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Short-term TAF Data Access

On or about April 4th, 2012, requests for TAFS through this service will be redirected to

http://www.aviationweather.gov/adds/tafs/

This redirection is part of a larger effort to reduce duplication of effort within the National Weather Service. The website above offers the same functionality. It also needs to be noted that the NWS Aviation Weather Center operated website above is the only FAA approved source of aviation weather over the Internet to be used for pilot briefings. Please update bookmarks, links, etc..

Current and recent Short-term Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts from around the world are available from the NWS either through this presentation or via anonymous FTP at ftp://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/data/forecasts/shorttaf. Short-term TAFs are available as individual forecasts or in cycle files. The information available here is represented in a meteorological code.


Individual Reports

To display the most recent Short-term TAF for one ore more observing locations, enter the four-character ICAO Location Indicators in the field below, separated by one or more blanks.

Enter one or more four-character ICAO Location Indicators below.
Make sure to enter one or more spaces between each indicator:


      



Cycle Files

Cycle files containing short-term TAFs are available here and via anonymous FTP from weather.noaa.gov in the /data/forecasts/shorttaf/cycles directory. Files are named hhZ.TXT where hh is the cycle hour of all the short-term TAFs found in that file. (See the TAF Cycle discussion below.)

All forecasts received are placed in these files as they are received. The files are updated approximately every five minutes as data becomes available. Forecasts may be duplicated within the files and multiple forecasts received from a station may appear in a file.

Cycle files are deleted before the start of cycle, e.g., the file 18Z.TXT will be deleted at approximately 1710Z in preparation for receipt of new data. This means that data up to 23 hours old is available.


File Format

Each cycle file contains multiple reports in the following format:

observation time
report...


observation time
report...
.
.
.
where:
observation time is the extrapolated time of the observation in the form
yyyy/mm/dd hh:mm
report is the TAF observation spanning one or more lines.
The end of the report is delimited by a blank line.
If an amendment is received from a station, the amendment is
appended to the original forecast following the indicator "Amendment -" on a line by itself.


Files

Data files are available for the past 4 observing cycles and are identified by cycle.
The current time is , therefore the TAF observing cycle is .
The current cycle file may be unavailable or incomplete until the end of the cycle.

00Z 06Z
12Z 18Z


A Discussion of TAF Cycles

In the U.S., TAFs are produced four times a day starting at approximately 30 minutes before each main synoptic hour (00Z, 06Z, 12Z, and 18Z). All the forecasts produced starting one hour before the main synoptic hour up to four hours past the main synoptic hour are considered to be for the same cycle. For example, forecasts produced between 1100Z and 1600Z are all considered to be 12Z forecastss. In reality, forecasts contain the starting and ending times for which the forecast is valid. Our rule of thumb is that all forecasts produced between (hh-1)00Z to (hh+4)44Z are considered to be for the hh cycle. The following table summarizes the relationship between forecast production time and cycle:

Forecast
Cycle
Forecast
Production
Range
From To
00Z 2300 0459
06Z 0500 1059
12Z 1100 1659
18Z 1700 2259


Please note that outside of the U.S., TAF forecasts may be produced on different schedules. For our purposes, we include non-U.S. forecasts within the same file structure.

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National Weather Service
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Silver Spring, MD 20910
Page last modified: Feb 28, 2012
Page Author: NWS Webmaster
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