The other day I was planning a trip from Wichita to Oklahoma City. It was an overnight trip and I had gathered all the weather I needed from the various weather sources. However, I recently discovered a useful tool in planning for the weather, Windy and thought I’d see how it displayed the weather forecast.
The beautiful aspect of Windy is the graphical representation of the data on the map. You can select wind, pressure, visibility, clouds bases, cloud tops, precipitation, etc. You can also select the flight level of the data for things like wind. You can zoom in and out to get a better picture of the weather affecting your area of flight.
Once you’ve selected your You can also select for the time you will be experiencing the weather. In my flight, I was planning on cruising south at 4,500. so I set the altitude in Windy to 5,000. I then looked at the wind speed and direction I’d be dealing with on Sunday
My next view was the visibility of the area during the flight.
After that I checked the cloud bases along the route
Finally, I looked at the tops because, heck, I’m IFR rated so why not
One of the most important parts of planning a flight is the return trip. What is the weather predicted to be when I want to come home? Using Windy as a supplement, I looked at the weather for the afternoon on Monday. The wind looked like this,
Visibility looked good
and the cloud bases were going to be high.
Windy isn’t a substitute for a formal weather briefing, but having a visual representation of the weather you might be facing is powerful.
The app is available on Android and iOS. Check it out today and see if you like how it displays your weather.