Free flyer, we need to know what are the wind conditions and, more so, how they will develop as the day progress - should we decide to get airborne.
Today there is a plethora of meteorological sites; we suggest as follows. For wind and weather XCweather and the MetOffice; they should be read together as
one could be somewhat more accurate for wind data, while the other could be more accurate regarding precipitations.
Stirling Uni. (5min updates)
Alloa Tower (1min updates)
Portmoak (Lomomd Hill) (30min updates)
To fly in our area checking XCWeather for Stirling / Dollar gives a good indication of the wind for the Ochil Hills - while Stirling / Kippen provide wind forecast over the northerly sites.
- XCweather - Stirling
- XCweather - Dollar
- Xcweather - Kippen
Similarly the MetOffice 5-days forecast in the same configuration provides similar data - precipitations being somewhat more accurate.
- MetOffice - Stirling
- MetOffice - Dollar
- MetOffice - Kippen
And for the more scientifically minded:
Weather Chart - Animation
or on Windy:
Weather in Motion
Another source of interest is the "WindAlert" data for: WA - Menstrie
- Thermal conditions:
A good Updraft indicator can be found on the Regional Atmospheric Soaring Prediction (RASP) maps provided by Leeds Metropolitan University.
This site superimposes Updraft predictions over a Google map providing pilot with information on where and how thermals develop during the day. The SHPF has created a 'quick-glance' set of pages - named: Lazy RASP
- that allows an appreciation of conditions before jumping to more details for a particular day and time.
A spot check of any of these sites may mean very little, it is with experience that a pilot learns to assimilate the data provided to a more comprehensive interpretation of the day forecast.
Keep getting at it - observing the weather even on days you are not flying - you will be amazed at how much better you can correlate the data given to what is actually happening.
And yet - it can all be wrong - on occasion!