SysMetrix METAR data

weather data retrieval

Saturday, January 2, 2010 by machinehd | Discussion: OS Customization

Has anyone else noticed that as of Jan 1st, the METAR data doesn't work for most sites to retrieve weather info? Almost every site responds with a Parse error. I've R&R'd Sysmetrix thinking it may be a corrupt data file but the problem persists.  I read some forums saying it's possibly the Weather Channel but Sysmetrix retrieves it's data from NOAA. Does anyone have a line of why this is happening?  NOAA's weather site still uses the same 4-character METAR codes and they don't mention any changes.

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os1smith
Reply #1 Saturday, January 2, 2010 11:11 AM

I don't know, but I have the exact same problem, mine quit working too.  Been playing with everything on my system since yesterday.  Glad it's not just me.  This means it must be NOAA that is goofing up something, or a windows update.  Are you using winxp.

Philly0381
Reply #2 Saturday, January 2, 2010 11:17 AM

Since SysMetrix hasn't received an update is a couple of years this may well be the end of it.  It was a nice program.

machinehd
Reply #3 Saturday, January 2, 2010 11:20 AM

Hey, Yes, still using Win XP, and Windows 7 and makes no difference... there are some sites that work.  Alice TX, works, but almost everywhere else gives back this parsing error.

Thnx for the quick response..

os1smith
Reply #4 Saturday, January 2, 2010 11:31 AM

lol...I tried Alice, TX and mine works too...man that ain't right...I'd rather none of them work, that just pisses me off...weird problem, why would that site work and non of the others.  This has become an obsession now...I am hooked, gotta find out whats going on here..lol

os1smith
Reply #5 Saturday, January 2, 2010 11:40 AM

The problem seems to be with NOAA, they changed their format.  If you look the report from Alice, TX is old, from Dec 24, 2009.  The others with Parse errors are current.  Seems the only way this is gonna get fixed is if the programmer of sysmetrix makes us a fix.  Not likely since he hasn't done anything with it since 2004..lol

machinehd
Reply #6 Saturday, January 2, 2010 11:49 AM

I emailed NOAA and sent the metardata.txt file as well as attached a text file with the parse error.  You're like me, I won't quit until it's fixed! 

SirBedwyr
Reply #7 Saturday, January 2, 2010 1:23 PM

Cool.  I realize metars are the official current weather for most locations, but hadn't thought of them in 'desktop gadget' terms.  I wonder if there's any that'll provide near-complete aviation forecasts?  Like with TAFs, Airmets, prog charts, and the like.

neophil78
Reply #8 Saturday, January 2, 2010 2:38 PM

Same trouble with sysmetrix here under XP SP3

machinehd
Reply #9 Saturday, January 2, 2010 6:15 PM

i checked www.xymantix.com for an update to the problem to see if the programmer was aware of this.  I emailed him via the link from his website.  The SysMetrix site says the last update was '05 with the possibility of SysMetrix 4.0 coming out in '06.  I know he hasn't worked on it in a while and most likely has other committments.  Windows 7 widgets, and Yahoo widgets still work, but get their data from other sources. With any luck Decker might update the software (possible patch?). Whaddaya say?  Please?  I really do use SysMetrix and weather is important to me. I run my own greenhouse and am an avid gardener.

thanks in advance! 

Citizen Machinehd

os1smith
Reply #10 Saturday, January 2, 2010 6:20 PM

Ya I thought of that, but it's not likely to happen, but worth a try.  I am hanging my hat on the URL option he programmed in, gonna research maybe an alternate site for the weather info.  He said for advanced  users see if I can get it to work that way.  Will keep you'll posted.

os1smith
Reply #12 Saturday, January 2, 2010 7:02 PM

LMAO...I put in Oak Harbor and my weather display for weather age says 834 days old....lol...maybe someone needs to look out a window or some thing and update that thing...lol

dolfus
Reply #13 Saturday, January 2, 2010 7:21 PM

I have the same problem, but I think its with NOAA.  I went to NOAA.gov and entered several locations near me and didn't get a weather report for any of them. Maybe they will get the problem repaired shortly. 

os1smith
Reply #14 Saturday, January 2, 2010 9:16 PM

Well guys it is diffinately a format change on the part of NOAA.  I dig up my old METAR reports here is the last four days, I went back about 20 reports. now my sysmetrix weather worked a few days ago and you can clearly see a difference in the reports with the inclusion a few days ago  of the CIG tag in the report and the inclusion of the runway info, which I think is what is giving the sysmetrix grief, because it doesn't know what to do with that new info.

 

KLRF 030155Z AUTO 06006KT 10SM CLR M03/M10 A3040 RMK AO2 CIG 140 RWY07 SLP299 T10301099

KLRF 030055Z AUTO 07007KT 10SM CLR M03/M09 A3040 RMK AO2 CIG 180 RWY07 SLP299 T10251093

KLRF 022355Z AUTO 07006KT 10SM BKN180 M02/M09 A3040 RMK AO2 CIG 160 RWY07 SLP299 T10181092 10016 21018 50001

KLRF 012255Z AUTO 06007KT 10SM FEW160 M01/M09 A3040 RMK AO2 SLP300 T10111093

You can goto the NOAA site and check out the FAQ, there is alo going to be a new HTTP site to get this info, the HTTP that sysmetrix uses as a default is going away soon.  Which would not be a big deal since we can change the URL but we can't change how sysmetrix reads the data...which SUCKS.

 

SirBedwyr
Reply #15 Sunday, January 3, 2010 5:17 AM

That's new?  Runway and extended pressure comments have been part of AWOS for years now.

os1smith
Reply #16 Sunday, January 3, 2010 9:11 AM

The reports we use are the observation reports, not the full reports, as you can see they were never part of the reports we got at the old http site, I went back a good ways looking at old reports, didn't see any rwy stuff, which is probably why sysmetrix doesn't work now.  The new report system is called ADDS from what I can see.

Darco
Reply #17 Sunday, January 3, 2010 12:09 PM

I love SysMetrix and all weather reporting gadgets. Weather is very important to me also, my SysMetrix quit showing the weather also.  That is why I came over here to see if anyone else had the same problem.  I hope it gets fixed.

Darco

SirBedwyr
Reply #18 Sunday, January 3, 2010 2:39 PM

ADDS isn't a report format, it's a digital web service for pilots: http://adds.aviationweather.gov/metars/.  The METAR teletype (yes teletype) format has remained the same since the FAA switched to mostly international standards (see section 3 for code explanations): Aviation Weather Services.  I'm not aware of any txt file issuance that was ever without the RMK block (and it would be irresponsible to disseminate it to pilots without the remarks block since it carries local thunderstorm activity and runway visibility amongst others).  There may have been an aggregator distribution that stripped the RMK section, but as I said I'm not aware.

SirBedwyr
Reply #19 Sunday, January 3, 2010 2:44 PM

Oh, and we get our information in pieces as you can see from the PDFs.  The only time a full/official weather report comes in is through either telephone or some kind of verifiable digital download like DUATS.

machinehd
Reply #20 Sunday, January 3, 2010 3:26 PM

Still no reply from N. Decker through the email link on the SysMetrix home page.  I seriously doubt we will hear anything.  As with all good things, they were good while they lasted.  I enjoyed the ability to skin the widget instead of a single weather module taking up valuable real estate on the desktop.

Actually when the METAR text file is opened there is clearly a permissions clause from Winstep.  But the pointer to the METAR data comes from within the SysMetrix executable pointing to the PERL script on NOAA's web site,  Unfortunately not from within the metar data text file.    The line can be changed but I'm not sure if it can be saved.

os1smith: Ok keep us posted.

Thanks,

Citizen Machinehd

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