Please add freezing level in elevation above sea level

  • | Premium

    I live in the mountains - the Sierra Nevada in California. Surprisingly, one of the hardest pieces of weather information to obtain is the predicted snow level for upcoming winter storms. The NWS sometimes mentions this in a Winter Storm Watch or Warning, or their Forecast Discussion, but not always, and the information they give is rudimentary.

    Windy has the option to show the freezing level, which is great, but it shows the freezing level for the altitude above the land, not the altitude above sea level. Showing the altitude above the land might work if the forecast models had, maybe, less than 1km resolution, but they don't. They average the elevation for a large area, so in the mountains it's very hard to determine what the freezing level above sea level, or the land, actually is.

    In the Airgram I can see temperatures related to air pressure, and I can make the conversion to convert this to altitude, but that's a bit painstaking. It would be so much easier if we could just see the freezing level in elevation above sea level. We mountain dwellers would really appreciate that feature!

  • Moderator

    I think windy's developers must think about my proposal, here:

  • Sailor Moderator

    I fully agree with you!
    In mountain, the freezing altitude above msl is very useful to forecast the rain-snow limit when the freezing height above ground level, as displayed by Windy, CANNOT be of any help: The altitude model is too coarse.
    This demand for a Freezing altitude amsl layer has been already discussed on the topic as mentioned by @Gkikas-LGPZ.
    As you do, I check the altitude of the 0°C isotherm in the Airgram which refer to the hPa level needing a conversion in altitude amsl....

    Example of 0°C isotherm altitude predicted today by AROME on SE of France showing a warm advection on the Alps. A similar layer on Windy should be nice !


  • Meteorologist | Premium

    I think you will find that the Windy developers are limited by the forecast fields available to them. The set of fields provided within the ECMWF product set (see ) only has zero degree height above surface level [DEG0L].

    As clever as the Windy team are, I don’t think you will get freezing level height above MSLP - at least from the ECMWF model.

  • Moderator

    DEG0L is available to windy.
    Z (orography) is available, too.


  • | Premium

    Thanks for the tip @stitch. I had to look up how to see the sounding forecast (just right-click on a spot). I just need to click on a nearby spot, but someplace where the model altitude is lower than the actual elevation I'm interested in. Then I can slide the little bar up and see the forecasted temp for the right elevation. Works great. It would be better if there was a more straightforward way to get this information, but that's still helpful.

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