As springtime approaches, pilots don’t have to be as concerned about the impacts of snow and ice on their flight plans, but that doesn’t mean they are free of weather-related worries. The spring months can be incredibly volatile when it comes to weather with rainstorms, tornadoes, and yes – even the lingering snowstorm.
Unfortunately, this increased unpredictability and wider range of potential weather concerns can create dangerous flying situations, spelling bad news for those private pilots itching to fly after a long winter.
So, before take-off, download one of these handy aviation weather apps that will give you the information to stay safe as you plan your next springtime flight.
With color-coded storm reports, personalized displays and custom warning notifications based on your aversions to weather risks, the Takeoff app helps pilots easily and reliably understand if the flying conditions are right for their comfort level. With warnings based on things like cloud ceilings, visibility, total winds, runway crosswinds temperatures and dew point spread, Takeoff helps keep you out of harm’s way whenever you’re feeling uncertain about the weather.
Flightradar24 Flight Tracker
Wall Street Journal called Flightradar24 Flight Tracker the “Facebook of Aviation,” due to its huge amount of real-time weather data and flight tracking capabilities. With this app, pilots can view the weather conditions of over 3,000 airports across the world, as well as the current position of their aircraft in real-time to see surrounding weather conditions. Plus, the app has added layers for clouds, precipitation, lightning, volcanic eruptions, AIRMETs and SIGMETs, and high-level significant weather forecasts.
In spring, clouds can form quickly, blocking your view and potentially ruining your day behind the control wheel. With CloudTopper, you’ll always know whether or not you will top that cloud ahead of you. This weather app uses your phone’s camera and gyroscope to make a sight level – the user simply points it out the front of the airplane and looks for the big black line to direct their actions. And, at only 99 cents, it’s an affordable choice for checking cloud coverage in your area.
AeroWeather is a great choice for pilots looking for current and precise weather conditions (METAR) and forecasts (TAF). The AeroWeather app provides access to METAR and TAF information for airports throughout the world. Users can see data in either its original (raw) format or as fully decoded in an easy-to-understand text. AeroWeather also provides pilots with preflight-briefings, offline weather data access and many unit and format settings for METAR and TAF readings.
The aviation weather app market is chock-full of useful tools, however MyRadar has become an extremely popular choice for pilots, accruing over 35-million downloads. That may be due to its high-definition radar, aviation charts and flight-plan weather tracking, as well as detailed NOAA weather alerts, temperature reports and hurricane tracker. Users can even share weather photos, making it helpful to plan routes to any destination. Plus, the app features some other nice tools for aviators, including AIRMETs and SIGMETs overlays, as well as weather warnings and alerts, with live notifications to keep you informed whether you’re on the ground or in the air.
In terms of aviation weather aviation apps for pilots, this is one of the industry standards. Garmin Pilot is great for both private and corporate pilots, coming equipped with a flight planning feature that offers detailed aviation weather information. With interactive maps that visualize weather conditions for your route, flight plan filing, real-time weather updates after takeoff, a GPS-driven instrument pack for navigation, weight and balance, airport information and a comprehensive logbook, Garmin Pilot makes it easy to plan ahead so you can avoid dangerous flight paths.
METARs Aviation Weather
Download for iOS
iOS users that are looking for a weather app with some frills, check out the METARs Aviation Weather app. With this loaded onto your iPad, iPhone or iWatch, you can set your favorite airports and track the VFR/MVFR/IFR/LIFR information with the help of color-coded icons. Using customizable notifications, the app can alert you (even if it isn’t open on your device) to changing weather conditions automatically – perfect for those times when you need to know if a destination airport suddenly changes from VFR to marginal VFR, for example.
Download for Android
For Android users who are searching for a reliable and easy-to-use aviation weather apps, Avia Weather is a good option. This app decodes and presents the current METARs of over 9,500 airports worldwide. With a simple color-coding system, pilots can receive quick classifications of VFR or IFR conditions. Users can also access current TAF weather forecasts, displayed in a clear, decoded format.
While not specifically for pilots, AccuWeather is among one of the top-downloaded weather apps in the world. Users have praised this smartphone and tablet app for its severe weather alerts, precise weather maps, forecasts for 2.7 million locations around the world and the ability to save forecasts for an unlimited number of locations. Pilots may find this a handy app for a quick, simple run-down of weather along their flight path.
Ready to Take Flight this Spring?
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