Symbols and Pictograms

This section shows and explains the symbols we use.

Location symbols

The symbols used for location categories are explained under location attributes.

Risk symbols

The risk symbols are described for the risk map.

Wind barbs

Here you find the explanation for the wind barbs showing the speed and direction of wind that are used in meteograms and maps.


Weather conditions are graphically summarised by pictograms. These show sunshine, clouds, precipitation type, intensity and thunderstorms for the time period referenced in the forecast. A detailed symbol description is shown below. Pictograms are used in overviews like on the start page and in meteograms. The period for which the pictogram is effective is printed above or below. An hour indicates the end of the interval (e.g. a 3-hour pictogram marked 11:00 includes the forecast from 8:01 until 11:00, and the following 3-hour pictogram marked 14:00 includes the forecast from 11:01 until 14:00).

Day and night pictograms

Day and night pictograms show the weather condition for a period of one or three hour values during the day and night. They contain more detailed descriptions of weather conditions than the iday pictograms which represent a daily total of weather conditions.

Daytime Nighttime Nr Description
1 Clear, cloudless sky
Cirrus clouds pictogram
2 Clear, few cirrus
cirrocumulus pictogram
3 Clear with cirrus
4 Clear with few low clouds
5 Clear with few low clouds and few cirrus
Altocumulus cloud pictogram (3)
6 Clear with few low clouds and cirrus
Altocumulus cloud pictogram
7 Partly cloudy
Cumulus cloud
8 Partly cloudy and few cirrus
Altocumulus cloud pictogram (2)
9 Partly cloudy and cirrus
10 Mixed with some thunderstorm clouds possible
11 Mixed with few cirrus with some thunderstorm clouds possible
12 Mixed with cirrus and some thunderstorm clouds possible
Stratus cloud pictogram
13 Clear but hazy
14 Clear but hazy with few cirrus
Altocumulus cloud pictogram (1)
15 Clear but hazy with cirrus
16 Fog/low stratus clouds
17 Fog/low stratus clouds with few cirrus
18 Fog/low stratus clouds with cirrus
19 Mostly cloudy
Cumulus cloud pictogram (2)
20 Mostly cloudy and few cirrus
21 Mostly cloudy and cirrus
22 Overcast
23 Overcast with rain
Nimbostratus clouds pictogram (6)
24 Overcast with snow
Nimbostratus cloud pictogram (2)
25 Overcast with heavy rain
26 Overcast with heavy snow
27 Rain, thunderstorms likely
Cumulonimbus clouds pictogram (2)
28 Light rain, thunderstorms likely
Nimbostratus clouds pictogram (5)
29 Storm with heavy snow
Cumulonimbus clouds pictogram (3)
30 Heavy rain, thunderstorms likely
31 Mixed with showers
32 Mixed with snow showers
Nimbostratus cloud pictogram (1)
33 Overcast with light rain
Nimbostratus cloud pictogram (4)
34 Overcast with light snow
35 Overcast with mixture of snow and rain

iday pictograms

iday pictograms show a summary of the daily weather condition. They are used in the API data feeds and on the meteoblue startpage (daily overview). The data feeds for 7 days forecasts use all the 17 iday picto- codes, the data feeds for 14 days use only the first 11 iday pictocodes. The json data feed also uses the 17 iday pictocodes.

Pictogram Nr Description
1 Sunny, cloudless sky
Stratocumulus cloud pictogram (1)
2 Sunny and few clouds
3 Partly cloudy
Stratocumulus cloud pictogram (2)
4 Overcast
5 Fog
6 Overcast with rain
Cumulus cloud pictogram (1)
7 Mixed with showers
Cumulonimbus clouds pictogram (1)
8 Showers, thunderstorms likely
9 Overcast with snow
10 Mixed with snow showers
11 Mostly cloudy with a mixture of snow and rain
Nimbostratus cloud pictogram (3)
12 Overcast with light rain
13 Overcast with light snow
14 Mostly cloudy with rain
15 Mostly cloudy with snow
16 Mostly cloudy with light rain
17 Mostly cloudy with light snow

Special pictograms*

Daytime Nighttime No Description


desert dust; dry dust softened by the wind

Blowing dust

desert storm; storm or strong wind that carries sand or dust with it

* Note: the special pictograms are only shown on our website and not included in the API

How the pictograms are calculated

How the weather pictograms are calculated

meteoblue pictograms show the most likely weather conditions for a location, based on a very detailed analysis of local forecast (black squares) in an area (yellow square). The area considered is within 20-30 km of the chosen centre point location (e.g. green points: Évian in Southeast and Morges in Northwest of square). For each point, a different pictogram is calculated. Main factors considered are:

  • cloud cover: average of all cloud cover in the area.
  • precipitation intensity: average of precipitation for the chosen location.
  • precipitation type: prevailing precipitation for the chosen location.
  • wind (if displayed): average or maximum wind for the chosen location.

Pictogram calculation combines the regional and local forecasts to match our perception: sunshine and cloudiness are perceived regionally, whereas precipitation, wind and temperature are perceived locally.


Get our weather pictograms for free: you can use them with our or with your data, placing a link from your page to this page. All rights reserved. (4.85 MB)

All the other symbols used by meteoblue are available as font: (266 KB)