The Binary Universal Form for the Representation of meteorological data (BUFR) is a binary data format maintained by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The latest version is BUFR Edition 4. BUFR Edition 3 is also considered current for operational use.
BUFR was created in 1988 with the goal of replacing the WMO's dozens of character-based, position-driven meteorological codes, such as SYNOP (surface observations), TEMP (upper air soundings) and CLIMAT (monthly climatological data). BUFR was designed to be portable, compact, and universal. Any kind of data can be represented, along with its specific spatial/temporal context and any other associated metadata. In the WMO terminology, BUFR belongs to the category of table-driven code forms, where the meaning of data elements is determined by referring to a set of tables that are kept and maintained separately from the message itself.