The Changing Of The Progs

As mentioned in the ForeFlight blog back in June, the familiar prog charts pilots use every day will be changing. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to test drive these new NDFD prog charts that were introduced in ForeFlight Mobile 7.1. Beginning this morning (September 1, 2015) the precipitation forecast on these charts will now originate from meteorologists at the local NWS forecast offices and not from meteorologists at the Weather Prediction Center (WPC). For more information, you can read the official NWS notification.

Still a forecast for precipitation coverage

The precipitation shown on the new chart still represents an instantaneous precipitation forecast. That is, it shows expected precipitation coverage valid at the time specified on the chart. As a result, it is not valid over a range of time. A legend in the lower-left corner designates the likelihood of precipitation (chance versus likely) as well as the precipitation type (snow, rain, mix, thunder, etc.). Nevertheless, the isobaric forecast along with high and low pressure centers and a forecast for the position of surface fronts will continue to be issued by the same meteorologists at the WPC.

Prog Chart Change

Legacy prog charts (left) are being replaced with the new NDFD Progs (right).

For better or for worse?

It goes without saying that not every change is necessarily an improvement. It’s not that the other precipitation forecasts were bad; however, given that the precipitation forecast on this new chart is generated by meteorologists at the local forecast offices, it will be more consistent with the terminal forecasts (TAFs) and the local weather forecasts from since the TAFs and local weather forecasts are issued by those same local meteorologists. Perhaps the biggest drawback of the new imagery is that the precipitation forecast now ends at the U.S. border although the isobaric forecast and forecast for surface fronts will still cross over into Canada, Mexico and coastal waters.

Here’s what we did in ForeFlight

Given that the legacy prog charts are no longer issued, we’ve moved the new prog charts from their initial home under the NDFD Progs collection to the Prog Charts collection where they will replace their legacy counterparts. Note that the extended forecast progs (Day 3 through Day 7) located in the Prog Charts collection will not be affected.

Prog Layout In ForeFlight

The result in ForeFlight is a single prog chart collection consisting of the latest surface analysis, new NDFD progs (6 to 60 hours) and the extended progs (Day 3 through Day 7).

GFS MOS Forecast Update

In this recent blog we presented a round-robin VFR flight from Oshkosh to International Falls. The concern was not the initial leg, but the return flight three days later. Would ceilings permit a VFR flight from International Falls back to Oshkosh on Saturday? The 75-hour GFS MOS forecast below provided clear guidance that a morning return would not be very likely given the IFR ceilings forecast along this route. But what really happened?

Ceiling forecast

Original 75-hour GFS MOS forecast valid at 1500 UTC for the return flight Saturday. This clearly shows that a VFR flight from International Falls to Oshkosh will not be possible in the morning.

Turns out the GFS MOS was spot on with the ceiling forecast as shown below on ForeFlight Mobile. While low IFR conditions were much more widespread than forecast, much of the region forecast to be in the marginal VFR flight category or lower were indeed at or below marginal VFR.

Actual Ceilings at 15Z

Actual ceilings at 1500 UTC as shown on ForeFlight.

How about later in the afternoon? The 81-hour GFS MOS forecast below valid at 2100 UTC suggested the low IFR ceilings would give way to VFR ceilings making a VFR flight possible later in the afternoon.

Afternoon CIGs

Original 81-hour GFS MOS forecast valid at 2100 UTC for the return flight Saturday. This guidance shows that ceilings were expected to improve later in the afternoon.

By 2100 UTC as shown below in ForeFlight, ceilings began to lift and mix out throughout the early afternoon giving rise to VFR conditions along a good portion of the proposed route of flight. However, there were some marginal VFR conditions still remaining in the vicinity of International Falls and Oshkosh with a few stations reporting ceilings slightly below 2,000 feet. It took a couple more hours before the entire route was truly VFR. Still, that’s not a bad forecast for 3 days out with an error of just a few hours.


The ceilings in the vicinity of the departure and destination airports remained slightly below VFR at 2100 UTC, but most of the route cleared as expected.

While the GFS MOS guidance won’t provide this kind of clarity every single time, it does a surprisingly good job most of the time. Give it a go on your next round-robin flight.

When The Radar Lies

The ground-based radar mosaic displayed on the Map view in ForeFlight Mobile combines radar data from the National Weather Service (NWS) and Environment Canada. Its primary purpose is to provide pilots with a good estimation of where precipitation is occurring and where it’s not. While there are some holes in the coverage (especially in Canada) the radar mosaic is fairly accurate most of the time. Even so, non-precipitation returns generically called ground clutter can be displayed on the radar layer producing what looks like very real areas of precipitation.

Anomalous propagation, or AP, is perhaps the most annoying form of clutter. Essentially with AP, part of the side lobes of the radar beam are ducted or bent down toward the earth during certain atmospheric conditions. This causes it to strike objects on the ground (trees, buildings, cars, etc.) and some of that power from the beam is reflected back to the radar along the same bent path and gets recorded as areas of precipitation. When this occurs you might see on ForeFlight what looks like real precipitation. In fact, it can look remarkably like real convection at times fooling even the most seasoned pilot.

ForeFlight Radar Layer With AP

Anomalous propagation (AP) on the ForeFlight radar layer near Buffalo, New York.

What to do if you suspect AP

Since AP can look remarkably like real areas of precipitation (including thunderstorms), it’s important to always examine the observational data in and around the area. This includes cross-checking surface observations (METARs) to see if precipitation or thunderstorms are being reported. Also, without clouds, it can’t rain. So if clear skies are being reported all around the area, then either the precipitation shown on the radar is very isolated or perhaps it’s erroneous. Keep in mind that automated reports only show clouds that exist below 12,000 feet AGL.

Along these lines, the visible satellite imagery in ForeFlight Mobile can also be useful to identify non-precipitation returns during the daytime hours. If precipitation exists on radar, there should be clouds in that region even if it is isolated convection. If there are no clouds, the returns on the radar are likely ground clutter or AP.

Even when the area is cloudy, AP can still exist. If this is the case and you suspect AP, try looping the radar. Most real precipitation moves and evolves over time, but AP tends to stay anchored over the same area with little noticeable movement. Moreover, the radar loop may look erratic and the intensity may change in a way that’s unnatural.

While AP can occur the U.S. it tends to occur the most in the Canadian Provinces. A favored place is on the U.S. side of Lake Erie just onshore and also in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest in British Columbia. While AP can occur anytime of the day or night, it’s often favored during the morning hours just before and after sunrise. This the time of day where the atmosphere is generally stable near the surface which is a perfect environment to allow the side lobes of the radar to be ducted.

So why can’t AP be filtered?

Filtering the radar of non-precipitation returns is like walking a fine line. If you filter too aggressively, you may remove real areas of precipitation; if you don’t filter enough, you get clutter such as AP displayed. In the U.S., filtering can be automated since the Doppler portion of the radar is available. This can be used to help filter AP and other ground clutter. While Canadian radars are Doppler radars, Environment Canada does not export the Doppler data at this time. Also in the U.S., the NEXRAD ground-based radar systems are all fitted with a dual polarization (dual pol) capability which can provide additional information to filter non-precipitation returns.

At the moment the only way to guarantee that AP from Canadian radars won’t find its way into the ForeFlight radar layer is to add a gross filter before the data reaches the display. This is accomplished by our radar provider by manually turning off the data coming from the offending radar(s). This can be risky since it means that all returns shown from this radar will be eliminated, false or not. The folks at Barons who produce the XM-delivered satellite weather also face the same issue with Canadian radars. They don’t turn off specific radars. Instead they create a manual gross filter that eliminates all returns over regions that are highly unlikely to receive precipitation.

In the end, every piece of information you use to make preflight decisions should be scrutinized even if it comes from a trusted source. Take the time to cross-check the radar layer against other sources within the ForeFlight Mobile app so you won’t be fooled.

ForeFlight Announces Connectivity with Garmin Avionics

We are excited to announce connectivity between ForeFlight Mobile and Garmin avionics. When connected to Garmin Flight Stream, you can now wirelessly receive ADS-B weather and traffic, precise GPS position data, and dynamic pitch and bank information on your iPad or iPhone.

ForeFlight Mobile and Garmin avionics

ForeFlight Mobile connects to compatible Garmin avionics via the Flight Stream 210/110, Garmin’s Bluetooth® wireless gateway, and displays the full suite of ADS-B weather and traffic information received from the GDL 88/84. The Flight Stream 210, with its internal attitude sensor, powers ForeFlight’s Synthetic Vision and adds a backup attitude capability with dynamic pitch and bank information.

WAAS GPS position information from GTN™ 650/750, GNS™ 430W/530W navigators, or GDL 88 with an internal WAAS receiver can also be used to power features like ForeFlight Mobile’s moving map and geo-referenced approach plates and taxi diagrams to enhance situational awareness in the air and on the ground.

Additionally, flight plan transfer capability is currently in development and will be available in a future app update.

Support for Garmin Flight Stream connectivity is available with ForeFlight Mobile 7.2, now available for download on the App Store. For more information, visit

Stratus 1S and 2S, Garmin Connext, Graphical Flight Notifications in ForeFlight Mobile 7.2

ForeFlight Mobile version 7.2 supports the next generation of portable Stratus ADS-B receivers, expands our Sync system to include Weight & Balance profiles, increases the temporal resolution of the global winds and temperatures aloft for more accurate flight plan calculations, and improves the delivery of critical flight alerts with Graphical Flight Notifications.

ForeFlight Mobile version 7.2 is currently available for download on the App Store.

ForeFlight Mobile Supports Next Generation Stratus 1S and 2S Receivers

ForeFlight Mobile 7.2 supports the next generation of Stratus portable ADS-B receivers, which were announced last week. Our close development partnership with Appareo and Sporty’s means that Stratus is built from the ground up to work with ForeFlight Mobile and simply works the right way. Pilots using Stratus and ForeFlight experience seamless one-button-push and wire-free operation, easy over-the-air firmware updates, and the flexibility to view and manage Stratus settings right from the app. The best part is, even if you haven’t equipped for the 2020 mandate yet, Stratus allows you to take advantage of ADS-B weather and traffic information for better inflight situational awareness and decision-making. This blog article and the video from Sporty’s both detail all the features in the new receivers.

For fleet operators, Stratus is an excellent addition to your electronic flight bag program. Stratus is a wireless, portable PED so no modification to the airframe is required. For more information contact

ForeFlight Mobile Connectivity with Garmin Avionics


We are thrilled to announce connectivity between ForeFlight Mobile and Garmin avionics. When connected to Garmin Flight Stream, you can now wirelessly receive ADS-B weather and traffic, precise GPS position data, and dynamic pitch and bank information on your iPad or iPhone. Our blog post here details this exciting integration.

Graphical Flight Notifications Keep You Better Informed Before Every Flight

Graphical Flight Notifications list view

Flight Notifications shown in list view with new graphical thumbnails. Tap to expand the image.

We previously introduced Flight Notifications, a feature that monitors your filed flight plan and synthesizes flight condition alerts from ForeFlight systems and from others, including Lockheed Martin’s Adverse Conditions Alerting Service (ACAS). When a significant change in route or weather conditions is detected within two hours of your scheduled departure we send you a notification containing a summary and detailed description of the condition.

We now include a helpful graphic along with the flight critical information making it easier to analyze the alert and to stay better informed before every flight. Thumbnail graphics are shown next to each alert in the Flight Notification window; tap on an alert to view a larger version of the image.

Graphical Flight Notifications on an iPad

Flight Notifications include updates to: TFRs, airport/runway closed/unsafe NOTAMs, urgent PIREPs, SIGMETs, Convective SIGMETs, AIRMETs, Center Weather Advisories (CWAs), and Severe Weather Watches/Warnings that affect your filed route.

Flight Notifications are tied to ForeFlight’s Sync system, meaning the notifications are delivered to all of the devices on your account.

Easy Configuration Settings for Flight Notifications

To activate Flight Notifications, Sync must be ON. On the iPad, navigate to More > Settings, then scroll all the way down to Synchronize User Data. Before filing the plan, scroll to the bottom of the flight plan form on the File & Brief page and move the Flight Notifications switch to ON.

Once you file a flight plan, ForeFlight will notify you of any new conditions via a red badge (showing the number of notifications) on the File & Brief tab.

Flight Notifications require an active Internet connection and are a ForeFlight Mobile Pro feature.

Weight & Balance Profiles Protected by ForeFlight Sync

Weight & Balance Profiles now Sync

We continue to advance our ForeFlight cloud system, Sync, with the addition of Weight & Balance profiles. Your aircraft load data now synchronizes between all your devices so you don’t have to enter the same information on multiple devices; add or edit a profile on one device and those changes are automatically applied to all devices on your account. This is especially helpful if you fly multiple aircraft and maintain several weight and balance profiles. Sync protected data also makes it easier to set up a new device if you are replacing an old one.

Weight & Balance is a Pro feature, however Sync is available to all customers and, in addition to Weight & Balance profiles, includes: recent and favorite routes, airports, and weather imagery, user waypoints, scratch pads, flight notifications, filed flight plans, and aircraft profiles.

Sync can be turned on by enabling Synchronize User Data, located in More > Settings, near the bottom of the page.

Enhanced global winds aloft.Improved Global Winds Aloft Enables More Accurate Flight Planning Calculations

ForeFlight Mobile 7.2 also introduces an increase to the resolution of the global winds and temperatures aloft. Flight planning calculations are now even more accurate with a forecast time step of three hours instead of the previous six hours. This blog article from Scott Dennstaedt discusses the enhancements to the global Winds Aloft layer.

Refinements to ForeFlight for Apple Watch

ForeFlight for Apple WatchThe Apple Watch is an exciting and evolving platform, and we will continue to develop ForeFlight for Apple Watch to expand the app in helpful ways. In 7.2, we introduce some refinements to the Airports page, allowing weather data from up to 30 airports to be viewed under three selectable tabs: Nearby, Recents, and Favorites.

New Stratus 1S and 2S Deliver Solid Features and Better Performance, Shipping Soon

Stratus 1S and 2SIn partnership with Appareo and Sporty’s, we are happy to announce that the next generation of portable Stratus ADS-B receivers are available and shipping soon. Stratus 1S and 2S offer new features and better performance, with the same pilot-friendly design that has made Stratus the best-selling ADS-B receiver. Even if you haven’t equipped for the 2020 mandate yet, Stratus allows you to take advantage of ADS-B weather and traffic information for better inflight situational awareness and decision-making.


Stratus 1S, priced at just $549, is an affordable option that gives you subscription-free weather, single-band ADS-B traffic, and GPS position. Features on this entry-level option include enhanced ADS-B reception, the latest USB Type C connector for charging, and Stratus Replay, a feature that allows you to sleep your iPad screen and never miss a weather report.

Stratus 2S, ADS-B Weather and Traffic

Stratus 2S enhances the ForeFlight Mobile experience, especially for single-pilot IFR operations. Stratus 2S comes with a built-in barometric pressure sensor and integrated Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS). The pressure sensor drives ForeFlight Mobile’s Pressure Altitude instrument and Cabin Altitude Advisor alert, a helpful notification feature that keeps you safer at higher altitudes. The super-responsive AHRS provides a backup attitude display, a feature that really makes our Synthetic Vision come alive. In addition, flight data recording, a dual-band traffic receiver, and Stratus Replay are all a part of the $899 Stratus 2S value.

Here is a detailed comparison of what each receiver offers (click for a larger image):

Stratus 1S and 2S features.

Stratus 1S and 2S features.

For existing Stratus customers, you can feel confident that we will continue to support the first- and second-generation Stratus units. The Stratus platform is built from the ground up to work with ForeFlight Mobile, making it easy to develop and deliver firmware updates.

Stratus 1S or 2S can be purchased via Sporty’s Pilot Shop or Appareo. Customers who currently have an order placed for a second-generation Stratus will automatically receive a new Stratus 2S. Stay tuned for updates on the ship date. Customers interested in Fleet Sales should contact ForeFlight at

Learn more at

Apple iOS GPS Issue Resolved with 8.4 Update

UPDATE 7/2/15:

We have completed our general ForeFlight Mobile compatibility testing of the public version of Apple iOS 8.4. We recommend caution when it comes to any iOS update, however our testing did not reveal any significant issues.


We are happy to report that the GPS accessory compatibility issue that resulted from the Apple iOS 8.3 update is resolved with the iOS 8.4 update released this morning. We have performed a quality review of the Bad Elf GPS Pro, Bad Elf GPS Pro+, Dual XGPS150, and Dual XGPS160 on a Wi-Fi iPad running iOS 8.4 and these devices perform as expected. Stratus 1 and Stratus 2 devices were not affected by this issue. We have also started our general ForeFlight Mobile compatibility testing of the final version of iOS 8.4.

Customers that wish to resume use of their affected GPS accessories can upgrade to iOS 8.4. Customers that do not need immediate access to the affected GPS accessories can opt to wait until ForeFlight completes its compatibility testing of the final iOS 8.4 release and issues an ‘all clear’ notice.

For your reference, here are the instructions on how to update the iOS software on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

What’s Up With QPF?

Areas of precipitation that are forecast along your proposed route should get your attention. These should be considered “hot spots” for concern and may add undo risk to the flight. While precipitation isn’t always problematic, even to pilots flying under visual flight rules (VFR), adverse weather elements such as thunderstorms, low IFR conditions, mountain obscuration, reduced visibility, airframe icing and turbulence tend to occur in and around areas of precipitation. So these precipitation areas are regions that pilots need to drill down a little deeper to determine what, if any, impact they may create on their planned flight.

This is the reason we introduced the 6 hour Quantitative Precipitation Forecast, or QPF, in ForeFlight Mobile 7.1. Shown below, the QPF represents excellent guidance when planning a cross country trip, whether your flight is several hours or several days in the future. You can find the 6 hour QPF under the CONUS Weather in the USA Ensembles. So let’s take a look at the advantages and limitations of the QPF.

QPF Example

This is the 6 hour QPF or Quantitative Precipitation Forecast.

Most pilots are familiar with the precipitation forecast on Prog charts. Precipitation identified on prog charts such as the one shown below is considered an instantaneous precipitation forecast. That is, the precipitation shown is valid at a single time and represents precipitation coverage or where precipitation is expected to be reaching the surface at the valid time.

Prog Chart Precipitation

The Prog chart includes an instantaneous precipitation forecast valid at a single time as shown in the lower left.

Instead of a single time, the QPF is valid over a range of time. In other words, it is the quantity of precipitation expressed in inches that is expected to reach the surface over a specific period of time. In this case, the period is six hours so the forecast is called a 6 hour QPF. The valid range of time is shown in the date-time stamp on the lower left, so this forecast is valid from 0600 through 1200 UTC as shown below. It is important to note that unlike Prog charts, the QPF does not distinguish between the type of precipitation (rain, snow, freezing rain, etc.) nor does it tell you if the precipitation is the result of deep, moist convection or thunderstorms.


Solid-filled color contours are drawn based on the expected precipitation amount (in inches) within the six hour forecast period using the scale in the lower left. Any “X” on the chart tells you the local maXimum precipitation amount (also in inches) within it’s respective contoured area. So for this forecast below in eastern Oklahoma and Texas, a maximum of 1.78” of precipitation is anticipated to reach the surface between the period beginning at 1800 UTC through 0000 UTC. In the case of wintry precipitation such as snow or ice pellets, the forecast roughly approximates the melted equivalent. Typically 12 inches of snow melted down represents about 1 inch of rain.


Also, the QPF doesn’t specify when the precipitation is expected within the valid range of time; it could fall all in the first hour, all in the last hour or it could be a continuous light rain falling throughout the entire forecast period. This is especially important to understand when the precipitation may be from convection. Often during the warm season, most of the precipitation forecast may fall within an hour or two and that could be near the beginning or end of the forecast period leaving much of the valid time free of precipitation.

The QPF offers a couple of distinct advantages over the instantaneous precipitation forecasts found on the Prog charts. Given that precipitation forecasts on prog charts represent coverage and are valid at a single time, the QPF can highlight areas of precipitation that may occur between Prog chart forecasts. For example, it is possible that an area of showers and thunderstorms may be expected to develop at 1900 UTC and dissipate by 2300 UTC. This area of precipitation would not be shown on the prog charts valid at 1800 and 0000 UTC, however, it would show up on the QPF. So the QPF is a complementary forecast to help fill in the gap in between prog chart forecasts.

Another advantage is that Instantaneous precipitation shown on prog charts stops after 48 hours. However, given that the QPF is valid over a range of time which is considerably less difficult to forecast, they provide guidance out to 3.5 days in the future – perfect for those Friday to Sunday round-robin flights.

PoP Goes The Forecast

When we make a decision to depart on any round-robin flight, it’s not unusual to also factor in the expected weather on the return trip. If the return leg doesn’t look very good, what’s the sense in making a flight that may put us in a compromising position later on. But if that flight is three or more days in the future, how do you know that it’ll be safe to fly back home? That’s a difficult question to answer because at three days and beyond there really isn’t any aviation-specific weather guidance that can tell you about adverse weather elements such as low ceilings and/or low visibility, airframe icing and turbulence. That certainly leaves pilots to fend for themselves.

If you want to stack the deck in your favor and choose the best time to minimize your exposure to adverse weather you should focus in on areas of precipitation. Of course, not all precipitation events are considered hazardous, but many are, especially when flying VFR. That’s because adverse weather elements such as IFR conditions, icing, turbulence and thunderstorms tend to occur in and around areas of precipitation. So it’s a good bet that if you find yourself faced with precipitation forecast along your proposed route, you will likely encounter some form of challenging weather, even if your planned flight is several days from now.

So that’s why in ForeFlight Mobile 7.1 we introduced the 12 hour Probability of Precipitation forecast like the one shown below. It’s known as the PoP forecast and you’ll find it in the USA CONUS Imagery view under 12 HR PoP.

Probability of Precipitation forecast

This is the 12 hour Probability of Precipitation (PoP) forecast. You can find this on ForeFlight under the Imagery view in the 12 HR PoP collection.

This forecast is issued by meteorologists at the Weather Prediction Center (WPC) in College Park, Maryland. It’s the same group of forecasters that issue the familiar prog charts pilots have used for many years. It’s designed to show the forecaster’s confidence of where precipitation will likely reach the surface within a 12 hour forecast period. The higher the numbers shown on the forecast, the higher the chances (probability) precipitation will occur in that period.

It’s important to understand the date-time stamp on the forecast. Many precipitation forecasts are valid over a period of time. In this case, the period is 12 hours. The valid time in the lower left of the chart is the ending time of the 12 hour period. In this case the forecast is valid from 12Z on June 1st through 00Z on June 2nd. This basically covers the daytime hours on June 1st.

While the short-range surface prog charts generally cover the weather features and precipitation expected over the next two days, the 12 hour PoP forecast describes the medium- to long-range forecast. It starts with Day 3 (the day after tomorrow) and runs through Day 7 with 12 hour forecasts ending at 00Z (daytime) and 12 hour forecasts ending at 12Z (nighttime).

Let’s say you were planning a flight from Chicago to Atlanta during the day on June 1. Using the 12 hour PoP forecast above, there’s a good chance you’ll face challenging weather along that route. On the other hand, if you were flying from Chicago to Oklahoma City, the likelihood of any significant adverse weather is minimal.

That’s not to say that most of the significant weather may end up occurring during the late afternoon on that flight to Atlanta. So a morning flight may still be possible. But this forecast doesn’t provide that level of temporal resolution. Moreover, even though the flight to Oklahoma City looks promising, you could still face IFR conditions, icing (during the cold season), strong winds or the potential for turbulence. So you can’t become complacent.

Day 3 Prog Chart

Use the Day 3 Prog chart along with the 12 hour PoP.

In that light it’s useful to also look at the Day 3 prog chart shown above (Day 3 through Day 7 progs are now located in the Prog Charts collection). Forecasters don’t show areas of instantaneous precipitation on the Day 3 through Day 7 progs, but what you do notice is that most of the precipitation shown on the 12 hour PoP forecast is along and ahead of the stationary front that extends from the Eastern Shore of Maryland southwest to Houston, Texas. Therefore, much of this precipitation is associated with a large scale synoptic feature which means plenty of dynamic forcing and likely the reason the probabilities are so high.

Also notice that behind the front the precipitation chances decrease and become nearly zero through Illinois and Missouri. This is courtesy of a rather large area of high pressure seen on the Day 3 prog with an inverted ridge spilling down from Ontario, Canada into central Texas. Such a ridge promotes subsidence or sinking air. Air that is sinking tends to inhibit the formation of clouds and tends to keep the air stable. While you can’t rule out early morning radiation fog or some moderate thermal turbulence in the afternoon, the chances of any significant turbulence aloft is minimal under a ridge. Lastly, the pressure gradient (distance between isobars) is fairly large implying a low risk of strong and gusty winds.

Pilots have never really been all that skilled using long-range forecasts. That’s understandable since a pilot’s primary training mainly focused on making a go or stay decision moments before departure. Very little time is spent on how to analyze the weather more than 24 hours in advance. But these long-range forecasts can provide some valuable planning information especially if your timing is flexible. Or if it’s not flexible, a bad decision now might tempt you to fly when the weather is hazardous later on for your return trip. Here at ForeFlight we hope that the 12 hour PoP forecast will provide the guidance you need for that long-range flight planning.

Our Weather Imagery Has Blossomed

Browse the Imagery view in ForeFlight Mobile and you will notice big changes have taken place! In addition to some basic spring cleaning, we nearly doubled the number of collections in the USA Ensembles.

What are all these new charts?

Like anything else that’s new, it’ll take some time for you to fully benefit from all of the imagery we’ve added to the ForeFlight Mobile app. We understand that some of these new charts may be unfamiliar to many customers. Therefore, in the weeks and months to come you can expect to see us offer more insight on how to effectively use this guidance in your day-to-day preflight planning regiment. So stay tuned to Twitter, Facebook, and the ForeFlight blog for more details.

12-hour Probability of Precipitation

Shown here is one of the new forecasts included in the USA imagery ensembles called the 12 HR Probability of Precipitation or 12 HR PoP for short.

What’s with the order of the collections?

Previously in ForeFlight Mobile, the USA collections were roughly ordered alphabetically with Alaska being first and Winds Aloft positioned last. With such a large number of new collections, we want to do a little better than to simply alphabetize the weather guidance. While there is no perfect way to order these collections to meet every pilot’s needs, we implemented an order that we think you will find useful. Here’s what we were thinking…

Picture a preflight weather briefing as a funnel with large-scale features at the top of the funnel and route-specific details at the bottom.  At the top of the funnel you start out with the synoptic overview (big picture) such as the location and movement of high and low pressure systems, fronts and associated areas of precipitation and clouds. The timing of your proposed round-robin flight is often critical, so we’ve placed outlooks and long-range forecasts near the top as well to help you decide which day may provide the best opportunity to minimize your exposure to adverse weather. As you work your way to the bottom of the funnel, this will include finer route-specific details such as en route advisories to include G-AIRMETs and SIGMETs, icing, turbulence, regional satellite, ground-based radar and last, but not least, pilot weather reports.

What happened to my favorite and recent images?

We made an honest attempt to preserve all of your favorite and recent images with this update. A careful mapping was done to point to the right image even for those that were moved from one collection to another. There were also a dozen or so images that existed in more than one collection; so we removed those duplicates. If your favorite image was the one we removed, it was mapped to the other location. Nevertheless, there may be a few images that were deleted and a few favorites or recents that were not preserved. If you are having trouble finding one of those images, please e-mail us at and we are happy to track those down.

Speaking of recents and favorites, there is now a recents button for imagery on the iPad version of the app as shown below. Now you can view and swipe through all of your favorites and recents on your iPad or iPhone. These settings sync across your mobile devices. As always, don’t forget to check out the Pilot’s Guide to ForeFlight Mobile to learn more about the new imagery.