metpy.calc.altimeter_to_station_pressure(altimeter_value, height)[source]

Convert the altimeter measurement to station pressure.

This function is useful for working with METARs since they do not provide altimeter values, but not sea-level pressure or station pressure. The following definitions of altimeter setting and station pressure are taken from [Smithsonian1951] Altimeter setting is the pressure value to which an aircraft altimeter scale is set so that it will indicate the altitude above mean sea-level of an aircraft on the ground at the location for which the value is determined. It assumes a standard atmosphere [NOAA1976]. Station pressure is the atmospheric pressure at the designated station elevation. Finding the station pressure can be helpful for calculating sea-level pressure or other parameters.

  • altimeter_value (pint.Quantity) – The altimeter setting value as defined by the METAR or other observation, which can be measured in either inches of mercury (in. Hg) or millibars (mb)

  • height (pint.Quantity) – Elevation of the station measuring pressure


pint.Quantity – The station pressure in hPa or in. Hg. Can be used to calculate sea-level pressure.


This function is implemented using the following equations from the Smithsonian Handbook (1951) p. 269

Equation 1:
\[A_{mb} = (p_{mb} - 0.3)F\]
Equation 3:
\[F = \left [1 + \left(\frac{p_{0}^n a}{T_{0}} \right) \frac{H_{b}}{p_{1}^n} \right ] ^ \frac{1}{n}\]


\(p_{0}\) = standard sea-level pressure = 1013.25 mb

\(p_{1} = p_{mb} - 0.3\) when \(p_{0} = 1013.25 mb\)

gamma = lapse rate in [NOAA1976] standard atmosphere below the isothermal layer \(6.5^{\circ}C. km.^{-1}\)

\(t_{0}\) = standard sea-level temperature 288 K

\(H_{b} =\) station elevation in meters (elevation for which station pressure is given)

\(n = \frac{a R_{d}}{g} = 0.190284\) where \(R_{d}\) is the gas constant for dry air

And solving for \(p_{mb}\) results in the equation below, which is used to calculate station pressure \((p_{mb})\)

\[p_{mb} = \left [A_{mb} ^ n - \left (\frac{p_{0} a H_{b}}{T_0} \right) \right] ^ \frac{1}{n} + 0.3\]