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Author Topic: Where do you get "Big Picture" forecast information?  (Read 400 times)

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JRo

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Where do you get "Big Picture" forecast information?
« on: October 18, 2017, 11:32:30 AM »
It seems like there is a wealth of weather information to be found on the internets (and in apps) these days.

However, I feel like it is targeted information.  Most forecast info I can find is either:
(a) very locale specific, or
(b) short range (1-2 days forecast).

The Weather Channel was my source for this, but even the Weather Channel has shifted to more entertainment oriented content.  That... and I cut the cord.

So where do you find out what's happening regionally/nationally?
I'd like to know about:
- weather systems coming in/out of the region
- type of systems (wet/dry, warm/cool, stable/unstable)
- where are they going
- etc...

Maybe someday Siri/Alexa will take us back to the days of 'in person' briefings in the local FSS.

-J
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Klaus

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Re: Where do you get "Big Picture" forecast information?
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2017, 12:11:17 PM »
  I just got introduced to this site a couple weeks ago and can't get over the amount of information. Type the airport in to the search.

https://www.windy.com/
Klaus Marx
Juneau, AK (PAJN) & East Wenatchee, WA (KEAT)

will moffitt

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Re: Where do you get "Big Picture" forecast information?
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2017, 01:32:52 PM »
I have used windy a couple times for a long sail, well, kinda long,  like tacoma to Anacortes.  I find it was just encouragement because when you get 5 hrs into the trip it is a new show.  It is interesting to watch how the wind curves around the islands/mountains.  That is an education in itself. 
As for my type of flying a look out the window is good enough.  I can see the Olympics and Cascades from my house.  I do like the  weather channel on my nexus.  you can dial in any town and I feel the long range is kinda good but  sometime they back up and take another shot at it.  Sometimes I dial the airport what ever it is called, and get the wind.  It is often different than my house location and my plane does not like cross winds. 

ColinFitzGerald

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Re: Where do you get "Big Picture" forecast information?
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2017, 01:48:12 PM »
Try the NWS website.  Go to the bottom of the page and click on aviation weather.  From there, go to surface prog charts.  This will show 7 days of surface forecasts with precipitation out 60 hours and frontal boundaries, high and low pressure cells out the full 7 days.  For additional information, check out the 500 mb heights for the same 7 days. This shows the steering winds at about 32,000 ft altitude. This leaves some interpritation on your part though.

Have fun with it,
Colin

piperfan

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Re: Where do you get "Big Picture" forecast information?
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2017, 02:37:21 PM »
Forecast Discussion.
PA28-180E
CZBB, Vancouver, BC

aftCG

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Re: Where do you get "Big Picture" forecast information?
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2017, 02:37:46 PM »
[cough]Flight Service[cough].  Funny how far people will go out of their way not to call a briefer.

While they will temper their message with "outlook briefings are only accurate for the next 6 hours" these people understand weather and the trends that are incoming.

I made a trip on September 1 from KEPH (Washington) to KBDH (Minnesota), and returned the weekend of 10/7.

In addition to using Flight Service and the link posted above I also used this one:
https://www.wunderground.com/severe.asp

That wind map showed that on the Saturday before we left Minnesota to return home the winds on the ground in Great Falls and Livingston were in the 41-65 knot range.  Needless to say that caught my attention, but the same source also indicated that it would be very calm on Sunday.

I don't know if I would call it calm (winds were generally 11G16) and the weather did tank on us Sunday afternoon in Rapid City.  Sunday's prediction would turn out to be true for Monday - which aligns with my long standing observation of weather forecasting:  The weather they are predicting will happen, but not necessarily with the timing they predict.

N804RV

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Re: Where do you get "Big Picture" forecast information?
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2017, 05:05:52 PM »
Ken W.
Mount Vernon, WA

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Flying Dan

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Re: Where do you get "Big Picture" forecast information?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2017, 12:41:34 PM »
  I just got introduced to this site a couple weeks ago and can't get over the amount of information. Type the airport in to the search.

https://www.windy.com/

It was a few weeks ago on this forum someone had posted that link.  I like it as well and use it often now.

Big Picture, I use WX Channel, local news forecasts.  Gives me general trends etc.  I also really like WX Underground, pull back far enough and you can see the systems move.  Kinda neat:

https://www.wunderground.com/
L8A - Slightly modified

JRo

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Re: Where do you get "Big Picture" forecast information?
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2017, 03:14:41 PM »
Thanks, all.  I'll give them a try.

[cough]Flight Service[cough].  Funny how far people will go out of their way not to call a briefer.

While they will temper their message with "outlook briefings are only accurate for the next 6 hours" these people understand weather and the trends that are incoming.

I like talking to Flight Service, but often they talk quickly enough, that I cannot remember what they were saying.   I used to be good @ shorthand, but even then, I found myself calling twice to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything.  Now they are my last call before heading out the door, after I have all the 'details' (TAF/METAR/...) scribbled down.  By that time, I can ask them questions.

Forecast Discussion along with the prog charts look good.

Next skill on my list is to understand Log(P)-Skew(T) charts.

Thanks all.
-J
Home - 63MT
Current - S50

Cabbage

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Re: Where do you get "Big Picture" forecast information?
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2017, 06:33:13 AM »
Thanks, all.  I'll give them a try.

[cough]Flight Service[cough].  Funny how far people will go out of their way not to call a briefer.

While they will temper their message with "outlook briefings are only accurate for the next 6 hours" these people understand weather and the trends that are incoming.

I like talking to Flight Service, but often they talk quickly enough, that I cannot remember what they were saying.   I used to be good @ shorthand, but even then, I found myself calling twice to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything.  Now they are my last call before heading out the door, after I have all the 'details' (TAF/METAR/...) scribbled down.  By that time, I can ask them questions.

Forecast Discussion along with the prog charts look good.

Next skill on my list is to understand Log(P)-Skew(T) charts.

Thanks all.
-J

You can always ask them to slow down.  In my case, I could tell them I'm old and can't hear fast anymore.

CubFlying.com

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Re: Where do you get "Big Picture" forecast information?
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2017, 08:04:50 AM »
This form should make the info the briefer is giving you easier to copy...

Daryl Hickman, CFI

"If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. If you pull the stick back, they get smaller. That is, unless you keep pulling the stick all the way back, then they get bigger again."

aftCG

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Re: Where do you get "Big Picture" forecast information?
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2017, 01:13:02 PM »
Thanks, all.  I'll give them a try.

[cough]Flight Service[cough].  Funny how far people will go out of their way not to call a briefer.

While they will temper their message with "outlook briefings are only accurate for the next 6 hours" these people understand weather and the trends that are incoming.

I like talking to Flight Service, but often they talk quickly enough, that I cannot remember what they were saying.   I used to be good @ shorthand, but even then, I found myself calling twice to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything.  Now they are my last call before heading out the door, after I have all the 'details' (TAF/METAR/...) scribbled down.  By that time, I can ask them questions.

Forecast Discussion along with the prog charts look good.

Next skill on my list is to understand Log(P)-Skew(T) charts.

Thanks all.
-J
I'll admit I typically call them after I have utilized all the other resources available, so my short hand is limited to things I didn't know already and NOTAMs that will impact me (most days I don't need to know about 50' unlit towers 7 miles from the airport).

JRo

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Re: Where do you get "Big Picture" forecast information?
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2017, 12:35:25 PM »
I'll admit I typically call them after I have utilized all the other resources available, so my short hand is limited to things I didn't know already and NOTAMs that will impact me (most days I don't need to know about 50' unlit towers 7 miles from the airport).

Hear! Hear!

I think that Leidos does a better job at filtering some of these things, but online and EFT NOTAM reporting systems choose to err on side of "report everything" even if it's not relevant to the flight.
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mrchipz

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Re: Where do you get "Big Picture" forecast information?
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2017, 06:46:12 AM »
I always get a Flight Service briefing. In addition to AWC discussion, a couple columns over from "Forecast" is one for "Tools". Drop down box option is "GFA Tools". Spend some time with it cause it is GREAT!! Lots of info up to 15 hours out, including ice, wind, cloud cover, tops, etc.

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