"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." --Nils Bohr, Nobel laureate in Physics
How to Use this Page and its Purpose
The goal of this site is to create 1 page that can be checked to get all
the data you need before going to the gliderport. Your help would be greatly
appreciated! Please help me add useful data that you know about as well as information
on how to interpret it. I update this continuously - your links and advice
will make a difference. Tell me what you find useful. You may need to
"reload" this page in order to get the images to update.
One useful hint on using this page: Instead of clicking
directly on the links often it is very helpful to open each link in a
new window (This is especially useful for larger images and when the frames
get in the way.) Right Click on the
link and use the "Open In New Window" option. After viewing you can then
close those new windows and return to the original window with this page.
(Some friendly apple head is going to have to tell me the Mac Equivalent
of the right click - is it "alt+click"?).
Use this information at your own risk- not a substitute for an official
Aviation Weather Briefing.
Educational Resources for Soaring Weather
I suggest that you read anything you can get your hands on. Look over the data and make a prediction of the day before you fly, then compare this to what really happens. Most of the linked resources are not explained in too much depth by me because a lot of in-depth instructions and details are available from most of those sites. A good example is Unisys Weather which has a lot of details on how to read their graphics. Also explore the University web sites which have tutorials. I have added a ranking system of asterisks next to the titles of the links I have found most useful up to 4 "*".
For thermal forecasting the Thermal Index, RAOB Soundings and other Upper Air Soundings are the most useful tools, start with these. Many links have become a bit obsolete since the Blipmaps and XC Skies have appeared. Many of the other instability indexes are listed but are usually harder to apply.
Available through the SSA or Bob Wander's Soaring Books & Supplies:
"Cross Country Soaring" by Helmut Reichmann
"Meteorology and Flight, a pilots guide to weather" by Tom Bradbury. From the UK with the major emphasis on soaring weather.
"Practical Wave Flying" by Mark Palmer. Lenticular Publishing, Englewood Colorado.
"Aviation Weather" by FAA/NOAA US GPO, reprinted by ASA.
"The Handbook of Soaring Meteorology" by Lindsey
"Soaring Flight Manual" by SSA
"Understanding Flying Weather" - Soaring weather from soup to nuts, written and illustrated by Piggott
"Understanding the Sky" by Pagen - Well illustrated non-technical guide to soaring weather. Highly recommended by Bob Wander.
"Soar Sierra" by John Joss 1976, the Soaring Press. Chapter 1 "Mountain Meteorology, know before you go!" by Doug Armstrong & Chris Hill. An excellent book.
http://www.mountain-wave-project.com/ Mountain Wave Project with a experimental Wave-Forecast for Europe
and information on record flights over the Andes. Morning
Glory Surfing a mile high, 1000 km wave of Northern
Australia. "If we do not succeed, then we run the risk of failure." Dan Quayle
Soaring Weather Related Programs
Soarcast from Kilo Delta Software, I am very pleased with my test, and encourage you to try it as well. This software can use a variety of sources for soundings, including Forecast soundings from FSL.
instraob.exe 15 June 98.[this version is out of date and we await and update] Raob plotting program for Microsoft Windows, Version 1.05 by: Jim Bobo (321 kbytes) FREE Download - however you must pull your data from WeatherBank. www.raob.com sells a Rawinsonde & Radiosonde SkewT Analysis Program, seems good, but I have not used it myself yet, hope to soon. Interestingly I have been told that it is now capable of prediciting Mountain Wave lift too.
A weather related poem that
I wrote some years ago.