Aviation Weather for the Day After Tomorrow

New addition, with thanks to Dan Hill for pointing this out:

This site of the California Nevada River Forecast Center, which is part of NOAA, provides surface analysis forecast for a whopping 16 days in 6 hour intervals. As of this writing (12/22/2016), follow Weather>Weather Models>Mean SLP/Thickness/Pcpn>NAmer…

No guarantees that this will keep working, but this may be a direct link:

http://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/model_loops/00zgfs_namer_pcp.php


Original Post

If you are a pilot and you are like me, by the time Thursday is coming around, you are probably starting to consider your flying options for the weekend. And if weather is part of the equation, you are probably looking at the multi-day forecast at wunderground or something similar to see what day of the weekend looks better or worse. Coming closer to the weekend, the question becomes more concrete – morning, or afternoon on Saturday or on Sunday?

I have always found that we have great weather resources for the next 24-30 hours (I use TAFS) and decent weather products for next week (wunderground, etc.), but if it’s Friday, and I want to look at aviation relevant details for Saturday and Sunday, I’ve been stuck with Prognostic Charts. Prog Charts paint a good macro picture, but they don’t give me a lot of information to interpret the micro consequence, e.g., are visibility/ceilings going to be VFR, is the wind going to be 18 or 34 knots, will the weather change at 11AM or 2PM?

So while browsing for something better, I found this:

http://www.usairnet.com/cgi-bin/launch/code.cgi?state=&sta=



Check it out. Sky conditions, visibility, ceilings, wind speed and direction and much more for a whopping 60 hours.

Turns out the National Weather Service is providing the data underlying this pilot friendly display (GFS MOS guidance). I certainly didn’t learn about this service in ground school back in 1996.

So I guess I’m planning for a sunset flight on Saturday or Sunday this weekend. Looking forward to it. (of course I will still check other whether products when we get closer – FA, TAFs, METAR, etc.)

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