Learn about 5 most important things about weather forecasting for paragliding with Windy.app for iOS. You can use this guide for drones, too.
Paragliding is one of the 10 major sports of Windy.app. In the app you can get a forecast for any point on the world's map and make it your personal paragliding spot. To do so:
1. Go to the Wind and Precipitation map and choose any point.
2. Tap on the "+" icon and write the spot's name. Now you have this point as your Favorite spot in the app, which is always avaliable on the app's Home screen.
3. Open the spot and choose special Air profile.
The app already has a special Air profile with a preset of weather parameters you need to know for successful paragliding: wind direction, wind speed and wind gusts; air temperature, dew point, relative humidity, cloud base, CAPE index, clouds and precipitation, atmospheric pressure. You do not need to collect them individually.
Just click on the Weather profiles icon to the right of the weather forecast models on the spot screen and select this profile.
Pay extra attention to CAPE index, because it will help you to know if (and when) thunderstorms will happen in your area. Learn more about CAPE index in this article.
An important note to Windy.app for Android users: you can also get wind speed and wind direction data on the different heights. It is just a great and extremely useful feature, because usually the wind is measured on the 10 m height for general weather forecasts. So this feature help you to know the wind on the height of your flight, and make better desicions:
Turn your Favorite spots into an interactive weather widgets so that you can see the wind forecast for the spots right on the Home screen without having to go to the spot's pages. The forests is for 7 days. To do so, go to the Main menu > Setting > Units > Favorite spots. Choose wind icon:
That's how it looks like:
The weather models can be wrong. For other sports, this may be less critical, but for paragliding, it is very critical, because if there is not enough wind, you will not be able to fly. And too much wind is also not very good situation for paragliding or drones.
That's why next to each spot in the app there are weather stations. These are special meteorological instruments that collect data about the weather, and the weather models only process this data. In other words, stations are real-time weather. Find out what the wind is on the spot right now from the station. To do so, scroll the spot page to the end:
To be even more sure of what the wind is or will be on the spot, compare this data to data in the Weather history feature. Find out what the winds were at the spot last year, or rather the past 9 years. That's the period of time you can look up past weather in the app:
The forecast is good, but it is always good to have a panoramic picture of the winds in the region. To do so, go back to the Wind and Precipitation map. On it, you can see the forecast by wind speed, wind gusts, as well as the archive in a slightly modified form. And don't forget to activate special HD mode before working with map. It is 4x more detailed map compared to the map without this feature:
Precipitation is also important for a paraglider to know. Switch the icon from wind to precipitation to see if it's going to rain in the next 10 days:
This function of the application will help you to be always aware of the wind on your favorite spots — it will notify you about it! Here you can select the desired time period for the sport, wind direction, and other parameters. To do so, click on the "bell" icon on the spot screen.
By the way, what atmospheric stratification is better for paragliding: stable or unstable? The answer is — unstable. Although instability is associated with a large number of different incidents, warm upward flows in such air provide good conditions for soaring — particularly for paragliding.
Learn more about stratification in Windy.app Meteorological Textbook for better weather forecasting.
Have good paragliding!
Text: Windy.app team
Cover photo: Unplash