Report Source Services

AVWX fetches the raw weather reports from third-party services via REST API calls or file downloads. We use Service objects to handle the request and extraction for us.

Basic Module Use

METARs and TAFs are the most widely-supported report types, so an effort has been made to localize some of these services to a regional source. The get_service function was introduced to determine the best service for a given station.

# Fetch Australian reports
station = 'YWOL'
country = 'AU' # can source from avwx.Station.country
# Get the station's preferred service and initialize to fetch METARs
service = avwx.service.get_service(station, country)('metar')
# service is now avwx.service.AUBOM init'd to fetch METARs
# Fetch the current METAR
report = service.fetch(station)

Other report types require specific service classes which are found in their respective submodules. However, you can normally let the report type classes handle these services for you.

Adding a New Service

If the existing services are not supplying the report(s) you need, adding a new service is easy. First, you'll need to determine if your source can be scraped or you need to download a file.


For web scraping sources, you'll need to do the following things:

  • Add the base URL and method (if not "GET")
  • Implement the ScrapeService._make_url to return the source URL and query parameters
  • Implement the ScrapeService._extract function to return just the report string (starting at the station ID) from the response

Let's look at the MAC service as an example:

class MAC(StationScrape):
    """Requests data from Meteorologia Aeronautica Civil for Columbian stations"""

    _url = "http://meteorologia.aerocivil.gov.co/expert_text_query/parse"
    method = "POST"

    def _make_url(self, station: str) -> tuple[str, dict]:
        """Returns a formatted URL and parameters"""
        return self._url, {"query": f"{self.report_type} {station}"}

    def _extract(self, raw: str, station: str) -> str:
        """Extracts the report message using string finding"""
        return self._simple_extract(raw, f"{station.upper()} ", "=")

Our URL and query parameters are returned using _make_url so fetch knows how to request the report. The result of this query is given to _extract which returns the report or list of reports.

Once your service is created, it can optionally be added to avwx.service.scrape.PREFERRED if the service covers all stations with a known ICAO prefix or avwx.service.scrape.BY_COUNTRY if the service covers all stations in a single country. This is how avwx.service.get_service determines the preferred service. For example, the MAC service is preferred over NOAA for all ICAOs starting with "SK" while AUBOM is better for all Australian stations.


For file-based sources, you'll need to do the following things:

  • Add the base URL and valid report types
  • Implement the FileService._urls to iterate through source URLs
  • Implement the FileService._extract function to return just the report string (starting at the station ID) from the response

Let's look at the NOAA_NBM service as an example:

class NOAA_NBM(FileService):
    """Requests forecast data from NOAA NBM FTP servers"""

    _url = "https://nomads.ncep.noaa.gov/pub/data/nccf/com/blend/prod/blend.{}/{}/text/blend_{}tx.t{}z"
    _valid_types = ("nbh", "nbs", "nbe")

    def _urls(self) -> Iterator[str]:
        """Iterates through hourly updates no older than two days"""
        date = dt.datetime.now(tz=dt.timezone.utc)
        cutoff = date - dt.timedelta(days=1)
        while date > cutoff:
            timestamp = date.strftime(r"%Y%m%d")
            hour = str(date.hour).zfill(2)
            yield self.url.format(timestamp, hour, self.report_type, hour)
            date -= dt.timedelta(hours=1)

    def _extract(self, station: str, source: TextIO) -> Optional[str]:
        """Returns report pulled from the saved file"""
        start = station + "   "
        end = self.report_type.upper() + " GUIDANCE"
        txt = source.read()
        txt = txt[txt.find(start) :]
        txt = txt[: txt.find(end, 30)]
        lines = []
        for line in txt.split("\n"):
            if "CLIMO" not in line:
                line = line.strip()
            if not line:
        return "\n".join(lines) or None

In this example, we iterate through _urls looking for the most recent published file. URL iterators should always have a lower bound to stop iteration so the service can return a null response.

Once the file is downloaded, the requested station and file-like object are passed to the _extract method to find and return the report from the file. This method will not be called if the file doesn't exist.

 2.. include:: ../../docs/service.md
 5from .base import Service
 6from .files import NOAA_GFS, NOAA_NBM
 7from .scrape import (
 8    get_service,
 9    NOAA,
10    AMO,
11    AVT,
12    MAC,
13    AUBOM,
14    OLBS,
15    NAM,
16    FAA_NOTAM,