Yes, meteoNautics 100% FREE. This is a Community Project and is run by Volunteers. We do not charge you to access what we offer to the Flight Simulation Community. This also includes the API and our Custom Services.
Yes and its also 100% FREE. Just call any of the URLs in the API Documentation and it will just work.
We use real-life Weather Data to issue our Weather products, such as Weather Radar, Satellite, Current Conditions (METARs), Computer Forecast Models, among many others. We also built our own tools to track weather on meteoNautics itself, but lots of the data analysis is coming elsewhere depending on the Forecasters region of responsibillity and the availability of the data source. We use our experience in Weather Forecasting to delivery the Forecasts. When we issue Custom Advisories we actually draw the Polygons on a Map! How cool is that?
Although not everybody is flying with real-world weather in Flight Simulation, SIGMETs (Significant Meteorological Information) are always important and should be taken seriously. SIGMETs are essentially Weather Warnings for Aviation and are issued by the Countries National Meteorological Service and Air Navigation Service Provider. They can be issued for Convection, Turbulence, Icing, Mountain Waves, Tropical Cyclones or Volcanic Ash. Remember that SIGMETs have a specific Altitude range. A good rule of thumb is to avoid flying through SIGMET polygons, unless you are flying above or underneath the affected altitude. meteoNautics do not issue SIGMETs!
You probably also heard of AIRMETs (AIRman's METeorological Information). They are similiar to SIGMETs but are issued for more broader and less urgent weather hazards. Not every Country issues them. Other countries have a similiar product with a different name and format. Generally, AIRMETS are issued for areas with IFR conditions, Turbulence or Icing, but can also be issued for other Weather phenomenon. The Custom Advisories issued by meteoNautics are our own version of AIRMETs.
If you are passionate about Aviation and Meteorology and wanted to know how you can become a Virtual Flight Service Specialists for meteoNautics, contact us. We are actively looking for new people to join. Our goal is to have a Universal project in which Live Weather information is available to every Virtual Pilot or Virtual Online Air Traffic Controller. Once you are a vFSS for meteoNautics you can use any of your /weatherforecasting tools you which, but to issue the Forecasts you will need to use the tools we developed.