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PILOT reports collected by the Met Office MetDB System

Update Frequency: Continual
Latest Data Update: 2022-12-16
Status: Ongoing
Online Status: ONLINE
Publication State: Published
Publication Date: 2008-08-10
Download Stats: last 12 months
Dataset Size: 18.73K Files | 676MB


PILOT reports describe measurements reported up to four times daily by radiosondes at worldwide fixed land stations. The dataset contains measurements of wind speed and direction. The data are measured from the surface to approximately 20-30 km and measurements are usually taken every 2 seconds. These data are provided as-is from the Met Office and so will need the message components bringing together for each ascent

The PILOT data contain the following observations:

Wind speed at standard pressure levels
Vertical wind shear
Maximum wind level
The data comprise vertical profiles of temperature, dew-point temperature, wind speed and wind direction at standard and significant pressure levels. The standard pressure levels are 850, 700, 500, 400, 300, 250, 200, 150, 100, 70, 50, 30, 20 and 10 hPa. Significant pressure levels are calculated according to the Met Office criteria and constitute levels at which significant events occur in the profile, e.g temperature inversions.

The data are measured from the surface to approximately 20-30 km. Generally there are up to 4 ascents per day from each station, though some sites may only have 1 or 2 ascents. Ascent times are typically around 00, 06, 12 and 18 UT.

A maximum wind level is defined as a level at which the wind speed is greater than that observed immediately above and below that level..

Citable as:  Met Office (2008): PILOT reports collected by the Met Office MetDB System. NCAS British Atmospheric Data Centre, date of citation.
Abbreviation: Not defined
Keywords: Met Office, MetDB, PILOT, profiles, meteorology


Previous Info:
No news update for this record
Previously used record identifiers:
Access rules:
Restricted data: please submit an application using the REQUEST ACCESS link for access.
Use of these data is covered by the following licence: When using these data you must cite them correctly using the citation given on the CEDA Data Catalogue record.
Data lineage:

Data are extracted from the Met Office's "metDB" system and supplied to BADC. These are then processed to generate BADC-CSV files, where possible. METARS and CLIMAT message types are stored as original message types only within

Data Quality:
Land and ship SYNOP messages undergo some quality control at the Met Office, but these messages are not as rigorously checked as they are within the MIDAS system into which the data are later migrated. Thus, for historic data the MIDAS dataset is the recommended dataset to use for surface observations.
File Format:
Data availability and file format

The data are held in the BADC-CSV file format, each of which will contain one or more data records and are comma separated variables. "Metadata" are provided giving a full description of the content of the data. More information about the file format can be found on the BADC-CSV format page, which also contains two example files taken from the MetDB dataset.

Process overview

This dataset was generated by instruments deployed on platforms as listed below.

Instrument/Platform pairings

Radiosonde Deployed on: PILOT Station Network
Output Description


No variables found.

Temporal Range
Start time:
End time:
Geographic Extent

Related parties
Authors (1)
Principal Investigators (1)