Before any flight the pilot in command is required to obtain and interpret actual and forecast weather. These are available to him in TAF (forecast) and METAR (actual) reports.
Reading these reports isn't very difficult. It takes some time to be able to read these encrypted abbreviations but you will get used to it very quickly. The manual we present below will help you with that learning process.
At the end of 2008 (Nov, 5) a number of changes were made to the TAF format.
Excerpt from the document:
The Aircrew Quick Reference Guide to the METAR and TAF Codes is designed to help aircrews quickly and clearly translate METAR and TAF codes into plain language. See references in Attachment 1 for a listing of source documents.
METAR codes report observed weather conditions by airfield; TAF codes report forecasted weather conditions by airfield. Both codes are lines of text made up of data groups (or just “groups”) separated by spaces. Some data groups are not discussed because they are intended for use by the weather community and are not useful for flight planning. Differences between military and civilian renderings of the code are discussed where appropriate.
To continue reading see the pdf below: