Pilot World-wide Weather in Google Earth

NCAR METAR weather in Google EarthThe National Center for Atmospheric Research’s (NCAR) Research Applications Program (RAP) (a US Government program) has released a prototype for showing weather data used by pilots for use in Google Earth. The weather data, known to pilots as METARs, report weather conditions at airports including winds, atmospheric pressure, clouds, temperatures, and basic weather (rain, snow, fog, thunderstorms, etc.). The NCAR network link updates directly from the database which comes from Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS) [this is the government, they have acronyms for everything]. This weather data is really for pilots, most non-pilots will find the data cryptic.
Once you download the NCAR weather network link you will see icons indicating current weather at over 3000 airports around the world. A legend is shown at the top of the screen showing what the icons mean. If you click on a particular airport, you get more details on the weather for that airport. The data in GE is automatically updated every 3 minutes. The ADDS data is used by pilots at their official site weather.aero which is quite useful to pilots (I’ve been using ADDS for years now). Also, you can check out the satellite or aerial photos in Google Earth for getting to know the airport before you land there. Here is the post by the NCAR specialist who is responsible for the application at the Google Earth Community.
This is actually a quite useful tool for pilots. I just made a trip from North Carolina to St. Louis and being able to quicly check conditions at nearby airports was good verification for the weather I get from normal official sources.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. liam green says:


  2. Bill Bradley says:

    I downloaded the mearLink for Google Earth and it does not give me current METAR’s. I get METAR’s displayed on my Google Earth from December 5th???
    Is the system for Google not working?
    Bill Bradley

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