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Winds Aloft Helpful Hints

Examining Winds Aloft for Land and Ocean

DOWNLOAD HELPFUL HINTS

Western Michigan University, College of Aviation, Professor Lori Brown, Aviation Meteorology Students and Alumni; with Explanations by Navigator Fred Nauer and WMU Students

Captain Judy and Navigator Fred asked the members of the Western Michigan SCC to provide us with a tutorial on how to examine winds aloft.  This will be useful in participating in the International and National Winds Aloft Contest.  If, after reading this, you still have questions, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

First some basics for interpreting Winds Aloft Forecasts from the National Weather Service in the United States (by Western Michigan University, College of Aviation students David Hosang and David Byler)

The land based winds aloft from the NWS are at http://aviationweather.gov/products/nws/winds/  - hover your cursor over an area of the United States and click to view the winds aloft chart.

Wind and Temperature aloft Forecasts (FB) on this site are prepared forecasts of wind direction, wind speed, and temperature at specific times, altitudes, and locations. The Altitudes listed at the top of the chart (3000, 6000, 12000, 18,000, 24,000, 30,000, 34,000, and 39,000) are based on mean sea level (MSL).  Most of the flying Captain Judy will be doing in the Citation Mustang jet will be between 30,000 and 39,000 altitude range.

  • The forecast is expressed as DDff+TT where DD is wind direction expressed in degrees with reference to true north.
  • I.E..-a direction from 130 degrees is coming from the southeast, wind direction is indicated in tens of degrees (first 2 digits)
  • ff is wind speed in knots, that's nautical miles per hour the speed used by ships and aircraft, (the next two digits)
  • And TT is the temperature in Celsius (the last two digits with the + or - ).

For example: 1417+09

  • Wind direction is from 140 degrees (southeast), wind speed is at 17 knots and temperature is 9 degrees Celsius
  • Wind Speed less than 5 knots is expressed by the code 9900.

For example: 9900+13

  • Wind is light and variable, temperature is 10 degrees Celsius

High altitude winds that Capt. Judy will be flying:   

  • Forecast wind speeds of 100-199 knots are indicated by adding 100 to the speed and subtracting 50 from the coded direction.
  • I E.- a forecast of 250 degrees and 145 knots is expressed as 7545
  • Forecast winds of 200 knots or greater are indicated as a speed of 199
  • Above 24,000 feet no sign is necessary because temperature is always negative

For example: 7735-07

  • Wind direction is from 270 degrees (west) (77-50=27), wind speed is 135 knots (35+100=135) and temperature is minus 7 degrees Celsius
  • 750252 (Altitude of 39,000 ft)
  • Wind direction is from 250 degrees (southwest), wind speed is 102 knots and temperature is -52 degrees

Now for the advanced over the ocean and international winds research (by Mike Moyer, Western Michigan University, College of Aviation Alumni and students Spencer Gillette, Kenneth Meyerholtz,  Ashley Grieves, and Andrew Meeuwsen)

There is going to be a lot of extrapolation with this type of forecast start with a Pacific Ocean looping satellite with a model overlay such as this:
http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~ovens/loops/wxloop.cgi?sat_sfc_full+3   Although Capt Judy will not be flying these routes or altitudes, we will use as an example to help explain how you can research and forecast your Winds Aloft.   This is a three hour look back of weather conditions over the Pacific.  Move the map around to get the picture of the weather along the route from California to Hawaii. The flags on this site are depicting wind speed and direction.  The long barbs are 10 knots and the half barbs are five.  If the wind is blowing really fast you will see a pennant shape that represents 50 knots.  The staff of the flag is pointed in the direction the wind is blowing from.  Use the purple depiction of the United States west coast to get an idea which way is north.   This will be the only raw data that you’re going to get to make sure the models are in the right ball park.

Here is a good user friendly site to get that data.
http://weather.uwyo.edu/upperair/sounding.html  This is historical data compiled by the University of Wyoming.  The height of the winds is measured in meters, so to get the altitude in feet use 1 meter = 3.2808399 feet.  The winds are a few columns over and are measured in knots

Then finally you’re going to want to look at what the model data is showing you, you can get that info here http://mag.ncep.noaa.gov/  Choose any of the times listed in the Global Forecast System.  Then you can choose any portion of the world (in order North America, South America, South Pacific, East Pacific, North Pacific, Atlantic, West Atlantic, Europe, Asia, Africa, Polar).  Then choose 300_wnd_ht.  This is a depiction of winds (using the flags described earlier) at 30,000 feet, the lowest altitude in this system.  You can use this to get an idea where the winds are coming from, but the speeds will be faster that what we will encounter.  Have your students explore the site.  There is lots of information about weather all over the world, not just winds.

Other products that might be helpful and also for archived model data and real time model data your biggest help is going to be here.

http://www.opc.ncep.noaa.gov  This starts out looking like a Facebook page but eventually goes to the NOAA site that gives current conditions in all the oceans of the world.

This link is the GFS model for the eastern Pacific region and you'll be able to get what you're looking for, for planning a flight. Maps out the change in winds over the Pacific.  Unfortunately it is at 30,000 feet. http://mag.ncep.noaa.gov/gfs_area_param.php?model=gfs&cycle=20130316+00+UTC&area=epac 

You can use the qucikSCAT satellite data http://cioss.coas.oregonstate.edu/scow/wind_speed_dir.html and analyze data from global wind patterns.   I assume the speed on this chart is in meters per second.  1 meter / second = 1.94384449 nautical miles / hour

Now try taking an international look at winds and other factors

Here is an example of a research question studied by the students at Western Michigan University.  The question was: Research global wind patterns for the best route, altitudes, and time of year to fly.  The route they chose was the Gold Coast, Australia to Broome, Australia.:

Resources:

  1. http://weather.uwyo.edu/upperair/sounding.html  This is a repeat of an earlier example and is over land only, but it is historical and gives direction and wind speeds in knots height in meters.
  2. http://www.thinkglobalflight.org/route/the-route
  3. http://wind.willyweather.com.au  This is current weather in Australia.  More for local consumption, not specifically aviation.
  4. http://www.diamantina-tour.com.au/outback_info/climate.htmWeather description of the interior of Australia from a tour company.
  5. http://www.bom.gov.au/aviation/index.shtml  The Australian version of the Aviation Weather Service giving some of the same weather products.
  6. http://www.oceanweather.com/data/index.htmlUse the marine data section

If your students are advanced enough and are able to use graphs and charts, here are two sets; the small graphs are depicting average daily weather observations for April 14th 1974-2012. The larger tables are monthly averages from 1981-2010. This should be more than enough data to figure out take-off and landing data for the planned flight.   You can use these two links (there many more but this is a great start) to get similar information from anywhere in the world.

http://www.wunderground.com/history/ 

http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/ 

Hilo, Hawaii – Daily weather profile for April 14th 1974-2012

TGF-1.png       

TGF-2.png

TGF-3.png       

TGF-4.png

Wind Direction Over The Day

             

HILO, HAWAII 
NORMALS, MEANS, AND EXTREMES

LATITUDE: 19 Deg. 43 Min. N LONGITUDE: 155 Deg. 04 Min. W ELEVATION: FT. GRND 27 BARO 34 TIME ZONE:BERING WBAN: 21504

  (a) JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR
TEMPERATURE (Deg. F) 
Normals 
-Daily Maximum 
-Daily Minimum 
-Monthly 
Extremes 
-Record Highest 
-Year 
-Record Lowest 
-Year






49 

49 


79.8 
63.6 
71.7 

91 
1979 
54 
1995 


79.8 
63.6 
71.7 

92 
1968 
53 
1962 


79.5 
64.4 
72.0 

93 
1972 
54 
1983 


79.8 
65.5 
72.7 

89 
1978 
56 
1949 


81.2 
66.5 
73.9 

94 
1966 
58 
1947 


82.7 
67.6 
75.2 

90 
1969 
60 
1946 


83.0 
68.6 
75.8 

89 
1995 
62 
1970 


83.6 
68.9 
76.3 

93 
1950 
63 
1955 


83.8 
68.6 
76.2 

92 
1951 
61 
1970 


83.2 
68.1 
75.7 

91 
1979 
62 
1985 


81.4 
66.8 
74.2 

90 
1985 
58 
1985 


80.0 
64.8 
72.4 

93 
1980 
55 
1977 


81.5 
66.4 
74.0 

94 
MAY 1966 
53 
FEB 1962 
NORMAL DEGREE DAYS 
Heating (base 65 Deg. F) 
Cooling (base 65 Deg. F)
 

208 


188 


217 


231 


276 


306 


335 


350 


336 


332 


276 


229 


3284 
% OF POSSIBLE SUNSHINE  45  47  46  42  35  36  43  41  41  43  38  33  37  40 
MEAN SKY COVER(tenths) 
Sunrise - Sunset 
MEAN NUMBER OF DAYS: 
Sunrise to Sunset 
-Clear 
-Partly Cloudy 
-Cloudy 
Precipitation 
.01 inches or more 
Snow, Ice Pellets, Hail 
1.0 inches or more 
Thunderstorms 
Heavy Fog Visibility 
1/4 mile or less 
Temperature Deg. F 
-Maximum 
90 Deg. F and above 
32 Deg. F and below 
-Minimum 
32 Deg. F and below 
0 Deg. F and below 

49 


49 
49 
49 

53 

53 
50 

50 


50 
50 

50 
50 

6.3 


6.4 
11.4 
13.2 

17.2 

0.0 
0.9 

0.0 


0.1 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 

6.6 


5.2 
10.3 
12.8 

16.9 

0.0 
1.3 

0.0 


0.1 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 

7.5 


2.8 
10.2 
18.0 

23.2 

0.0 
1.5 

0.0 


0.* 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 

8.0 


1.0 
8.9 
20.0 

25.2 

0.0 
1.0 

0.0 


0.0 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 

7.8 


1.2 
10.7 
19.1 

25.2 

0.0 
0.6 

0.0 


0.* 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 

7.5 


1.6 
11.2 
17.2 

24.6 

0.0 
0.1 

0.0 


0.* 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 

7.6 


1.3 
11.6 
18.1 

27.5 

0.0 
0.3 

0.0 


0.0 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 

7.4 


1.8 
12.2 
17.0 

26.5 

0.0 
0.3 

0.0 


0.1 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 

7.0 


3.0 
12.1 
14.9 

23.3 

0.0 
0.5 

0.0 


0.2 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 

7.2 


2.7 
11.8 
16.5 

23.8 

0.0 
1.1 

0.0 


0.2 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 

7.3 


3.3 
10.2 
16.5 

23.3 

0.0 
1.2 

0.0 


0.* 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 

6.8 


5.2 
10.9 
14.9 

21.3 

0.0 
0.9 

0.0 


0.1 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 

7.2 


35.5 
131.5 
198.2 

278.1 

0.0 
9.8 

0.0 


0.8 
0.0 

0.0 
0.0 
AV. STATION PRES. (mb) 23  1014.5  1014.8  1016.8  1016.7  1016.5  1016.3  1015.6  1015.0  1014.0  1014.3  1014.6  1015.0  1015.3 
RELATIVE HUMIDITY (%) 
Hour 04 
Hour 10 (Local Time) 
Hour 16 
Hour 22 

46 
46 
46 
46 

83 
79 
66 
83 

84 
78 
66 
82 

86 
80 
67 
82 

88 
81 
69 
83 

88 
80 
68 
82 

87 
78 
65 
81 

88 
81 
68 
82 

88 
81 
69 
83 

87 
79 
68 
84 

87 
80 
69 
85 

87 
81 
71 
86 

85 
81 
69 
84 

87 
80 
68 
83 
PRECIPITATION (in.) 
Water Equivalent 
-Normal 
-Maximum Monthly 
-Year 
-Minimum Monthly 
-Year 
-Maximum in 24 hrs 
-Year 
Snow, Ice Pellets, Hail 
-Maximum Monthly 
-Year 
-Maximum in 24 hrs 
-Year 



53 

53 

53 




53 


9.88 
32.24 
1979 
0.36 
1953 
10.90 
1990 

0.0 

0.0 


10.29 
45.55 
1979 
0.58 
1986 
22.30 
1979 

0.0 

0.0 


13.92 
49.93 
1980 
0.88 
1972 
17.05 
1980 

0.0 

0.0 


15.26 
43.24 
1986 
2.93 
1962 
11.07 
1971 

0.0 

0.0 


9.91 
25.01 
1964 
1.18 
1945 
10.26 
1965 

0.0 

0.0 


6.20 
15.50 
1943 
1.80 
1985 
4.21 
1978 

0.0 

0.0 


9.71 
28.59 
1982 
3.83 
1975 
7.11 
1982 

0.0 

0.0 


9.34 
26.92 
1991 
2.66 
1971 
11.57 
1991 

0.0 

0.0 


8.53 
21.82 
1994 
1.59 
1974 
9.49 
1994 

0.0 

0.0 


9.60 
26.10 
1951 
2.40 
1962 
8.88 
1951 

0.0 

0.0 


14.51 
45.75 
1990 
1.01 
1989 
15.59 
1959 

0.0 

0.0 


12.04 
50.82 
1954 
0.28 
1980 
11.45 
1987 

0.0 

0.0 


129.19 
50.82 
DEC 1954 
0.28 
DEC 1980 
22.30 
FEB 1979 
WIND 
Mean Speed (mph) 
Prevailing Direction 
through 1964 
Fastest Mile 
-Direction(!!) 
-Speed(mph) 
-Year 
Peak Gust 
-Direction(!!) 
-Speed(mph) 
-Date 

46 



16 



12 
12 

7.4 

SW 

36 
35 
1987 

NW 
47 
1992 

7.7 

SW 

35 
35 
1987 


55 
1986 

7.7 

SW 

35 
28 
1987 


40 
1993 

7.5 

WSW 

34 
26 
1987 


40 
1989 

7.4 

WSW 

35 
29 
1987 


41 
1987 

7.1 

WSW 

11 
25 
1982 

NE 
32 
1987 

6.9 

WSW 

05 
25 
1984 

SE 
36 
1986 

6.8 

WSW 

36 
25 
1993 


36 
1991 

6.8 

WSW 

04 
25 
1987 

SE 
37 
1992 

6.7 

SW 

34 
29 
1983 

SE 
33 
1988 

6.8 

WSW 

02 
28 
1987 


36 
1988 

7.2 

SW 

36 
29 
1989 

NW 
45 
1989 

7.2 

WSW 

36 
35 
JAN 1987 


55 
FEB 1986 

Santa Barbara, California – Daily weather profile for April 14th 1974-2012

TGF-5.png

TGF-6.png

STATION:  SANTA BARBARA MUNICIPAL AIRPORT (KSBA), CA

CLIMATOLOGICAL SUMMARY.  Period of Record: Apr 1998 to Dec 2008

Summaries based on unedited daily ASOS data.  Errors may be present.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TEMPERATURE (F)     |   Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   Jun   Jul   Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec |   Year

                    |                                                                         |

Avg Max Temp        |  63.9  63.8  65.2  66.7  68.8  71.1  73.9  74.2  73.8  72.0  68.6  64.3 |   68.8

Avg Min Temp        |  39.7  42.3  45.3  46.6  50.7  54.1  57.6  57.1  54.7  49.2  43.8  39.0 |   48.3

Avg Temperature     |  51.8  53.1  55.3  56.7  59.7  62.6  65.7  65.6  64.2  60.6  56.2  51.7 |   58.6

                    |                                                                         |

Extremes:           |                                                                         |

    Extreme Max Temp|    84    82    89    95    90    98    93    86    98    96    88    80 |     98

                    |                                                                         |

    Date of Ext-Day |    31    21    11    27    07    18    23    11    29    08    06    16 |

               -Year|  2003  2002  2007  2004  2007  2008  2006  2003  2005  1999  2006  1998 |

                    |                                                                         |

    Extreme Min Temp|    24    30    32    35    41    44    49    48    43    38    30    24 |     24

                    |                                                                         |

    Date of Ext-Day |    16    12    14    10    02    08    10    26    27    13    18    22 |

               -Year|  2007  1999  2005  1999  2002  1999  2004  2002  2005  2008  2000  1998 |

                    |                                                                         |

Heating Degree Days |   408   337   302   254   169    87    25    21    54   147   265   414 |   2484

Cooling Degree Days |     0     0     0     4     5    14    48    41    32    10     1     0 |    155

                    |                                                                         |

Avg Number of Days: |                                                                         |

    Max Temp >= 90  |   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.3   0.1   0.5   0.1   0.0   0.5   0.6   0.0   0.0 |    2.0

    Max Temp >= 75  |   2.2   1.8   2.7   3.0   4.6   4.6  12.8  12.6  11.5  10.1   4.5   1.9 |   72.3

    Max Temp <= 32  |   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0 |    0.0

                    |                                                                         |

    Min Temp <= 32  |   3.1   0.9   0.1   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.8   4.1 |    9.0

    Min Temp <= 20  |   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0 |    0.0

    Min Temp  <= 0  |   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0 |    0.0

                    |                                                                         |

Avg Dew Point Temp  |  42.2  43.6  46.0  47.3  51.7  55.1  58.2  58.2  56.3  50.8  45.1  40.0 |   49.5

Avg Wet Bulb Temp   |  47.2  48.5  50.7  51.8  55.2  58.2  60.9  61.0  59.5  55.2  50.6  45.6 |   53.7

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Avg Sea Level Pres  | 30.09 30.06 30.02 29.99 29.94 29.90 29.91 29.90 29.88 29.94 30.03 30.10 |  29.98

(Inches of Mercury) |                                                                         |

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WEATHER             |   Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   Jun   Jul   Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec |   Year

See disclaimer below|                                                                         |

Avg Number of Days: |                                                                         |

    Thunderstorms   |   1.4   0.6   1.0   0.4   0.1   0.7   0.6   1.3   0.7   0.7   0.3   0.4 |    8.2

    Heavy Fog       |   2.1   1.2   2.0   1.8   2.2   1.2   1.7   2.6   3.3   4.1   2.0   2.0 |   26.2

    Fog             |  13.0  12.1  14.1  13.7  17.3  17.9  20.1  19.5  18.0  17.5  11.2  10.5 |  185.0

    Hail            |   0.0   0.1   0.1   0.2   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0 |    0.4

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

PRECIPITATION (In)  |   Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   Jun   Jul   Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec |   Year

                    |                                                                         |

Average Monthly     |  3.92  3.66  2.87  1.49  0.66  0.05  0.03  0.04  0.15  0.75  1.59  2.35 |  17.56

                    |                                                                         |

Maximum Daily       |  4.16  3.34  4.74  3.29  1.14  0.05  0.04  0.02  0.22  1.14  3.70  2.42 |   4.74

                    |                                                                         |

    Date of Ext-Day |    23    25    15    17    02    02    06    04    05    19    08    27 |

               -Year|  2008  2004  2003  2000  1998  1999  2001  2006  1998  2004  2002  2004 |

                    |                                                                         |

Avg Number of Days: |                                                                         |

    >= 0.01         |   8.1   9.3   7.5   6.1   5.5   4.0   2.5   3.6   5.3   7.9   7.2   8.2 |   75.3

    >= 0.10         |   4.3   5.7   3.2   2.1   1.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.5   1.5   2.2   3.5 |   23.8

    >= 0.25         |   3.6   4.0   2.1   1.3   0.8   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.9   1.3   2.5 |   16.5

    >= 0.50         |   2.4   3.0   1.6   0.9   0.5   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.7   0.8   1.5 |   11.4

    >= 1.00         |   1.3   0.9   0.7   0.3   0.2   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.1   0.4   0.8 |    4.6

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WIND (MPH)          |   Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   Jun   Jul   Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec |   Year

                    |                                                                         |

Daily Avg Wind Speed|   4.0   5.2   5.8   6.1   5.8   5.7   5.5   5.2   4.9   4.2   3.9   3.9 |    5.0

Daily Avg Max 2-Min |  14.0  15.6  16.1  16.8  14.8  14.0  13.4  12.9  13.1  13.3  13.7  14.0 |   14.3

Daily Avg Peak Gust |  17.1  19.0  19.7  20.4  17.9  16.8  16.2  15.8  15.8  16.3  17.1  17.5 |   17.5

                    |                                                                         |

Maximum Daily Avg   |  15.8  16.5  22.2  16.4  14.6  13.4   8.5   8.0   9.6  12.0  14.1  16.4 |   22.2

                    |                                                                         |

Maximum 2-Minute Avg|    33    33    38    33    36    31    22    25    26    29    31    40 |     40

                    |                                                                         |

Date of Max 2min-Day|    26    09    05    15    04    08    23    11    16    05    28    27 |

               -Year|  2008  1999  2001  2007  2007  2005  2006  2008  2008  2007  1998  2006 |

                    |                                                                         |

Maximum Peak Gust   |    48    41    46    47    41    36    28    31    44    40    41    51 |     51

                    |                                                                         |

Date of Max Gust-Day|    04    09    05    28    04    03    09    29    16    05    09    27 |

               -Year|  2007  1999  2001  1999  2007  1999  2007  2008  2008  2007  2008  2006 |

                    |                                                                         |

Avg Number of Days: |                                                                         |

   Peak Gust >=30   |   1.8   3.4   3.7   4.8   1.7   1.1   0.0   0.3   0.1   1.0   1.7   2.9 |   22.6

   Peak Gust >=40   |   0.2   0.1   0.2   0.5   0.3   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.1   0.1   0.1   0.3 |    1.8

   Peak Gust >=50   |   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.1 |    0.1

                    |                                                                         |

   Max 2-Minute >=30|   0.2   0.2   0.5   1.1   0.4   0.1   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.2   0.0 |    2.6

   Max 2-Minute >=40|   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0   0.0 |    0.0

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now put it all together and analyze the data. Here is an Example from WMU, College of Aviation students (Samantha Somers, Jeffrey Wadas, Chien Miller):

The summer months, June, July, and August are the best times to fly to Hawaii in terms of chance of running into precipitation.   During these months Hawaii averages 9 inches of precipitation per month.

Precipitation (inches)

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

9.88 10.29 13.92 15.26 9.91 6.20 9.71 9.34 8.53 9.60 14.51 12.04

When looking at winds speed, the summer months are also the best time to fly to Hawaii.  The average wind speed is 6.8 mph out of the WSW during June, July and August.  The wind direction in Hawaii on average is out of the SW or WSW year round.

Wind (mph)

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

7.4 7.7 7.7 7.5 7.4 7.1 6.9 6.8 6.8 6.7 6.8 7.2

SW SW SW WSW WSW WSW WSW WSW WSW SW WSW SW

The highest average pressure is during the late spring and early summer. High pressure means better performance, fewer clouds, and a lower chance of storms.

Pressure (inches of mercury)

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

1014.5 1014.8 1016.8 1016.7 1016.5 1016.3 1015.6 1015.0 1014.0 1014.3 1014.6 1015.0

Temperature - there really is not a best time of year to fly to Hawaii.  Cooler temperatures would be ideal for better performance but the difference in the average highs and lows would have very little impact on the aircraft’s performance.

Temperature (F)

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

79.8 79.8 79.5 79.8 81.2 82.7 83.0 83.6 83.8 83.2 81.4 80.0

There is also not a best time to fly in Hawaii when talking about humidity.  The average humidity is always in the low to mid 80s.

Humidity

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

834 86 88 88 87 88 88 87 87 87 87 85

Overall the best time of the year to fly to Hawaii based on weather in Hawaii would be during early summer.

If flying out of California, the best time of the year to do this in terms of temperature would be during the winter months.  The temperatures are lowest during these months and would provide an increase in performance.

Temperature (F)

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

58 62 64 66 69 71 72 73 74 72 65 58

The summer months in California receive the least amount of precipitation so this would be the best time to fly out.

Precipitation (inches)

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

4.71 4.65 3.39 1.42 0.77 0.12 0.03 0.06 0.25 1.37 2.89 4.48

When looking at wind speed and direction, the best time of year to leave California would be during the winter months, these average the lowest wind speeds.  The average wind direction year round is relatively constant so this is not a big factor.

Wind (mph)

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

6.8 8.3 9.0 10.4 10.4 10.4 10.2 9.6 8.5 7.5 7.0 7.6

The winter months average the highest pressure, which would mean better aircraft performance and would be the preferred time to fly.

Pressure (inches of mercury0

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

30.09 30.06 30.02 29.99 29.94 29.90 29.91 29.90 29.88 29.94 30.03 30.10

Overall the best time of year to fly out of California would be during the winter months. 


Summary of Results from Western Michigan University Research Project:

Intro

As our group dove into this project we were hoping to find information on the average wind speed and direction across Australia.  After encountering many challenges to find archived information we finally came across the University of Wyoming’s department of Atmospheric science website, the willy weather website, and the Australian Government’s Bureau of Meteorology website.  Together they provided us with the necessary information on previous, as well as current weather data. 

Weather Data Collection

The collected information (as found in the collected data section of this paper) shows one days’ worth of data at approximately surface, 3, 6, and 9 thousand feet for each month of the year.  From this we backed up the information collected through a generalized description on winds.

Based on the generalized data we found that the dominant high-pressure belt in Australia played an enormous role in the seasonal wind patterns. Similar to the prevailing westerly’s in the U.S.   Australia has prevailing winds from the southeast.  However, just like here, it does vary from time to time.

Shown from the months of January and April, it can be seen that winds were from the southwest rather than southeast.  Yet, as seen from the months of February, May, June, and July, the winds do show a primarily southeasterly flow. 

Weather Hazards

It is also important to note that Australia has seasonal intervals of good and bad weather.  Within the months of April-September, Australia is dominated by generally calm weather. Whereas in the summer months of October-March, Australia has more frequent gale force winds in excess of 33kts.  Winds like this can be an incident from a tropical cyclone in the area.  If true, all precautions should be made to avoid flying.

Conclusion

As our research suggests, the best time of the year to fly throughout Australia would be during the winter months between April and September. During this time the winds show a southeasterly flow that will aid in flying from Gold Coast Airport to Broome Airport as it is a northwest flight. It is hard to tell exactly what to expect in regards to wind speed as it varies from altitude to altitude.  Likewise, it seems that the flight would be best at a higher altitude around 6,000ft as it would give better all-around performance.

Collected Data: Approximately Ground level, 3,000ft, 6,000ft, and 9,000ft

January:

94578 YBBN Brisbane Airport Aero Observations at 12Z 09 Jan 2012

HGHT

m

PRES

hPa

TEMP

C

DWPT

C

RELH

%

MIXR

g/kg

DRCT

deg

SKNT

knot

5 1005.0 26.4 24.4 89 19.59 10 9
911 908.0 28.6 15.6 45 12.42 235 24
2026 799.0 18.6 13.0 70 11.91 235 16
2627  745.0 13.2 11.4 89 11.49 244 11

February:

94578 YBBN Brisbane Airport Aero Observations at 12Z 09 Feb 2012

HGHT

m

PRES

hPa

TEMP

C

DWPT

C

RELH

%

MIXR

g/kg

DRCT

deg

SKNT

knot

5 1011.0 23.2 19.3 79 14.14 170 5
818 920.0 16.9 15.9 94 12.52 135 19
1878 812.0 12.4 3.4 54 6.05 161 11
2787 728.0 7.8 -4.2 42 3.87 189 7

March:

94578 YBBN Brisbane Airport Aero Observations at 12Z 09 Mar 2012

HGHT

m

PRES

hPa

TEMP

C

DWPT

C

RELH

%

MIXR

g/kg

DRCT

deg

SKNT

knot

5 1011.0 22.0 18.0 78 13.01 85 3
777  925.0 21.2 8.2 43 7.43 300 5
2122 789.0 10.0 0.5 51 5.04 215 11
2824 725.0 6.8 -29.2 6 0.47 240 16

April:

94578 YBBN Brisbane Airport Aero Observations at 12Z 09 Apr 2012

HGHT

m

PRES

hPa

TEMP

C

DWPT

C

RELH

%

MIXR

g/kg

DRCT

deg

SKNT

knot

5 1014.0 22.8 19.5 82 14.28 5 14
1006  904.0 20.7 8.7 46 7.85 240 11
1634 840.0 16.0 7.4 56 7.73 215 11
2769 733.0 6.9 2.4 73 6.24 250 7

May:

94578 YBBN Brisbane Airport Aero Observations at 12Z 09 May 2012

HGHT

m

PRES

hPa

TEMP

C

DWPT

C

RELH

%

MIXR

g/kg

DRCT

deg

SKNT

knot

5 1022.0 16.2 14.2 88 10.05 240 4
859  925.0 15.6 3.6 45 5.38 115 5
1921 815.0 8.8 -1.4 49 4.25 195 16
2972 717.0 4.5 -25.1 10 0.70 130 17

June:

94578 YBBN Brisbane Airport Aero Observations at 12Z 09 Jun 2012

HGHT

m

PRES

hPa

TEMP

C

DWPT

C

RELH

%

MIXR

g/kg

DRCT

deg

SKNT

knot

5 1022.0 15.0 11.3 79 8.29 170 6
1013 906.0 9.0 8.6 98 7.81 120 23
1930  810.0 4.0 2.4 89 5.64 125 20
2703  736.0 -0.7 -2.2 89 4.44 110 10

July:

94578 YBBN Brisbane Airport Aero Observations at 12Z 09 Jul 2012

HGHT

m

PRES

hPa

TEMP

C

DWPT

C

RELH

%

MIXR

g/kg

DRCT

deg

SKNT

knot

5 1025.0 16.4 11.4 72 8.32 130 5
875 925.0 11.2 8.0 81 7.32 80 25
1836 823.0 3.8 0.9 82 4.99 85 18
2760 734.0 3.8 -33.2 5 0.32 63 14

August:

94578 YBBN Brisbane Airport Aero Observations at 12Z 09 Aug 2011

HGHT

m

PRES

hPa

TEMP

C

DWPT

C

RELH

%

MIXR

g/kg

DRCT

deg

SKNT

knot

5 1010.0 13.0 0.0 41 3.80 255 9
932 905.0 10.2 -1.5 44 3.80 255 22
1881 806.0 1.7 -6.9 53 2.83 280 27
3012 700.0 -2.9 -26.9 14 0.61 250 25

September:

94578 YBBN Brisbane Airport Aero Observations at 00Z 10 Sep 2012

HGHT

m

PRES

hPa

TEMP

C

DWPT

C

RELH

%

MIXR

g/kg

DRCT

deg

SKNT

knot

5 1026.0 20.6 11.6 56 8.42 135 10
970 915.0 11.8 0.3 45 4.28 125 10
1768 831.0 5.0 4.3 95 6.30 33 8
2455 764.0 8.4 -32.6 4 0.33 328 6

October:

94578 YBBN Brisbane Airport Aero Observations at 00Z 10 Oct 2012

HGHT

m

PRES

hPa

TEMP

C

DWPT

C

RELH

%

MIXR

g/kg

DRCT

deg

SKNT

knot

5 1014.0 24.2 17.2 65 12.32 25 6
1074 895.0 13.9 12.6 92 10.31 355 15
2030 799.0 11.2 -5.2 31 3.26 275 17
3114 700.0 0.8 -8.2 51 2.96 260 21

November:

94578 YBBN Brisbane Airport Aero Observations at 12Z 09 Nov 2012

HGHT

m

PRES

hPa

TEMP

C

DWPT

C

RELH

%

MIXR

g/kg

DRCT

deg

SKNT

knot

5 1017.0 21.6 20.0 91 14.70 310 6
977 908.0 15.7 11.8 77 9.64 355 18
1858 818.0 11.3 10.7 96 9.97 270 1
2603 748.0 7.2 4.7 84 7.21 312 4

December:

94578 YBBN Brisbane Airport Aero Observations at 12Z 09 Dec 2012

HGHT

m

PRES

hPa

TEMP

C

DWPT

C

RELH

%

MIXR

g/kg

DRCT

deg

SKNT

knot

5 1018.0 23.6 16.6 65 11.81 25 6
1049 902.0 15.2 11.5 79 9.53 69 9
1731 832.0 13.0 10.3 84 9.56 160 14
2854 727.0 6.8 0.8 66 5.62 165 20

The Route:

GF-7.pngTGF-8.png

GLOBAL WIND PATERNS

 TGF-9.png

If you have any questions about how to get wind information please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Good Luck!

 

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