Tuesday, March 29, 2005

metar package released!

Yesterday, with the help of Guus Sliepen, my metar package has been uploaded to the Debian archives! Metar is a small utility that can be used to download meteorological weather reports and -- optionally -- decode them into a more human-readable format.

I wrote the package because I am regularly interested in finding out weather condition in different parts of the world, but have little or no need for fancy GUIs which make me click through list after list in order to find the city I want. Instead, I generally know near which airport the location is situated, which I can use to download the weather report from.

For example, I live near Gilze-Rijen Airforce Base in the Netherlands. That base is identified by the code EHGR. Using METAR, I can now do

% metar ehgr
EHGR 040725Z 22012KT 9999 FEW018 BKN024 07/04 Q1026 WHT BLU TEMPO WHT

If I prefer a decoded format, I do

% metar -d ehgr
Station: EHGR
Day: 4
Time: 725 UTC
Wind direction: 220
Wind stength: 12 KT
Wind gust: 12 KT
Visibility: 9999 M
Cloud coverage FEW at 1800 ft.
Cloud coverage BKN at 2400 ft.
Temperature: 7 C
Dewpoint: 4 C
Pressure: 1026 hPa

Nothing fancy. But, simple, convenient and (most of all) fast. The software is available in source and is distributed under the GNU General Public License.

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