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Thread: Weather-related Resources---Post Your Favorites!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Wondervu, Colorado
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    Weather-related Resources---Post Your Favorites!

    My primary subject is landscape, and for my interests, being at the right place when the weather is ideal for my purposes is a high priority. Right now (July 2021) smoke plumes from all the wildfires are just killing monsoon season for me, but it did occur to me that some of you might have weather forecast resources I am not aware of and vice versa.

    Here are three online resources I use all the time. Please share yours!

    1. Weather--temps, cloud cover, precipitation, wind, sunrise and set times, etc.--I use wunderground.com for this and type in the closest city to my planned destination and use both the hourly and 10-day forecast tabs.

    2. Fire and smoke: https://fire.airnow.gov/?lat=39.9063...774934&zoom=10

    3. Jetstream: https://www.wunderground.com/maps/wind/jet-stream

    For my work, predicting the weather is just about equal in importance with all the other aspects of photography, so if you have tips, techniques or suggestions for predicting or working with weather condidtions, please share!

    Thanks,
    Michael

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    New York
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    Re: Weather-related Resources---Post Your Favorites!

    If you haven't already, I'd suggest that you look into the apps Photo Pills and Planit Pro/Planit Live. They are extremely useful for position of the sun (and moon) over the course of the day, and indispensable if you want to photograph a landscape or building with the sun or moon in a specific position. Both apps have detailed instructional videos on YouTube. Photo Pills is the easier of the two to learn, but some people, especially people who make astronomical photographs, prefer Planit.

    On weather, you might find it useful to look at David Burch's site, Starpath Navigation, and at his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/StarpathNav

    Burch is right up to date on weather resources. While his emphasis is on marine weather, his resources also apply to land. He has written several books. These include "Emergency Navigation", which like "We, the Navigators" is a classic on the issue, going back to the Polynesians, of navigating without modern instruments.
    Last edited by r.e.; 26-Jul-2021 at 13:16.

  3. #3
    Drew Wiley
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    SF Bay area, CA
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    Re: Weather-related Resources---Post Your Favorites!

    Satellite views of forecast smoke direction are now routine on our regular evening TV news networks. Sad it has come to that; but it's a whole new era, one in which climate and forest fire disasters are themselves becoming routine.

  4. #4
    45er
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    Nov 2017
    Location
    Scotland
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    Re: Weather-related Resources---Post Your Favorites!

    Mountain Weather Information Service:
    https://www.mwis.org.uk/

    Scottish Avalanche Information Service:
    https://www.sais.gov.uk/

    Met Office:
    https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    170

    Re: Weather-related Resources---Post Your Favorites!

    Its sort of tangential (maybe not for ULF shoorters), but as an amateur sailor (in a land locked state with the least surface water of any US state) I use an iOS app called Windfinder to give me wind predictions. Especially in the spring here, some days can be nice, and some can have 40mph winds. Its much more granular than the wind information you get from the NWS or other general weather sites.

  6. #6
    jp's Avatar
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    Maine
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    Re: Weather-related Resources---Post Your Favorites!

    I use on my phone The Photographers Ephemeris (comparable function to photopills), ikitesurf for aggregating marine weather and local forecasts.
    Also windy.com to visually display all sorts of weather info. (punch in your local airport)

  7. #7

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    Re: Weather-related Resources---Post Your Favorites!

    When I was working on a pilot's license, I started using the U.S. Government's dedicated Aviation Weather site. Other countries have an equivalent. It is far and away the best source that I've ever come across for local weather and forecasts. If you live near an airport, the reports called METARS (Meteorological Aerodrome Reports) and TAFS (Terminal Area Forecasts) are updated throughout the day.

    All commercial pilots and the vast majority of private pilots now use an iPad (yeah, Steve Jobs predicted this) with specialised apps for flight planning and logging. These apps incorporate government aviation weather info. They organise it better than the government sites, translate weather codes (there are a lot of them) into plain English and will automatically convert GMT (the aviation standard for time) into local time.

    In the U.S. and Canada, and increasingly in Europe, the most popular app is ForeFlight, which is now owned by Boeing. ForeFlight is available via the web as well as for iOS. In addition to great weather and radar data, ForeFlight's charts (maps) are brilliant. A basic subscription, which is entirely adequate for most people, is US$100 per year. That isn't cheap, but it's worth checking out the 30 day free trial. If you're a weather geek, you might want ForeFlight even if you aren't a pilot.

    NOAA's Aviation Weather Center: https://www.aviationweather.gov
    ForeFlight: https://foreflight.com

  8. #8
    http://www.spiritsofsilver.com tgtaylor's Avatar
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    4,569

    Re: Weather-related Resources---Post Your Favorites!

    I use:

    1. http://iqair.com
    2. fire.airnow.gov
    3. www.purpleair.com

    The IQAir map shows the wind flow contour lines in a particular area and includes other info such as PM2.5 concentrations, RH, temperature and a host of others. Most of the ground sensors it uses are from purpleair and if you click on their site it will show the sensors and the conversion employed. Change the conversion factors for a better idea of the current conditions. The fire.airnow site will identify the nearest fires and smoke plumes. If the ground sensors in a smoke plume area are reading good air quality, then you know that the smoke is high-up in the atmosphere and will appear as haze. Conversely if the ground sensors are in the moderate or greater readings then the plume is close to the ground where the sensors are.

    Thomas

  9. #9
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Weather-related Resources---Post Your Favorites!

    Well, today my nose and eyes completely agree with both the satellite wind direction forecast and projected air quality shift. I started smelling a bit of smoke last night, have sneezed a few times, and the fog overhead today is a bit dingy brown. The monsoonal pattern of wind has now temporarily sent the forest fire smoke diffusing westward rather than strongly eastward like earlier. Fortunately, I'm close enough to the coast that the onshore breeze is still dominant, so the smoke doesn't amount to much here. Inland and in the Sierras, it is probably getting quite obnoxious. Gosh I want to get back into the high country; but it's sure going to be a cat and mouse game this year too.

  10. #10

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    Newbury, Vermont
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    Re: Weather-related Resources---Post Your Favorites!

    Tide Charts...so I can do this:

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