Let's deal with inaccuracy. Four tips to understand what the forecast tells you

Let's deal with inaccuracy. Four tips to understand what the forecast tells you

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The forecast from the numerical weather model could be a mess. Unhappily familiar to anyone who uses weather apps, it's quite irritating to be let down by the forecast.

"Real weather outside differs from predicted one", "It spoiled my long-expected and deserved fun", "I want another mobile application". And you end with 5 weather apps installed on your device, you look through all of them trying to get a clue and find a consensus. If only it could help.

It would be so much easier to know exactly if it’s going to rain tomorrow or what the wind picture is in the area you’re looking at.

However, it's impossible to predict the weather with 100% sure. But it is possible to improve your "gut feeling".

Here are four tips to understand what the forecast tells you:

1. Wind is predicted for 10 meters in height in any weather service.

It's related to the way the wind is observed: weather stations measure the wind on 10 m height. So adjust the predicted wind to your activity: height of your mast, your personal height, the level your kite flies, etc. The wind rises with height (actually not always).

Wind Barbs feature in Windy.app for Android

2. If it's gusty outside, it feels like the wind is stronger than predicted.

So look at gusts. The wind gust is a brief increase of the moving air velocity, usually for no more than 20—30 seconds. The higher the speed, the higher the gusts.

Wind Alerts feature in Windy.app for Android

3. Features such as a relief, shape of a coastline, breezes are not fully considered.

In numerical forecast it leads to differences between real weather and predicted picture. But these are exceptional weather forecast models: AROME for Europe and HRRR for the continental US. They are quite accurate.

Weather Forecast Models feature in Windy.app for Android

4. Numerical forecasts mess with light winds due to models' calculation process.

Be cautious if you see wind less than 5 knots.

Customizable Wind Speed Color Chart feature in Windy.app for Android


If you'd like to know more about weather and to be an expert, read Windy.app Meteorological Textbook (WMT) with 50+ short and easy to take lessons on better weather forecasting. Subscribe to our newsletter on the book's page to get new lessons right to your email once a week.


Cover photo: david-marcu / unsplash.

Read full guide to Windy.app for iOS and Android, sports mini guides to kite- and windsurfing, and fishing, as well as guides to Windy.app weather forecast models and weather stations, and customization options. There is also a Windy.app Compass to all 100+ features of the app.

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