icon on the EZMap or EZRoute Profile. Selecting this icon (shown by the red arrow below) will take you to the EZAirport view where you can enter the FAA or ICAO airport identifier of interest.

Once the airport has been entered (KCLT in the example below), then click or tap on the menu icon (shown in the red circle) to list the options for the airport. This includes a selection for METAR and TAF in the dropdown menu.

When selecting METAR or TAF from the menu, the most recent 12 hours of surface observations or forecasts will be listed in chronological order with the most recent one being at the top of the list. You will notice that each of the METARs (or TAFs) are color-coded based on the flight category for that particular element as shown below.

For example, the visibility for the latest surface observation for KCLT is 3/4SM as shown below. This is consider to be in the Low IFR (LIFR) category, so it is color-coded as magenta. The previous observation has a visibility of 3SM which is in the MVFR category.

Similar to a METAR, TAFs are also color-coded based on the category. The forecast below shows a visibility forecast of 2SM which is in the IFR category.

Interested in learning more about the Skew-T? You can order your copy of The Skew-T log (p) and Me book today in soft cover or eBook format.

Most pilots are weatherwise, but some are otherwise

Dr. Scott Dennstaedt

Weather Systems Engineer

Founder, EZWxBrief™

CFI & former NWS meteorologist

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