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Land SYNOP (surface synoptic observations) Station Network

Status: Not defined
Publication State:


Observation stations within the Land SYNOP station network transmit their observations, made on land, in the form of a SYNOP message. The international SYNOP message format has been used for the real time transmission of synoptic weather observations for about 50 years. Today it is used at some 200 or more Met Office or auxiliary UK stations for observations made at hourly, 3-hourly, 6-hourly or irregular intervals. As well as the UK station, there are thousands of SYNOP stations distributed globally resulting in around 60,000 reports a day. Data are extracted for the 4 principal synoptic periods (00-06, 06-12, 12-18 and 18-00 UT) and delivered to the BADC at 13:30, 19:30, 01:30, and 07:30 respectively (all in GMT). The SYNOP message contains observed elements such as weather, cloud, temperature, humidity, wind, visibility, and pressure.

Abbreviation: Not defined
Keywords: Not defined

platformType:      station_group
location:      GeographicBoundingBox: Longitude: -180.000 to 180.000; Latitude: 90.000 to -90.000
Previously used record indentifiers:

More Information (under review)

Operational Details
  1. Transmission of a SYNOP message

    In order for a SYNOP message to be transmitted by an observation station, specific instruments are required to perform to certain standards. These include an anemometer, thermometer, station observer, sunshine recorder, visiometer, barometer, hygrometer, and raingauge. SYNOP messages are typically sent every six hours on shortwave using radioteletype (RTTY) and consist of groups of numbers (and slashes where data is not available). The message is decoded and the relevant parameters are stored in the MIDAS dataset and in the MetDB dataset on the BADC website.

    The SYNOP message is transmitted globally on a spatial scale of 83.65 latitude to -83.167 latitude, and 179.283 longitude to -179.366 longitude.

Who to contact

If you have queries about these pages or about obtaining the Met Office surface stations data from the BADC then you should contact CEDA Support. Your query should be answered within one working day. When follow-up work is required, the CEDA support will carry out the work as quickly and efficiently as possible, and in any case, the user will be kept informed of progress.

Platform location

Related parties