ABQ AREA INTERNET WEATHER RESOURCES
Compiled by JC Brown
Last Revised: 01.17.07
JCBís TOP TEN
1. The New Mexico Weather Summary. I like to start by reading the summary because it gives a concise and accurate overview of yesterdays, todayís, and tomorrowís weather:
2. The Middle Rio Grande Valley Zone Forecast. A more simplistic overview and 5 day forecast. This page also has links to animated radar; good for checking out the summer t-storms and winter fronts:
In the summer of 2005 NWS added this Graphical Forecast to their product line-up. Itís a fast and easy way to check out the surface wind forecast among other things:
3. Here are the winds aloft for the next 6, 12, or 24 hours. Select 6, 12, or 24 hr forecast, scroll down to ABQ, the first two digits are the wind direction, second two are the velocity in knots. 2725 means the wind is coming from 270 degrees (west) at 25 knots. A knot is 1.15 mph. 0099 is the code for light and variable.
4. Here are the hourly weather observations from around the state. It updates about 10 minutes after the hour. Key spots to check are: Santa Fe, Clineís Corners, Grants, and ABQ. The ABQ wind is measured at the airport and is pretty accurate for telling whatís going on at the t-hill:
5. If you are going to the training hill check this site too. This weather station is about 1 mile east of the t-hill. It has 5 minute average and 20 minute peak wind speed and direction info. If the 5 minute average is between 7 and 13 NNE, itís usually soarable:
6. Hereís the ABQ soaring forecast, a good summer resource, but not to be taken too seriously:
7. Here are the Ratís Nest weather observations. The weather data updates every 20 minutes and the webcam often aims right at launch. This site is best in light winds. Call the Sandia Windtalker before you launch to check winds aloft. If itís strong, donít climb too high or you can easily get trapped. Use extreme caution in SE and N winds. Enjoy the hike:
8. Hereís a webcam that shows the east side of the Sandias, nice for seeing if the top is socked and/or snowed in:
9. Hereís the Edgewood and Moriarty DigiWX weather stations. Edgewood has a webcam that shows the Sandia Air Park wind sock with the San Pedro Mountains in the background. Check Moriarty and the Clineís Cornerís hourly observation if you are going towing out that way, if itís 15 or more in the gusts itís probably blown out:
10. This site makes surprisingly accurate cloud cover predictions. Use it to check for potential OD, fronts or streeting cumulus. Try it, youíll be surprised:
THE BEST OF THE REST
12. Hereís the NOAA/NWS ABQ Homepage. This is a good place to start looking for answers to your weather questions. NOAA generates the raw data that all the other weather sites use base their predictions on.
13. Hereís an interesting, air sports specific resource called Launch Code. Use it for checking conditions around New Mexico. Just pick your site and it gives you a graphical prediction based on the NOAA data. Lots of folks like this site because itís easy to interpret the info:
14. Here are three of the most popular weather sites that interpret the NOAA data. Unisys has a nice selection of maps. Check out the occasionally somewhat reliable ďWindcastĒ on Intellicast. Weather Underground is very similar to Intellicast, with different graphics.
Once you are en route or on site you can get updated info by calling the local Windtalkers. They are located atop Sandia Crest and adjacent to the Blue Springs Cafť. The Sandia Windtalker is inoperative in the winter due to extreme weather atop the Crest. The Sandia Windtalker is most accurate if the wind is SW to NW, and is less reliable in N, S or E winds.† The Blue Springs Windtalker is a fair distance from launch, and its reliability is yet to be determined. Generally, if itís over 10 at the Cafť itís over 20 at launch. The Windtalkers are maintained by the Sandia Soaring Association. As of the winter of 2006/2007 the Blue Springs Windtalker is no longer in operation.
SANDIA WINDTALKER March - November:† 243.8664
BLUE SPRINGS WINDTALKER:† 423.9463
The NOAA Weather Radio is a great resource on the go. The Zone Forecasts, Hourly Obs, Weather Summary, Short Term Forecast, Extended Outlook and much more are repeated ad nauseum by a friendly synthesized voice 24/7/365.