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25 minutes ago, Niko182 said:

I use it all the time. Its pretty accurate in my experience.

I do as well and have found it to be pretty accurate. I look at a few different sites but Windy is one of my favorites, not just for winds but it does a pretty good job with clouds/ceilings as well. You can set favorite airports and easily see the current and past Metars as well as what Windy is forecast.

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1 hour ago, Skates97 said:

I do as well and have found it to be pretty accurate. I look at a few different sites but Windy is one of my favorites, not just for winds but it does a pretty good job with clouds/ceilings as well. You can set favorite airports and easily see the current and past Metars as well as what Windy is forecast.

The webcams they have around the US are also a really nice touch.

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Yes, I love it for planning a trip a few days out.  It also helps to see the weather just outside of a normal briefing in accessing the risk of changing conditions.  I have the app on my Iphone and use it via a web browser also.

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Is anyone paying for the Premium version of Windy? Did you notice any significant differences in the quality of the forecast? It says the difference is "Standard Data with 2 updates a day" and "Precise Data with 4 updates a day." At less than $2 a month I was going to sign up and see.

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7 minutes ago, Skates97 said:

Is anyone paying for the Premium version of Windy? Did you notice any significant differences in the quality of the forecast? It says the difference is "Standard Data with 2 updates a day" and "Precise Data with 4 updates a day." At less than $2 a month I was going to sign up and see.

I did... but not a huge difference... but then for 2 a month...

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I use windy.com to get a feel for the likely weather conditions for a flight.   One thing to note is that windy.com allows visualization of the output of four different models: European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF), NOAA Global Forecast System (GFS), NOAA North American Forecast System (NAM), and newly the German DWD Icosahedral Nonhydrostatic (ICON) models. 

There are raging debates about which model is "best".   I'm not going to get into that.  The answer varies over time and by variable (temperature, ceiling, etc.)   However, when it is your a$$ on the line and you need a good wx decision, compare the output of the different models for the flight time and see how closely they agree.  Agreement between the different models provides some indication of likely weather conditions.  Disagreement between the different models adds uncertainty to your decision making process.  

These models have different resolutions, forecast horizons, and capabilities.   I don't think looking at windy.com replaces a weather briefing, because it doesn't show important things like turbulence.  Rather I see it as a nice add-on to a briefing.

A final note.  Calling a model "accurate" is never appropriate.   All models are approximations and never perfect.  The ECMWF and GFS models for instance run on grid sizes  0.28 degrees (~31 km) and half degree (~30NM), respectively.  ICON runs on a 13 km triangular mesh.  If the model forecasts a frontal boundary location near your destination, it could easily be many grids off, which is a long distance.    A meteorologist would say that the model perfectly forecast the arrival of the front within a 2-hour window, when I a pilot might arrive as the front is passing when the models said it would not.

I am a modeler.  I work in affiliation with NOAA, but do not represent NOAA.  I'm skeptical of all models.  Trust them when it is easy (high pressure dominating).  Doubt them when there is reason to doubt.

 

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"Weather forecasts are wrong too often to trust, but right too often to ignore."

Ever since I heard this, it has been proven more and more of a correct statement.

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Windy doesn’t do forecasts, they are just a weather presenter. 
 

It is amazing all the weather products that are available. If you dig deep enough, you can change the forecast model. I think there is turbulence in there somewhere.  

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19 hours ago, cliffy said:

windy.com

Yep, it's been my favorite weather app for the past couple of years. If I'm on a trip and there is anything but clear blue skies, I'm watching Windy constantly to see how the weather looks for the trip home. I've used it to leave a day early, a day late, and to buy a Southwest ticket :)

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Just now, ArtVandelay said:

The windy app is great, but a CPU hog, need a modern iPad to run it.

Yeah I run it almost exclusively from a desktop/laptop.  The interface is a little bit hard to navigate on a small screen. 

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7 hours ago, N201MKTurbo said:

Windy doesn’t do forecasts, they are just a weather presenter. 
 

It is amazing all the weather products that are available. If you dig deep enough, you can change the forecast model. I think there is turbulence in there somewhere.  

Windy.com shows model predictions of the future.   It shows model outputs for the next 9 days for both ECMWF and GFS models.   The ICON model output goes 5 days into the future, while the NAM goes out 3 days.  That's its real utility.   You can see synoptic (large scale) features out up to 9 days in advance.

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34 minutes ago, cliffy said:

Geez  we used to do this with just TAFs and METARs

It's not as bad as those who are unwilling to fly without at least three, if not four, moving map GPSes running in the cockpit "for safety."

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I have the premium version (no big data difference but the hourly forecast is nice...) installed everywhere (Android phone, iPad) and use it on a regular browser as well. One of the best tools I have seen out there for me to plan flights weather wise. Without debating its "accuracy", I combine it with comfort level. After many years I know what makes me comfortable in terms of weather prediction and planning.  This tool works great for me, I like having everything in one place (even if I double check some): webcam, runway info, NOTAMs...plus more.

Not a meteorologist, just a pilot.

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On 2/27/2021 at 6:01 AM, cliffy said:

Geez  we used to do this with just TAFs and METARs

For en-route weather? I did not know you were flying that low cliffy  :ph34r:

I use Windy it’s just a nice big data visualisation tool (not a forecasting tool), and one single shop for everything, it works well once you get to understand what goes into few main layers & formulas/limits otherwise the other zillions of features is like a full kitchen sink :lol:

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It seems to be good for answering the question:  "When might be a good time to fly?"

I've also found it very helpful to understand what the weather is doing.  Watching the wind patterns swirl and drift across the country helps explain how high and low pressure systems work and what they are doing.

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