Windy Offers Air Sounding Forecast
Marienka last edited by Simona Polackova
Air sounding, sounding forecast or skew diagram is here! Yes, there are plenty of names for it. :)
What does it even mean?
Sounding describes a plot of the vertical profile of temperature, dew point and (mostly also) winds above a fixed location. Soundings are used extensively in severe weather forecasting, e.g., to determine instability, locate temperature inversions, measure the strength of the cap (capping inversion), obtain the convective temperature, CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy), etc.
Horizontal lines represent height in pressure coordinates (millibars or hPa); diagonal lines represent temperature. Heavy solid lines show the vertical profile of observed temperature (red) and dew point (blue). The grey line shows the temperature of a parcel of surface air and how its temperature would change if it was lifted. Source of information: Weather Online.
Where do you find it on Windy and how does it work?
- Desktop version: Just click with right mouse button anywhere on the map, and use the link in the context menu.
- Mobile devices: A long tap on display will do!
Above is a quick video tutorial.
This feature was quickly but carefully developed by our zealous pilot & programmer @TZ who hopes you enjoy it!
So far we only support the
ecmwfmodel but other models should follow.
Don't hesitate to give us your feedback!
SkewT is even more interesting than sounding forecast. Fortunately, there is a plug-in allowing us to use the SkewT.
It would be good to be able to use sounding or SkewT with different models !
So, the "sounding" feature is nothing new... even my plugin is getting a little old! (I'm very much overdue to update it). You have three choices for vertical model profiles: Windy's default
sounding(which is NOT a SkewT), or
windy-plugins-sounding(which is a SkewT), or
windy-plugins-skewt, just select the desired model at the bottom right hand side of the screen.
Let me know if there is anything you'd like to see in the next version.
You did a great job with this plugin as I like to use the SkweT, much more than the the sounding ! I never realised that I could easily change the model. I read a post on this community, old post, where you explained if I remember well that SkewT was only available witht the IFS (ECMWF) model. Good to know that I can switch the model !!!
Is it normal that every time I leave Windy, I have to go to the settings to re-open the plugin ? Once open, I can then chose the SkewT in the list, just below the sounding.
@Yves70 thanks! It's really good to know it's being used, much needed motivation to spend some time improving it (which I'll do when I can!) The README is actually just out of date, that's first on the list :)
@johnckealy Just recently learned about soundings and how to use them for aviation planning. Can you explain the differences from what your sounding plug-in illustrates that's differences from the sounding provided natively from Windy. As a novice, I notice some differences but don't know enough to tell them apart to a great degree.
Have a read of https://github.com/johnckealy/windy-plugin-skewt and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skew-T_log-P_diagram to start. Skewing the isolines helps clarity, and adding the other lines allows the calculation of a sh*t ton of other thermodynamic quantities. My latest update also allow you to play with parcel ascents (drag the purple dot at the bottom). That will tell you a lot about stability and thunderstorm potential. You can get cloud info, wind shear, instability.... actually now that I think of it, I wrote an article on this a while back:
It can take a little time to get to grips with SkewTs, but for a pilot, it's probably well worth the time. Just google around, there's tons of info about skewTs on the web for beginners. Also google "tephigrams", which may be more relevant depending on your location.
Let me know if you have specific questions :)
@marienka This is a very useful tool, but I do not see the validity time of the forecast sounding 😃
For what time is it valid? Thank you, Richard
The validity hour of the sounding forecast is that shown in the timeline.
If you move the time slider you see the sounding curves changing accordingly.
@idefix37 thank you!