Widget: METAR/TAF

I wasn't happy with the way the D2 Bravo's built-in METAR widget handles units (based on watch settings) for those of us in metric countries so I built my own. It's heavily influenced by the built-in widget but with some improvements, especially in terms of displaying the details in units that make sense for you, regardless of watch setup.

The app is available at: https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/99cfcc6b-5569-4e2d-9c4a-d0d946358a76

Improvements over the built-in METAR widget (on D2™ Bravo):
  • displays overview of four nearest METARs on a single screen
  • displays calculated density altitude and freezing level
  • can be used when BLE connection is not enabled/working (data will not be updated)
  • handles situation when nearest/chosen station doesn't have a published METAR
  • handles variable winds
  • handles special METAR (SPECI) which can be missing some info
  • displays METAR remarks field
  • displays METAR observed at time
  • configurable color set for flight categories (VFR, MVFR, IFR, LIFR)
  • displays nearest TAF when selected station doesn't have a published TAF


Limitations versus built-in METAR widget:
  • cannot be used during an activity (this is a watch limitation)
  • validation of station entered cannot be done immediately (since the aviation database on the watch is not accessible)


Usage / Notes:
  • Configure all the settings for the widget using Garmin Express or the Connect Mobile app on your phone.
  • The last position retrieved by the widget is displayed on the bottom of the multi-METAR page. This position is never updated unless you request an update from the menu (see below for how to access the menu) or you configure the watch to retrieve your position every time you access the widget (usually not required).
  • You will see a grey arc moving around the edge of the screen when the watch is waiting for a position fix or downloading METAR information. The time to get a position fix depends on your location and the number of satellites. The time to retrieve new/updated METAR information is normally 5-10 seconds.
  • When a METAR is more than 60 minutes old, you will see an asterisk (*) character beside the station identifier.
  • The calculated density altitude uses the true (wet) formula that takes dew point into account. Read my blog post on density altitude for more information.
  • Use the Start button from the initial screen to enter the widget, then use the Start button again to bring up the menu. From the menu you can update your position, manually enter a station to view the METAR for, view the METAR for the nearest station (based on the current position) or view the METAR for your home aerodrome.
  • 3. I press START button once - after some short time I receive error (see metar2.jpg)


    There was a problem with the backend when trying to display wind speed in MPS. That should now be fixed.

    4. After that if I go immediately directly to watchface - it's got reset to default builtin watchface (can't return my custom watchface) and I see IQ! icon on your widget screen (only reboot could fix that).


    If you are seeing the IQ! and then your watch is defaulting to the built-in watch face, that usually means the memory is running low on the watch. I've seen that on my D2 Bravo a few times randomly and usually the watch reboots shortly thereafter. I'm not sure if it's a memory leak in my widget or in the watch VM or something else but I haven't been able to track it down yet.

    Please let me know if that fixes the first issue.

    Cheers,
    Douglas
  • Hi Douglas,

    Yes, problem solved. Thanks a lot!

    And thank you for fantastic widget - it's very well done and really helpful :)

    Regards,
    Dmitry
  • Does the widget calibrate the barometer like on the D2 Bravo

    On the D2 Bravo Titanium, I can calibrate the barometer based altitude with Metar information automatically. Does this widget has a way to calibrate the barometric altimeter from Metar info? I am interested about this feature for the Fenix 5X. Thanks.
  • On the D2 Bravo Titanium, I can calibrate the barometer based altitude with Metar information automatically. Does this widget has a way to calibrate the barometric altimeter from Metar info? I am interested about this feature for the Fenix 5X. Thanks.


    Unfortunately there is no way (currently) for Connect IQ widgets to share information between each other. The other problem with using a Fenix 3 as a pilot watch is that the watch doesn't allow Connect IQ widgets to be used when an activity is running (due to processing power). So if you want to capture your flight then you aren't able to view any cool Connect IQ widgets (like my METAR/TAF one). If you could, then I would simply rewrite all the D2 Bravo built-in widgets and you would have almost all the same functionality.

    If the Fenix 5X has the processing power to allow Connect IQ widgets to run while doing an activity then I may consider a Fenix 5X instead of whatever the pilot equivalent is that they build using the 5X platform. Given that the pilot version of the 5X is surely to be more expensive than the 5X (which is already quite high) it seems like a reasonable option.

    Cheers,
    Douglas
  • Getting Data Error Response Code: -400

    Using a Qautix 3 (aka the Fenix 3). Installed widget, upon selecting widget, then pressing start to get METAR (it appears to always grab the first on list), I get updated data, followed by "unexpected error, there was an error retrieving wx data, response code: -400". Thoughts?
  • Using a Qautix 3 (aka the Fenix 3). Installed widget, upon selecting widget, then pressing start to get METAR (it appears to always grab the first on list), I get updated data, followed by "unexpected error, there was an error retrieving wx data, response code: -400". Thoughts?


    Hi there. This sounds like either a new/recently introduced bug or an isolated error, potentially due to your location. The -400 error seems to indicate a problem with the WX server but I'm not entirely sure.

    Can you go to the app store and use the "Contact Developer" link on the widget page to send me more information? I'd like to know the watch you're using, firmware version, the lat/lon where you are, the home airport you have configured, etc.

    Cheers,
    Douglas
  • The app does not show METAR/TAF for some stations. for instance https://metar-taf.com/de/EDFE does.Are there limitations?