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machine2035

VATSIM weather not from VATSIM metar server? [ASE]

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Hi Guys,I have noticed that it seems you are sourcing your weather from aviationweather.gov instead of the actual VATSIM metar website located hereDue to this, half of the airports that do have weather data on the VATSIM servers, but not on the aviationweather website are using ADVANCED INTERPOLATION as their weather source and are generating completely in-accurate weather depecition inside the sim... For example YSCN has a metar service on the VATSIM server but not on aviationweather.gov and therefore gets completely wrong weather including wind and QNH. If you are advertising VATSIM online weather, shouldn't you at least obtain the weather from the VATSIM servers so we can get correct weather (I mean even the freeware VATSIM clients get the weather from this, I am sure it would be hard on your behalf to get permission from the IT guys at VATSIM to use their servers for weather, therefore it will help controllers keep everyone on the same weather wether they are using pilot clients weather or a payware program.

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Hi Guys,I have noticed that it seems you are sourcing your weather from aviationweather.gov instead of the actual VATSIM metar website located hereDue to this, half of the airports that do have weather data on the VATSIM servers, but not on the aviationweather website are using ADVANCED INTERPOLATION as their weather source and are generating completely in-accurate weather depecition inside the sim... For example YSCN has a metar service on the VATSIM server but not on aviationweather.gov and therefore gets completely wrong weather including wind and QNH. If you are advertising VATSIM online weather, shouldn't you at least obtain the weather from the VATSIM servers so we can get correct weather (I mean even the freeware VATSIM clients get the weather from this, I am sure it would be hard on your behalf to get permission from the IT guys at VATSIM to use their servers for weather, therefore it will help controllers keep everyone on the same weather wether they are using pilot clients weather or a payware program.
YSCN airport is a valid METAR reporting station on the NOAA site as well. The problem at the moment is that the YSCN data feed is very spotty for some reason. I just checked the master data file for the Camden airport at the WMO (World Meteorlogical Organization) web site. Since January 1st, YSCN has only submitted reports on two of the last fourteen days, and only for a few hours of the two days when they did report. Not sure if this is a problem with the weather observation station at the airport itself, or with its connection to the outside world, but their METAR feed definitely has issues.Indeed, I just checked the Vatsim link you posted, and right now, at 20:10 EST on 14 January, VATSIM is also reporting "no data" for YSCN.I haven't been on VATSIM for awhile, but it may be that if a given airport has not submitted a recent METAR, that their weather server simply gives the last valid report that was received - even if it is hours, days or even weeks old. I don't think that the VATSIM metars are in any way more comprehensive or complete from those at NOAA... in fact, as far as I know, VATSIM itself uses NOAA as their primary source of weather data.In any case, unless something has changed in ASE, when the "VATSIM weather" option is selected, ASE does get its METAR reports directly from VATSIM, rather than the HiFi servers.

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Hi Jim,Fair enough for Camden, however I have just found another 5 examples which have had reliable METAR reports from the VATSIM servers for at least the last 2 weeks.Take for example Hamilton Island, YBHM.VATSIM servers showing YBHM 170100Z AUTO 15014KT //// // ////// 25/20 Q1012ASE report page showing YBHM 170109Z 14713KT 16255 CLR 25/20 Q1012 RMK ADVANCED INTERPOLATIONIf you look at the ASE report, its not even in the correct format (CLR I have never seen in a Australian reported METAR, and I don't see any visibility (I bet it is in SM, the wrong unit))

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This issue is even worse in New Zealand with few of the airfields that have valid real world and Vatsim Metars and the ASE and AS2012 weather differs from these Metars considerable. The interpolated weather was so far out that the opposite runway was active in Vatsim to my weather.I tried to plan a flight from NZHN to NZPM in both ASE and AS2012 today and both stations weather was incorrect according to Vatsim. I was hoping that AS2012 may have sorted this but looks like the issue is still here.

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This issue is even worse in New Zealand with few of the airfields that have valid real world and Vatsim Metars and the ASE and AS2012 weather differs from these Metars considerable. The interpolated weather was so far out that the opposite runway was active in Vatsim to my weather.I tried to plan a flight from NZHN to NZPM in both ASE and AS2012 today and both stations weather was incorrect according to Vatsim. I was hoping that AS2012 may have sorted this but looks like the issue is still here.
Yep... noticed that when I flew into Queenstown... having cloud over SH when your trying to do the figure out visual pattern is quite hard, and you're a/c isn't RNP approved...It's unfortunate that they have the option for VATSIM weather when it clearly isn't coming from the VATSIM servers, more likely the NOAA website or something, which has either none or wrong, outdated reports for non-us airports which don't match up with VATSIM reports which the controllers base there runways and approaches in use on.

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Hi Jim,Fair enough for Camden, however I have just found another 5 examples which have had reliable METAR reports from the VATSIM servers for at least the last 2 weeks.Take for example Hamilton Island, YBHM.VATSIM servers showing YBHM 170100Z AUTO 15014KT //// // ////// 25/20 Q1012ASE report page showing YBHM 170109Z 14713KT 16255 CLR 25/20 Q1012 RMK ADVANCED INTERPOLATIONIf you look at the ASE report, its not even in the correct format (CLR I have never seen in a Australian reported METAR, and I don't see any visibility (I bet it is in SM, the wrong unit))
Hello all,There are 2 things we should have in mind related to VATSIM:1) A flight plan in ActiveSky should be set and the relative option should be checked. AS only fetches vatsim metars for the departure and destination airports and this has been done this way to reduce vatsim server load. This may change in the future, but in any case only metars related to the actually flight plan (weather stations close to waypoints etc) set in AS will be downloaded from vatsim. Thus, make sure you have your flight plan loaded in AS2) If a flight plan is actually set, then it will most possibly represent a metar parsing error, leading eventually to interpolation. Take for example YBHM. The vatsim metar has no information for visibility. When something is missing from the metar, AS will use whatever data it can use (eg. QNH), it will interpolate what is not there (e.g. visibility), however the final reported metar will include "advanced interpolation". This may seem confusing and it's about to change (to clarify which components of the metar are used and how). The interpolated visibilty in YBHM is 16255 meters in the respective metar. You have to understand that metar parsing is a difficult puzzle for developers to solve. There is a huge diversity of metar formats reported from various servers (there are some cases reported where the taf was actually inserted in the place of the metar itself leading to inconsistencies). AS is very capable of parsing lots of these kinds of metars, however it WILL fail in some cases. We always try to improve this and I would be very interested if in all the cases reported above (where AS failed to use the vatsim metar), the actual metar is posted (as in the case of YBHM), so that I can run some unit tests.Thanks,Kostas Terzides,Active sky developer

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I just planned another flight and the latest Vatsim weather was;NZWP 191754Z 27008KT 40KM FEW018 SCT035 19/16 Q1015 RMK NZAA VATSIM USE ONLYNZHN 191652Z 31005KT 20KM FEW020 14/13 Q1015 RMK VATSIM USE ONLYHowever AS2012 weather was;NZWP 200534Z 12003KT 200V270 9999 SCT049 21/15 Q1013 RMK ADVANCED INTERPOLATIONNZHN 200534Z 05003KT 214V287 9999 SCT026 20/14 Q1005 RMK ADVANCED INTERPOLATIONNot even close. At least Hamilton was using the same runway.I realise the AS2012 weather is more up to date however if flying online on Vatsim then the weather really needs to be the same as controllers and all others are running. If AS2012 sources the weather from the Vatsim server if that option is selected and a flight plan filed then it appears that AS2012 is not working correctly.

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I just planned another flight and the latest Vatsim weather was;NZWP 191754Z 27008KT 40KM FEW018 SCT035 19/16 Q1015 RMK NZAA VATSIM USE ONLYNZHN 191652Z 31005KT 20KM FEW020 14/13 Q1015 RMK VATSIM USE ONLYHowever AS2012 weather was;NZWP 200534Z 12003KT 200V270 9999 SCT049 21/15 Q1013 RMK ADVANCED INTERPOLATIONNZHN 200534Z 05003KT 214V287 9999 SCT026 20/14 Q1005 RMK ADVANCED INTERPOLATIONNot even close. At least Hamilton was using the same runway.I realise the AS2012 weather is more up to date however if flying online on Vatsim then the weather really needs to be the same as controllers and all others are running. If AS2012 sources the weather from the Vatsim server if that option is selected and a flight plan filed then it appears that AS2012 is not working correctly.
Hi,You have a point there. Vatsim metars should be considered valid even though they may be old. Note taken.Kostas Terzides

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Hi Jim,Fair enough for Camden, however I have just found another 5 examples which have had reliable METAR reports from the VATSIM servers for at least the last 2 weeks.Take for example Hamilton Island, YBHM.VATSIM servers showing YBHM 170100Z AUTO 15014KT //// // ////// 25/20 Q1012ASE report page showing YBHM 170109Z 14713KT 16255 CLR 25/20 Q1012 RMK ADVANCED INTERPOLATIONIf you look at the ASE report, its not even in the correct format (CLR I have never seen in a Australian reported METAR, and I don't see any visibility (I bet it is in SM, the wrong unit))
In this case, the two reports are almost identical. There is a three degree difference in wind direction, and a one knot difference in wind speed... temps and pressure are the same.One obvious issue in the above example is that the "official" YBHM METAR is missing a lot of data. There is no report of sky cover or visibility. In this case, I'd assume that ASE has no option other than to use interpolation to insert the missing values - and probably the best choice is to assume clear skies and unlimited visibility...

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In this case, the two reports are almost identical. There is a three degree difference in wind direction, and a one knot difference in wind speed... temps and pressure are the same.One obvious issue in the above example is that the "official" YBHM METAR is missing a lot of data. There is no report of sky cover or visibility. In this case, I'd assume that ASE has no option other than to use interpolation to insert the missing values - and probably the best choice is to assume clear skies and unlimited visibility...
Ok that makes sense, it seems that all airports that have a Class D tower service seem to have no CLD/VIS info.. I am assuming this is due to them most likely getting the data themselves with the visibility charts for certain visual points in the area to detemine the visibility.However as people have mentioned above the NZ metars are still very incorrect, especially at QN where sometimes the cloud and wind will determine your decision to go to an alternate.In this picture the VATSIM metar is the top, the bottom is a SS of ASE with the reported weather.. as you can see there are some discrepancies between the two.huer6q.jpg

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