This is the general process I’ve used for evaluating weather for XC flying in and around Bozeman, MT. The steps are generally as follows:
- Check wind at altitude.
- < 10 mph at 10,000 is perfect. If it’s higher, higher up (up to about 20 or so), then that could help with covering a long distance and getting good glides.
- Between 10 and 15 mph, I’m more cautious about it, especially if it is this high down low.
- 15-20 is generally a not condition I want to fly in.
- Top of lift
- XCSkies Pointcast!!!
- Cumulus cloud depth
- Cloud cover
- Airgram in Windy
The models I typically use:
- GFS and ECMWF for 3-10 days out. Looking for low winds up high and little to no clouds.
- HRRR for the day before and day of. Compare to NAM 3, NAM 12, ICON etc.
Let’s look at each of these steps in detail: