Dave's Airport METAR Reader - Alexa Skill

Dave's Airport METAR Reader

Dave Jacobowitz

43 ReviewsTravel & Transportation


Or say "Alexa, enable Dave's Airport METAR Reader"

Reads succinct weather reports (METARS) from airport weather stations, formatted to resemble ATIS. Not affiliated by or endorsed by "MetarReader."

This skill obtains weather data from airports and reads it aloud in the format that a pilot would hear if he tuned his radio to the airport ATIS. The data itself actually from METARS, hourly reports available digitally at http://www.aviationweather.gov. The content of METARs and ATIS, though similar, are not the same. This skill translates the METAR data to be as like ATIS as possible. ICAO aviation phonetics are used and wind directions are magnetic-north referenced. ATIS often contains airport-specific information not present in METARs. Pilots, this skill is not a substitute for real ATIS! There are two ways to specify the station. The first is by three or four letter ICAO airport identifier. If you only provide three letters, the skill prepends a 'K' -- it assumes you are referencing a US airport. You can specify any airport worldwide by providing all four letters. The letters must be provided using ICAO phonetics. (goo.gl/kQKUKL) The second approach is by city name. Unfortunately, my database of city names is limited. If your city does not have a large airport, it is probably not be in the database. I'm still thinking of how best to disambiguate cities of the same name, and am open to suggestions. I may drop the city name function entirely. There are some interesting additional features you might try: - Get the Zulu time, like this: "Alexa, ask airport weather to report zulu time" - set a preferred compass reference "Alexa, ask airport weather to set wind reference to magnetic" or "Alexa, ask airport weather to set wind reference to true" (A real ATIS response will ALWAYS be magnetically referenced.) - set a preferred visibility unit: "Alexa, ask airport weather to set visibility to miles" "Alexa, ask airport weather to set visibility to kilometers" When in kilometer mode, the visibility report will say "kilometers" (or "meters" if less than 1 km). When in miles mode, the unit will not be stated, consistent with US custom. - set a preferred altimeter setting unit: "Alexa, ask airport weather to set altimeter to inches" or "Alexa, ask airport weather to set altimeter to millibar" When in millibar mode, the altimeter reading will be prefaced by "QNH". In inches mode, the units will not be stated, consistent with US custom. - set a default temperature unit: "Alexa, ask airport weather to set temperature to Fahrenheit" or "Alexa, ask airport weather to set temperature to Celsius" A real ATIS (or METAR) is ALWAYS in Celsius. Some users have asked for Fahrenheit, so here it is. In Fahrenheit mode, the skill will add "Fahrenheit" to the text. - default airport: Reading the airport by ICAO identifier can get tedious. You can specify a default airport. First, use the app, specifying an airport as usual. Once it has completed reading the report, issue the following command: "Alexa, ask airport weather to set local airport." The most recent successfully read station will become the default. From that point forward you can say: "Alexa, ask airport weather for local" or "Alexa, ask airport weather for atis" The stored default airport will be used. - repetition A real ATIS recording is a loop, and pilots can listen repeatedly until they have the complete data. You can set repetition in this app: "Alexa, ask airport weather to set repeat to five." or "Alexa, ask airport weather to set repeat to one." Feel free to contact me with suggestions: dave@toolsofourtools.org Check out the code on github: https://github.com/djacobow/alexa_metar The good people at Amazon want me to make it crystal clear that this skill is not affiliated, endorsed, or supported in any way by some other thing called "MetarReader". So there you go. Not from the good folks at "MetarReader," whatever that is.


Invocation Name

airport weather

Interaction Examples

Alexa, start airport weather
Alexa, ask airport weather to read the metar at kilo echo whiskey romeo
Alexa, ask airport weather to get the atis at Cincinnati

Release Date

May 20th 2016