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Where do you check the weather?


syntaks
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Dunno if anyone else is as obsessed with rev flying as I am. I'm disabled, I hate sitting at home, and I simply don't have anything better to do with my life. I imaging most of you don't think so, but many people think I am insanely obsessed with this stuff. :P I fly pretty much every day while my better 3/4 is at work. I fly even in the Alaska winter, which is often 20 degrees below zero. (Sometimes much colder, but that's the average ... We haven't worked out if that hurts the kites or not, but so far, it hasn't seemed to do any harm to them. ;) I have totally replaced my physical therapy with revs and have lost (I'm not kidding here) more than 100 pounds in 18 months flying these things.

Anchorage is a HUGE (size wise) city. Anchorage has only 360,000 people yet is 1700 square miles of land. (Compare that to LA, which has about 500 square miles of land and almost 4 million people...) We have 6 mountain ranges around us. (Not mountains...mountain RANGES.) Plus we are, technically, a peninsula, with water to our north , south, and west.

Anyway, getting a good picture of the weather here is an important factor and the weather is often completely different in one part of town than another. It can be sunny and windy in one spot and a mile away it will be raining and dead calm. (Though I usually find that rain brings wind & sun brings calm.) I have become an amateur meteorologist by watching the various weather forecasting tools because the ones who get paid to do it never seem to get it right. (I have a 70-80% accuracy rate now, and they have about 40-50% ;)

I use "Weather Underground" for my current views of various places to fly. They have a GREAT kite fliers tool there called "Wundermap" which incorporates google maps and the many weather stations around the city. When you look at it, it gives the temp and wind speed/direction at each station. (There are 31 weather stations currently in the municipality that are shown.) Here is a link to what I mean: Anchorage Wundermap

It is a bit tricky if you don't know the symbols for maritime wind, but there is a key for doing it there.

Does anyone else use wundermap, or do you have a favorite weather source? I know that wundermap is pretty much everywhere in the US... Just type in your zip code, click on the wundermap link and have fun.

--TaK

Edited by SynTaks
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Thanks for that tip about Wundermap. That is awesome. I use usairnet.com. It gives a three day wind forecast. The downside is that it is a large geographic area it covers. One side of my area may be different than the other end of the metropolis, but the forecast covers it all. I pulled up my area on Wundermaps, and that is very helpful.

Here is your usairnet.com page: http://www.usairnet.com/cgi-bin/launch/code.cgi?Submit=Go&sta=PANC&state=AK

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SynTaks:

I also use Weather Underground as my primary weather source. Great coverage, and lots of information.

Two others that I use are-

KiteHenge: http://www.weather.c...rly_topnav_golf

(check the "hour-by-hour" for wind speeds and directions - pretty good since KiteHenge borders a golf course, and there is profit catering to golfer$.)

Tip: Link from this site to golf courses near your flying field.

Long Beach Penninsula, WA (where I do most my flying): http://www.642weather.com/weather/

These may work for you, SynTaks, only when you take trips to the lower 48, but they may be useful to other kite pilots. Good topic.

Edited by HedgeWarden
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The trouble with Weather Underground for me is that I'm exactly in the middle of three different stations. And, even though we lack mountains and great lakes to affect the weather, those three stations generally show different wind patterns. Thus, I use two different web sites for a "general" overview of the local area. The graphical forecast page is used to decide when to plan on flying ... being retired allows the freedom to plan my day around the wind.

Usairnet is probably my favorite. If the link doesn't work for you, use the aviation forecast and enter your location.

The other good website is the National Weather Service. The graphical forecast for Anchorage is not working right now, so here's a forecast for Spokane .

Oh yes, the trees in my backyard seem to be the best source of wind speed ... my main flying field is only one mile away.

Cheers,

Tom

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The trouble with Weather Underground for me is that I'm exactly in the middle of three different stations. And, even though we lack mountains and great lakes to affect the weather, those three stations generally show different wind patterns. Thus, I use two different web sites for a "general" overview of the local area. The graphical forecast page is used to decide when to plan on flying ... being retired allows the freedom to plan my day around the wind.

::snip::

The other good website is the National Weather Service. The graphical forecast for Anchorage is not working right now, so here's a forecast for Spokane .

::snip::

My *favorite* place to fly is called Carr-Gottstein park. The wundermap doesn't have any that work there, but it's rare that there is no wind in that spot.

Generally, ANY weather forecast here is a "general overview" simply because the weather forecasts change every hour here, simply because of the landmass we live on.

I used to use the "graphical forecast" on the one site, but it was rarely accurate...it is, after all, a beta issue, but it was nice to use to decide if I wanted to drive the 50 miles out to Palmer on bad days here. The problem with it is that it only shows the airport wind, which is the least likely usable here...it also doesn't zoom in enough to get the whole picture in town, which, as I said, is huge, so every area of the city is different. If ya look at the wundermap link I posted, you can see how much difference there is between different areas of town...lol

I do like to play with various sites just to see if any of them forecast against the noah statement, which is generally wrong. ;)

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Dunno if anyone else is as obsessed with rev flying as I am. I'm disabled, I hate sitting at home, and I simply don't have anything better to do with my life. I imaging most of you don't think so, but many people think I am insanely obsessed with this stuff. :P I fly pretty much every day while my better 3/4 is at work. I fly even in the Alaska winter, which is often 20 degrees below zero. (Sometimes much colder, but that's the average ... We haven't worked out if that hurts the kites or not, but so far, it hasn't seemed to do any harm to them. ;) I have totally replaced my physical therapy with revs and have lost (I'm not kidding here) more than 100 pounds in 18 months flying these things.

Anchorage is a HUGE (size wise) city. Anchorage has only 360,000 people yet is 1700 square miles of land. (Compare that to LA, which has about 500 square miles of land and almost 4 million people...) We have 6 mountain ranges around us. (Not mountains...mountain RANGES.) Plus we are, technically, a peninsula, with water to our north , south, and west.

Anyway, getting a good picture of the weather here is an important factor and the weather is often completely different in one part of town than another. It can be sunny and windy in one spot and a mile away it will be raining and dead calm. (Though I usually find that rain brings wind & sun brings calm.) I have become an amateur meteorologist by watching the various weather forecasting tools because the ones who get paid to do it never seem to get it right. (I have a 70-80% accuracy rate now, and they have about 40-50% ;)

I use "Weather Underground" for my current views of various places to fly. They have a GREAT kite fliers tool there called "Wundermap" which incorporates google maps and the many weather stations around the city. When you look at it, it gives the temp and wind speed/direction at each station. (There are 31 weather stations currently in the municipality that are shown.) Here is a link to what I mean: Anchorage Wundermap

It is a bit tricky if you don't know the symbols for maritime wind, but there is a key for doing it there.

Does anyone else use wundermap, or do you have a favorite weather source? I know that wundermap is pretty much everywhere in the US... Just type in your zip code, click on the wundermap link and have fun.

--TaK

TaK,

I use this site:

http://www.usairnet.com/cgi-bin/launch/code.cgi

Put in the local airport and it gives you temp, visibility, airspeed and direction by general time of day. It's meant for pilots and I've found it reliable for the very changeable weather here in St. Louis, MO. I keep it in my bookmark bar (Mac) so I can get to it with a single click.

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Does anyone else use wundermap, or do you have a favorite weather source? I know that wundermap is pretty much everywhere in the US... Just type in your zip code, click on the wundermap link and have fun.

--TaK

Tak, here's a pretty cool one. Don't know it it's in your area, as I haven't investigated it thoroughly, but looks neat..........

http://windmapper.com/SE/observations?Loc=FL&gclid=CI6p_IuB4ZMCFQlqsgodRWNqdg

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Tak, here's a pretty cool one. Don't know it it's in your area, as I haven't investigated it thoroughly, but looks neat..........

http://windmapper.co...CFQlqsgodRWNqdg

Hiya RR... Nice to see ya again...lol

Of course it doesn't cover Alaska... To most of the US, we don't exist. Geez...until Palin ran for VP, most people REALLY didn't even know where Alaska WAS other than that ANWR is here somewhere, and until the gulf oil disaster everyone had pretty much forgotten the Exxon Valdez.

I think Ben thinks it's somewhere near Antarctica. :P

The only consolation on that site is that they also don't have Hawaii...lol :devil:

--TaK

Edited by SynTaks
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Looking thru all the other posts, I've found that some weather sites work better than others in specific areas. I like WeatherBug very much. Nice big numbers, and I like the animated wind guage. Works perfectly for all the western US for sure.

http://weather.weatherbug.com/NV/Las%20Vegas-weather.html?zcode=z6286&stat=LVGRC

post-3694-130703008001_thumb.jpg

Use the "Change Weather Station" button to find your closest weather station.

I have the same problem Jeepster does, I fly at a group of parks located between 3 weather stations. I keep these 3 stations open in separate windows on my desktop, to try and get a general feel for the wind in my area.

WeatherBug also has a mobile app.

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I'm lucky enough to have several local stations posting to the Weather Underground near where I fly!! One is only 1/2 mile from my usual flying site!!! Got 2-3 beach locations saved as favorites too, so I can drool over conditions that I could have, but can only dream about!! TORTURE!!!kid_devlish.gif

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After you fly a while, you'll notice how your flying field compares to the weather stations' reports. My kite field is two miles from an air port. It consistently has four or five less mph when the reporting is in the standard wind range, and one or two less in the UL wind range. However, when light and variable is reported, the wind sucks equally in all directions.

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I'm a Weather Underground guy. I've been using them since back before there was a World Wide Web (but not by much). They have forecasts that seem better than the competition (including the government stations), and for $10 a year, I get it on all my computers (and iPads and iPhone) with no ads. I like to support sites that offer no-ads for a reasonable fee.

In the early 1990s you had to Telnet into their computer and send codes to get their computer to send you (in text) weather conditions and forecasts for the city of your choice. It sounds complicated, but you could write scripts for your Terminal program that would send the proper codes with the proper pauses automatically. (Left-click? What's that?)

Recently JB mentioned that he had discovered that he was "off the grid". No signals of any kind anywhere in the campground. It may be hard to believe, but there are people on this very forum that have spent most of their lives "off the grid". There WAS no grid. A long-distance call was something you only did if someone died. Otherwise you sent a letter by snail-mail.

I have to say, I LIKE being connected, and make an effort to stay connected. I even got a three-day subscription from a company that had WiFi coverage on the beach at Grand Haven! As I said to John, It's really easy to get used to something cool.

So I like the modern (Web) version of Weather Underground. I have three shortcuts (forecast, radar, and WunderMap) in the URL-toolbar on my browser, plus a link to m.wund.com (the mobile version) on my phone. Actually, since I got the iPhone, there is even a WonderMap app that I added.

If there are several local home weather stations in your area (or near the places where you fly) that send data to WU, then WunderMap (rather than the main Weather Underground site) might be useful if you are between, or a long way away, from the government weather stations. You have to learn the peculiarities of your local stations, though. There is one near me that doesn't have his wind direction sensor properly aligned. I have to mentally rotate his reported wind direction by about 60 degrees clockwise to get the actual direction.

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When I'm not using the trees and flags as my wind indicators . . . . I prefer the NOAA site. Since I often end up looking ahead to the weekend for my flying time, I like that I can look at the wind forecast nearly a week ahead by clicking forward a couple days at a time. You can see at a glance what time of day will have the best wind and you can see if there's rain in the forecast. I have this link saved in my shortcuts for my town. Chicago daily graph

Here's a link to the local forecast for Chicago (you can search for your city/state at the top of this page). Chicago 7 day forecast Note - For your local the link to the hourly graphs, you have to start from the forecast for your city. The "hourly graphs" is in an "additional weather info" section at the bottom of the page.

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What I use has never let me down and is always right.

I look out the window.

or even better walk out the door!

I think there is an app for it called "reality"

One thing is for sure you can't change it so go with it.

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What I use has never let me down and is always right.

I look out the window.

or even better walk out the door!

I think there is an app for it called "reality"

One thing is for sure you can't change it so go with it.

Sounds a lot like the "Hippy Dippy" weatherman - The weather is outside!!!kid_devlish.gif

PS: The wind inside is always the same!!!smile.gif

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What I use has never let me down and is always right.

I look out the window.

or even better walk out the door!

I think there is an app for it called "reality"

One thing is for sure you can't change it so go with it.

True dat. The computer can say what it wants, I'm gettin' my fly on!! ;)

This chart might come in handy for anyone who wants to make a guess at the wind speed:

post-3694-130717082867_thumb.jpg

Although reality will best tell what the conditions are, I still have use for the weather programs. I'm a "right kite for the job" kind of flier, hence I have multiple Revs, and several kites in general. However, the closest place I can fly is a 25 minute walk. Also, I usually fly alone. I like to check the weather so I don't have to carry $1000+ worth of kites with me just to make sure all conditions are covered. Can't leave Revs in the hot truck, otherwise I'd drive....

Embrace some technology :lol:

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