Better Wind Forecasts
While I can get pretty good weather forecasts, most include only sketchy information on the wind forecast. I have found a better source!
Here is an example of the problem from one day in April, 2000. Current Weather Channel forecast for Fort Worth is "Today: Sunny with a high in the upper 70s. Northeast wind 10 To 20 mph. " They give one wind prediction for the whole day -- no details as to whether it will start out at 10 then pick up to 20 after 4 pm, or start out at 20 and then drop to 10 by noon, etc.
NOAA weather radio predictions are similar. Slightly better detail some days, but usually kinda general. And their forecast is for a larger area ("the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex"), and as you can tell from the hourly weather roundup the wind can often vary a lot within that area. Currently the recording says "winds 10 to 20 mph today."
The Solution: (see new and better solution below)
Windcast shows a map, and you can see information specific to Tarrant county or any other area you plan to fly in. It also shows wind direction for each time. For today, it predicts about 14 mph winds at 1 pm, but only about 2 mph by 7 p.m. To me, that is useful detail I cannot find anywhere else. Check it out, it might be useful to you, and if not, nothing lost.
1:00 pm today:
7 pm today:
I keep a bookmark for "1 pm Tomorrow" and then select other times for "Today" or "Tomorrow" as needed once I get there. Beyond tomorrow the predictions of windspeed down to a 6 hour window are not accurate enough to be of value anyway.
For most of you who are not in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, start with the National map and then click on your location to zoom in. Note that DFW predictions are for 12 and 6 am/pm during Standard Time, and 1 and 7 am/pm during Daylight Savings Time. Times forecast for your area will vary according to time zone and whether Daylight Savings Time is in effect.
An Even Better Solution: NEW!!
Weather.com now provides detailed hour-by-hour forecasts that include wind predictions, cloudiness, temp, etc. Here is the one for North Richland Hills, the suburb of Fort Worth where I fly: (just change the zip code to see similar report for your area!!)
Here is another source of hour-by-hour forecasts, next 8 hours only:
(just change the zip code as needed)
And here is yet another link for hour-by-hour forecasts for my field.
(you can set up any location in the 48 states, but you do have to register to
set up your own location -- but not to view mine). Hour-by-hour for next 9
hours, then every 6-hours for two days (select two-day link at top of
page). Best thing about this site is it is updated every 3 hours, so it is
And here is another. It shows the wind forecast for DFW for the next 48
hours on a graph. The values are in knots (1 knot = 1.15 mph, thus 10
knots = 11.5 mph).
This one does not do hourly forecasts, but it does include a full 5-day wind
forecast: (just change the zip code as needed)
A suggestion from David Oltman:
the Intellicast page is hard to beat for wind forecasts, if you're also
interested in current and recent historical wind information I would recommend
NOAA's national current conditions page. The URL is:
This page has current weather conditions for a great many cities around the country. For each city they show all the current data, including wind speeds. They also show 24 hours of weather history for each city which includes wind information. I like the history because you can get a good feeling for whether the wind is increasing or decreasing over the past few hours.
Here is the current local forecast, along with wind and other conditions at 8 points around the metroplex at the top of the hour:
Dallas / Fort Worth Forecast and Hourly Weather Roundup
Here are some sources of CURRENT and Historical (past 24 hours) wind and weather info around DFW:
www.mikeglass.com Mike Glass' house -- Hillcrest and Forest in Dallas, TX -- with windspeed chart
http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/current/KDFW.html DFW Airport
http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/current/KRBD.html Dallas Redbird Airport
http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/current/KDAL.html Dallas Love Field
http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/current/KAFW.html Fort Worth Alliance Airport
http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/current/KFTW.html Fort Worth Meacham Airport
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