Meterologists, pilots, and others whose lives and livelihoods depend on the weather use METAR data to report and transmit weather information. NirSoft's MetarWeather is a free tool for decoding raw METAR reports from around the world. Airports, weather stations, and observers use METAR far more than any other reporting format, so this software gives you access to an unprecedented amount of high-quality data.
MetarWeather's interface is plain but clean and efficient. We clicked the blue Metar icon to download data online, though we could also open METAR files and even type METAR lines directly with a simple wizard that includes a METAR decoder. The tool for downloading Internet data let us specify known stations or search by country, state, and city. We quickly located the nearest METAR data source and selected it, and then clicked Get METAR Reports. MetarWeather quickly downloaded the latest report and displayed it in the main window's list view. Clicking it opened the report, which included the Station Name, ICAO call letters, country, location, elevation, time, temperature, visibility, sky conditions, remarks, and more. Next, we got a report for Lusaka, Zambia, which is a bit farther away than our local general aviation airport, the nearest METAR site. It's not a country but a continent, but we could also access reports from Amundsen-Scott Station and Pegasus Field in Antarctica. We could choose what columns the program displays, add grid lines, and make other optional changes, and also choose a variety of METAR source links from the toolbar, including NOAA, Aviation Digital Data Service, and Aviation Weather Brief.
We've tried many of developer Nir Sofer's free tools and never had a bad experience, and MetarWeather is as competent and easy to use as the others were. Pilots, travelers, mariners, and many others will be able to make good use of MetarWeather, which can access the latest weather data from around the world in real time, freely, with just an Internet connection. And weather bugs, how did you ever get by without raw METAR data?