Tag Archives: satellite

XM weather in Europe

Availability of weather info in the cockpit should be a must.

It is a pitty that European goverments have a commercial approach to this instead of the safety approach that the US government has.
The US government publishes weather info for FREE to companies like XM Sattellite weather that distribute it to airplane cockpits.

I recently had a long conversation with a top executive at XM. I asked him whether they would be offering cockpit weather info for Europe, and my conclusion was that it does not make business sense to them due to the prices that european weather agencies charge for the info.

Avidyne’s solution

Recently, Avidyne has started selling cockpit weather (through its new MLX770) via the Iridium Satellite Network to those having Avidyne’s Entegra and EX500/EX5000-series multi-function displays.

I heard that there is quite a delay from the moment information is published to the moment it is available in the cockpit. To some, that would render the information obsolete. But… How true is that?

I would like to know, first hand, if that is the case.
So far, though, I have not had the chance to fly an airplane featuring such a solution. Have you?

If so, please comment so all of us have a better opinion about this system.

About Meteo·Mobile

When I started flying further than local, I often found myself far from a local weather forecaster or a PC where I could get real time weather information such as METARs or TAFs, surface maps, satellite images and the like.

I thought it would be nice to be able to get it in my blackberry. I first found an e-mail address where you could send an e-mail with the name of the field you were interested in, and in return you’d get the METAR for that field. Often, it would take longer than expected to get the response. Also, METARs are fine, but you usually need some ENROUTE information as well.

There are some very nice weather related websites, but usually they will not show fine on such a small mobile device. That was when I started asking my computer-literate friends how to build something that would help me out.

With the help of a lot of people, I started building something that has kept improving based on your comments and suggestions. I thank you for that.

Today, Meteo·Mobile has plenty of information:

  • A database with over 12.800 fields from 233 countries with their GPS coordinates and ICAO and IATA codes
  • A link to help you see Google Maps for Mobile for those fields, and up to 9 other nearby alternates
  • METAR, long and short TAF for any field with a local meteorologist
  • Images such as:
    • IR Satellite imagery
    • Water Vapour Satellite imagery
    • Enhanced Satellite imagery
    • Stüve diagrams
    • Rainfall Radar imagery for Spain, France and UK
    • Surface Analysis for Europe
    • 24 hour forecast for Europe
    • Icing probability maps for Europe
    • etc.

Important Comments:

Images in this site usually contain date and time. Make sure you check them out, or you might be reading obsolete information. Often, your mobile browser will load a cached image (specially if you got it earlier the same day), Refresh your page (R key in the blackberry) to make sure you get the latest.

When an image is heavy (expensive if you pay by traffic), it is marked with ” >> ”

I encourage you to take the advice of a professional local forecaster… I am not.
Use this site AT YOUR OWN RISK. I will not accept ANY liability for the contents or the decisions a PIC takes based on them.

I first developed this site for my own use. Then my friends started using it, all of us from a mobile device.
When I saw that the site was also visited from PC’s, I didn’t hesitate to put some Google AdSense advertising which prints only if you use a (bigger screen) PC.

Your visits are very much welcome, they encourage me to keep improving the site.
Don’t hesitate to tell your friends about it.

And let me know ways of improving it. You can do so through this link.
Thank you and Blue skies!