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best source for mountain weather forecasts....

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  • best source for mountain weather forecasts....

    so today I was up running on top of Beartooth Pass on the plateau between Montana and Wyoming, elevation 10,500 - 11,000. wind was howling up there, especially as I crossed into Wyoming. its a 45 min drive to get up there and I really like it up there, but too much wind is not fun and I'd like to know in advance what the weather conditions are. what do you guys use for back country mountain weather? thanks

  • #2
    Not a written forecast, but I always check a few of the different model runs. https://spotwx.com/ is my preferred source... It started as an aggregator for the Manitoba Wildfire Program and Garth the creator built it out from there.

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    • #3
      My primary is the NWS at forecast.weather.gov

      You can select a specific location on the map and their software provides a site specific forecast tweaked for elevation and terrain. They also provide a discussion of the latest model runs. In winter this can be even more valuable than the actual forecast.

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      • #4
        I find mountain-forecast.com and meteoblue.com (free versions for both) pretty reliable.

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        • #5
          https://www.ventusky.com/?p=42.0;-11...&t=20220829/14
          "Just say no to groomed snow"

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          • #6
            sweet. Ventusky is pretty cool. the wind animation is helpful.
            like today, almost no wind down here in the foothills, but wind is gusting to 30+ up on the pass. excellent resource. thanks !

            Click image for larger version

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            • #7
              Sure, it has a lot, but to get the best out of it you need to dig and and use settings to dial it in. Bottomline it is Forecast weather data and not real time. So, don't assume safety based on a forecast.
              "Just say no to groomed snow"

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              • #8
                I like Ventusky for the wind animations, and their accumulated snow maps are good indicators. Not necessarily accurate, but in a relative sense they are. F'rinstance, it has helped me know whether it's worth driving I-70 to harvest the goods in Summit County, or if I should aim for the Noku Crags area instead. For wind accuracy, I find windy.com to be more accurate in the 4-5 day range than Ventusky. And I always consider snow-forecast.com. It used to be dead nuts accurate. Not so much anymore but the 3-day forecast is pretty good. Far better than anything from NOAA. NOAA is good within 24 hours. At that point, even weather.com is accurate. IMO.

                ain't no turn like tele!

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                • #9
                  windy.com

                  5 models and info for all altitudes. Favoured by pilots and sailors. Pay a small fee to loose the ads. Many many layers. It is global so in some cases local sources may be better.
                  Last edited by zonca; 29 August 2022, 06:58 PM.
                  I acknowledge that I live on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Nation

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                  • #10
                    Windy.com is very cool! shows a map that allows you to click and get the weather overlay. I like it.

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                    • #11
                      The Weather Radar layer shows lightning strikes and an expanding circle shows the progress of the sound wave. As the circle crosses your location you hear the thunder. So cool
                      I acknowledge that I live on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Nation

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                      • #12
                        bauerb, it is always nice to have a good meteorologist interpret the data and present a clear picture for you. Ventusky, and Windy, have a learning curve that requires you to learn what features to turn on/off, and which computer model to use.
                        National Weather Service (NWS) https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClic...7&lat=44.96904
                        presents many features to customize the forecast presented. The two features mo pow suggested will help you to learn a new area and understand why the meteorologist is choosing one computer model over the other. The "click map for forecast" section lets you pick a 3 kilometer square to generate a computer forecast. Under this map is "Forecast Discussion" This is the part where the meteorologist tells you what models they picked and how they derived the forecast. A few weeks of reading Forecast Discussion will give you a much better understanding of how a forecast is derived and how to interpret local conditions. This little bit of education can help to better use any computer derived forecast. Den
                        P.S. check out the hourly weather forecast

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by leon View Post
                          I find mountain-forecast.com and meteoblue.com (free versions for both) pretty reliable.
                          You must live somewhere else than me! In the PNW, mountain-forecast.com is very unreliable. The snowfall totals are all over the place, they often forecast beautiful clear skies in the spring when it's actually going to be overcast, and the temperature graphs don't show anywhere near enough day-night temperature variation. But perhaps in other places it is better!

                          meteoblue, on the other hand, is very good.

                          Personally, I have become a fan of looking at ECMWF ensemble forecasts when it comes to planning trips in advance. If all 50 ensemble runs show the same general weather, you can be very confident. If 10 show one thing and 40 show another thing, you know what the possible variation is. There are many sources for ECMWF ensemble. I have been using weather.us, but windy also uses it as a source.

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                          • #14
                            I hate forecast "drift". the weather report for the current weather is normally accurate, but how did it get that way? current weather vs 7-day prior forecast are often quite different. models and forecasts are updated as time goes by up to the point that the current weather forecast describes the actual current weather. but who tracks the drift and correction of T-7 reports up to real time.

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                            • #15
                              I've been told that most weather forecast models are run four times a day. During the day there is a lot of real time data, from back yard weather stations to baloons being sent up. When a meterologist compares the real time data to what was derived from the last couple model runs it aides them in selecting the model that is best tracking real life. When reading the Forecast Discussion for my area on NWS, it is not uncommon to read that they are changing from one model to another because it has done a more accurate job on the last couple model runs. As to the seven day forecast, it is common for the forecaster to discuss how well the models are tracking compared to actual data, and express either high or low confidence in the forecast. Around here it is not uncommon to read that confidence beyond 36 hours is very low, but because they have to give a 7 day forecast they just picked the model that has been trending best.

                              Now, maybe a real meterologist can post an answer that is better and squash these rumors. Den

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