NOAA Wind Data Links

NOAA Wind Data Links


The data at the NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) can be viewed in several forms:


RAOB (RAwinsondeOBservations) is the data set we use in most of our calculations, you can access it here

You can look up the data for a site near you. The steps are self-explanatory. We suggest you choose a site by State and then in step  “IV. Access by State” choose a state and then choose “YES” in the “View/ select stations from the states you have selected?”  The default data format isFSL format (ASCII text) and will be easy to interpret using our example RAOB Explained link.


Skew T Are Java displayed plots combining a great deal of data in one graphical plot. This plot seems complex, but to see the wind data pertinent to any location you select is actually simple. Place your mouse in the plot and move it up and down, the altitude and speed are displayed in the plot on the right. Simultaneously the speed will also display in a bull’s-eye style plot in the upper left corner. The Speed shows up as a red line. You will also see the altitude and temperature data displayed near your mouse arrow. These plots are available here. There are four different data sets.

RAOB, is the data from the twice-daily weather balloon soundings, as covered above in the text display format, that can be displayed in a SKEW T plot here.

MAPS, RUC are Rapid Update Cycle forcasted plots that combine soundings and data from many sources and have data for most airports (even small ones). To find site codes for the RUC plots, click on the METARs link, near the top, when in SKEW T plot page, under the heading "site info". There is no table of RUC sites, but the METARs site list seems to work well.

PROFILER, is the data from more than 30 sites that have long wave radar systems that read wind speed at various altitudes. Many are also equipped with a RASS (Radio Acoustic Sounding System) used to also read temperature at various altitudes from the ground.

ACARS is the fourth data set but is restricted and not available to the public.

We suggest that you try these plots and read the tutorials and other helpful links on the NOAA pages.