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Weather Sites

Update 2017-01-04 Many of the links on this page are broken but I’m leaving it up in case you want to track them down. Some of them like the Aviation Weather page have just moved to another location on the site. Others are no longer in existence.

Here is a great place to start—the Standard Briefing page of the National Weather service.

However, this has got to be used to be the coolest weather site around. ADDS is Beta testing HEMS, a Java-based tool that has: Ceiling and Visibility Data; Radar Products; Convection Data; Saved Views; and High Resolution GIS Data. I’m especially fond of the icing and METARs maps.

The coolest weather site by far is AvnWx. They take a Google map and overlay radar, AIRMETs, SIGMETs, and PIREPs. Rolling over airports shows the METARs. A balloon above the airport shows TAFS. You can click on the screen and drag it around route and see weather along the way. Tons of features that are discussed in more detail here.

The FAA has its own Google map with overlays. It has the weather stations coded by station type, so it isn’t as nice for getting a view of the weather in an area. It does have the phone numbers for the ASOS/AWOS at each airport—not the ATIS—and it has a quick link to a 24-hour history. Start here to select a state.

The Daily Weather Map has surface weather at 7 am Eastern Time back to Jan 1, 2003. The same page has the max and min temperature; 500 millibar height contour with temperature and winds; and 24 hour rainfall. It is great for showing what happened in the last few days.

The Air Force Weather site has satellite maps and animations for the world, radar maps of the US, winds aloft maps, and pressure charts (I’m not sure what these are or how to use them).

The National Weather Service Current Watches and Warnings has state specific weather advisories. It includes things like frost warnings, dense fog advisories, flood warnings, and storms. Watches and warnings are often by county, so you can narrow down the area of interest.

The Aviation Digital Data Service has coded and decoded METARs and TAFs. You can go directly to their site or bookmark your favorites using KSBPs TAF or current METAR as your starting point. Just replace KSBP with an ICAO identifier in the URL. It is not case sensitive.

The Unisys weather site has GOES satellite images—visible, infrared, enhanced infrared, and water vapor. It also has millibar maps from 100 mb to 950 mb, and surface radar. There are also six forecasts based on different modeling techniques.

I haven’t used it but the Weather Underground has seems pretty good for an overview of the weather. The state-level view would be good for looking at alternates, and the radar views are nice too.

AOPA’s weather site recently switched to a different provider. I’m still getting used to it, but I much preferred the old site. One thing that is missing is the legends for the maps but they can be found at the Jeppesen weather legend site, which appears to be the data provider. Since they changed, I’ve been using the ADDS site mentioned above and I like it a lot.

Forecast and actual weather often differ and the FARs actually require you to report when weather differs from forecast. PIREPs are pilot reports of actual weather encountered. They can be accessed at the NOAA Aviation Weather site.

The Space Science and Engineering Center at the University of Wisconsin (link) is my new favorite for satellite pictures. It has links to GOES-East and GOES-West, and other parts of the world; an animated Real-Time U.S. Composite Satellite Image; and more cool stuff.

As more pilots get smartphones sites have been optimized for showing the weather on their small screens. AirWx Mobile is a free site with radar, METARs, and TAFs.

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