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Windy.app weather app for sailing gains two unique features for iOS

by Windy.App 1 Aug 16:36 NZST
Windy.app has released its bigger update for iOS over the past year. © Michael Held / Unsplash

Windy.app has released its bigger update for iOS over the past year. Three new weather features yachtsmen need the most — atmospheric fronts, isobars and wind barbs — make it a universal weather app for sailing and other outdoor activities.

Two of the three features are unique among mobile applications. It helps sailors to better understand the weather, plan the route and avoid risks when going to sea.

From the beginning of 2020, the features have been available in the Android app version and WindHub — a separate sailing application from Windy.app. Atmospheric fronts, isobars and wind barbs are now available on any iOS or Android mobile device.

Why do sailors need these three features?

1. Atmospheric Fronts allow yachtsmen to see regional weather changes

It may be the strong winds, rains and thunderstorms, mists... With this feature sailors could be ahead of it. Atmospheric Fronts significantly improve the safety of sea trips.

The forecast is from the most trustful sources: NOAA (US) and DWD (Germany).

This is a unique feature in Windy.app, which is not available in other yachting apps for iOS.

The blue arcs are cold fronts (air masses), the red ones — warm, the blue and red are stationary fronts — a front between warm and cold air masses that moves very slowly or not at all. The orange arcs called troughs are emerging fronts.

Anton Frolov, kitesurfer and cofounder: "We talked to dozens of yachtsmen and implemented the features exactly as the professionals need. Thanks to the update, Windy.app is now the first application to have all the weather (and not only) features for yachtsmen. In addition to the three new ones, it is a Weather Archive for 10 years, Route Planner, Tidal Data and much more. All the features are both functional, easy to use and just beautiful."

2. Isobars are needed to understand what is happening in the atmosphere

To know what the general weather situation is like. Isobars help to assess fronts, wind rotation and speed, cyclone depth, etc. With Isobars sailors can plan long trips and have a more complete picture of the weather more than a week ahead.

The forecast is for 10 days (GFS27) with updates four times a day.

This and the next feature — wind barbs — can be used in offline mode, when there is no internet access, if you save a section of the map in advance.

Isobars are lines that connect points with the same atmospheric pressure on the map. Isobars that are close to one another mean fast wind, because the higher the pressure difference between two areas of the map is, the faster the wind is, and vice-versa.

Mikhail Akselrod, fishermen and cofounder: "We believe that the new features will attract three times as many sailors and other users. In the app they communicate, share experience and help each other in the community and chats right in the marinas and spots. They give us feedback and help to find new ideas of development."

3. Wind Barbs are used to forecast wind direction and speed

It is just a familiar format for displaying the wind field. That's how they were drawn on the maps before, and so many people are used to seeing them.

In Windy.app wind barbs are located in the nodes of the weather model grid — points on the map where the weather is predicted. This excludes interpolation (forecast errors) — the forecast is as accurate as possible. It's updated every three hours.

The wind barbs are from of the 10 weather models used in the app.

In this implementation, it is another unique feature of Windy.app.

The signs on the map show wind direction from the dots and speed (the number and type of barbs), the circles mean no wind.

Natalia Pavlova, sailor and software developer: "Our new app, WindHub, remains a convenient for yachtsmen. We intend to make it necessary but easy-to-use app. The WindHub is a lightweight app (48,3 MB) that loads quickly and consumes little Internet traffic. It contents of all the features described above, and has more planned."

If you are a beginner sailor, learn more about each of the three new features in the Windy.app blog:

Read more about basic meteorology for sailing, guides to boats, licenses and racings, sailing routes, and events in the "Big Collection of Articles About Sailing in 2020-21".
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