Addition of Fronts

  • Although I don’t disagree with you, what would help immensely for pilots is for pressure change to be displayed with altitude change, using the same altitude slider tool and increments as the temperature and wind altitudes use. The pressure data with altitude change clearly exists in the model Windy has access too, as other features in windy use it already. So add an altitude slider to the pressure overlay interface. That would allow pilots to see the upper lifting structures, and their relative movement with time, more clearly than a moving line over a model ever would. The data and tools needed to implement it already exist.

    The implementation issue I foresee is the need to extend the pressure overlay's range to cover the much lower pressure (150 hPa at FL450 for instance). I extended the pressure overlay down to 870 hPa. It would be easy to extend it to 700 hPa. Or even down to 500 hPa to cover the entire VFR range. It’s just a matter of tweaking the increments and color shading (I increased the temperature overlay's lowest T range already to deal with the entire globe’s temperature distribution above FL340). And IFR pilots will generally have flight service and institutional tools or avionics integration available to address WX issues at IFR altitudes. So there’s no particular need to display below about 500hPA (+/-100 hPa).

    Regarding your link that pilot's advice is quite correct. However, an increase in short-term pressure situational awareness for a GA pilot just prior to taking a flight is a very good thing to have easy access to and Windy does have a potential to provide easily accessible rapid-assimilation of pressure changes they're likely to encounter at VFR altitudes. If the overlay emphasizes fine-details throughout its range they would easily see where the 'front' or trough is located, and moving to. No one would actually need a line drawn to see where it is and where it fades to ambient, as a detailed display would implicitly mark where such features are forecast to be with time.

    PIREPS can 'ground-truth' the forecasting, but a general situational awareness boost reduces practical mental workload and stress which provides the mental-space to perform all other flight tasks better. Pressure changes can surprise you, and they want a tool that leaves less likelihood of surprises. Yes, a pressure model can be wrong, but a line on an air services forecast plot can be too, hence PIREPS.

    Windy can easily provide that awareness without manually drawing a line anywhere as the model’s ‘pseudo-data’ will depict which way the pressure change structure lays and is likely to move.

    That would be extremely useful to many non pilots as well.

  • @idefix37 You look like a smart guy when it comes to weather apps, but you´d get more attention if you refrained from using a somewhat mockery tone when replying to other users´notes . Jacquiel comment was very pertinent for GA pilots (like me), and although it is understood that one should NOT use Windy for flight planning, his question was perfectly legitimate. Thank you for enlightening us all with your weather app wisdom and forgive who has another set of skills.

  • Moderator

    Windy will not draw fronts in the maps because this is a manual process which a meteorologist have to do.

  • @Tomber42
    Another site has this. It is potentially in digital form (after someone has drawn it) and can thus be obtained. Perhaps some data trading is in order?

  • Moderator

    @AlanTheBeast said in Addition of Fronts:

    Another site has this. It is potentially in digital form (after someone has drawn it) and can thus be obtained. Perhaps some data trading is in order?

    Windy uses free open data only (except ECMWF and SAT Imaging)..

  • @idefix37

    Yes by having a visualisation of temperature gradients mixed with moisture at each altitude. I don't think such visualisation is impossible to achieve/automate

  • Sailor


    Seems such visualisation is not possible automatically by weather models. Otherwise they would provide frontal boundaries drawings. May be this will be possible in a near future?

  • @idefix37 I too would like to see fronts - thus to be all to draw conclusions relate to the 'types' of clouds you see. And to draw parallels with traditional synoptic chart trading. eg. C.Nimbus == cold front. And to be able to access when it's arriving. If fronts are truly only generated by meteorologist's interpretations, then there is an algorithm or set of rules that they use. And so, these could also be translated into a graphical layer....
    Just because people in the past have not done it this way, it doesn't mean that the future techniques could be even better...

    So to correct your statement, it should have read, "Fronts have traditionally not been drawn by weather forecast models... but they certainly could be, once we were to create and implement the appropriate algorithms..."

  • @cyder Exactly. A very good idea! It would be a superb addition.

  • Sailor


    I would never say that !
    I know from a long experience that when you say « it could certainly be », people understand « it is to be implemented», and then ask « why it’s not yet done ».
    You may imagine what you would like and say that it would be a good idea. But apparently neither NOAA nor ECMWF have succeeded to implement this good idea with the appropriate algorithms.
    So please don’t correct my statement, I was just trying to explain why TODAY there is no possibility for Windy to show fronts. That’s all !

  • As a retired pilot, I recently discovered and the pilot weather app. I've always been a weather nut and run multiple weather widgets on my phone. The shortcoming of all of them is the lack of METAR and TAF info, which the Pilot app provides.

    I discovered this conversation when I couldn't find any frontal depictions on the site. And now I know why. So no worries there. Thanks for a great site!

  • I would like to second this request from a sailor's prespective.
    It seems that ECMF produces weather front data already:
    It would very useful to see it in Windy.

  • As much as I don't like talking to robots at customer service,
    I must accept it anyway these days.
    So I would be, yes, happy with artificial fronts drawn by robots (algorithms)
    instead of real weatherpeople.

  • Afaik. that ECMWF front forecast are for Ensemble model; I wonder how could sailors cope with such a spagetti plot:

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