How to check weather conditions before and during a trek - AdventureTripr

How to check weather conditions before and during a trek

Kavya Reddy · June 22, 2022
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Obtaining an accurate and reliable weather forecast is a crucial aspect of mountain travel preparation.
Obtaining an accurate and reliable weather forecast is a crucial aspect of mountain travel preparation.

 

You've probably heard that it's critical to check the weather report before going on a hike, no matter the season. This allows you to pack the proper hiking clothes as well as any other necessary gear, resulting in a much better hiking experience. It's always a good idea to check the official weather forecast before heading out, but knowing what the changes look like can be a useful skill on any hiking trip.

How to examine the weather forecast

Today, we have access to comprehensive weather reports tailored to the trails in both web and app form. We'd like to share with you some of our favorite apps and websites. 

Windy.com

Screenshot from Windy.com
Screenshot from Windy.com

Windy.com is a useful and visually appealing app. It was created in 2014 by Ivo Lukaovi, a Czech kiter, helicopter, and jet pilot, and is a visual tool that shows numerous overlays on an engaging map of the world. The free version of the service provides a 3-hour forecast that is updated twice daily, whereas the premium subscription provides a high definition 1-hour forecast with precision data that is updated 4 times per day. There's also an incredible live webcam tool, which allows you to frequently view near the area conditions in real time, giving you a good idea of factors such as the height of the snow line, for example.

 

Mountain-forecast.com

Screenshot from Mountain-forecast.com
Screenshot from Mountain-forecast.com

With this app, you can simply search for the mountain you want to see an hourly forecast for, with information such as wind speed and direction, rainfall, temperature, winter temperatures, and freezing level. The most interesting feature is the ability to select your forecast elevation, which provides critical information about what to expect at base camp versus the summit. One of the platform's main strengths is the ability to choose between different forecasts. For hikers and mountaineers, the ECMWF and MeteoBlue are the best resources, and you can search for specific summits.

Forecast.weather.gov

Screenshot from Forecast.weather.gov
Screenshot from Forecast.weather.gov

Weather forecasters use massive amounts of data to create computer models and simulations that help predict upcoming weather changes. Weather forecasting has a significant impact on transportation, particularly air and water travel. Weather can have an impact on aircraft take-off and landing, whereas storms and strong winds have a significant impact on water travel.

Keep an eye on conditions before the trek

Check the weather for 3-5 days before the hike or climb
Check the weather for 3-5 days before the hike or climb

  • Refer to at least two different sources that employ various weather models.

  • Check the weather for 3-5 days before the hike or climb.

  • Consider the weather for the entire duration of your trip, and make or change plans based on the most recent forecast.

  • Prepare for a change in the weather and cancel your plans if the conditions appear dangerous.

Take note of the wind

The wind direction in the German Alps also indicates how well the weather could develop in the coming hours and days. When the wind blows from the northeast to the east, it almost always means good weather.

Air from the south-west, on the other hand, indicates that a low is approaching. If the wind is blowing from the south indicates warm Alpine foehn wind. So you can enjoy the warm weather at first. However, the weather is about to change.

Essentially, you must observe the wind for your forecast over a longer period of time – preferably in a location where the air is not swirled by obstacles in the surroundings. If the wind direction changes, it is a sure sign that the weather is changing.

Carry a barometer

 If the air pressure drops sharply in a short period of time, bad weather is predicted
If the air pressure drops sharply in a short period of time, bad weather is predicted

Air pressure changes are a sure sign of climate changes. The only issue is that air pressure cannot be seen. That's why we have parameters, which are small enough to fit in a pocket. There are also barometer-equipped wristwatches.

There is a rule of thumb for determining how the weather changes based on air pressure: if the air pressure drops sharply in a short period of time, bad weather is predicted. A severe storm should be expected if the pressure drops by 1 to 2 hPA (Pascal per hour). If the air pressure slowly drops, you can expect a longer period of good weather to come to an end. However, if a barometer is not always available, use nature's signs to forecast the weather.

Bring an altimeter with you

You've likely heard your nearby meteorologist discuss barometric pressure, and it's simpler to grasp than you might think. Even if your hike does not require significant elevation changes, consider packing an altimeter.

Changes in air pressure (which occur whenever you change elevation) are used by these devices to calculate your altitude. Rapid drops in air pressure are an indication of changing weather patterns, so if your altimeter drops unexpectedly, take note and take a glance for any developments in the clouds or skies.

Other considerations

  • Examine the hourly weather forecast.

  • Take note of the wind direction, wind chill, and gust speed.

  • Examine the precipitation, humidity, and sky cover.

  • Examine the weather in the mountains at various elevations.

  • Examine the wind, precipitation, and temperature at different times.

  • Take note of freezing temperatures to determine where the snow begins.

Be ready for anything

Even if you go into the wilderness knowing everything there is to know about clouds, storms, and cold fronts, if you don't bring the right hiking gear, your knowledge will be useless. Even on summer hikes, bring a lightweight fleece and water-resistant, breathable raincoat in your hiking backpack. This is particularly true for hikes that take you higher in elevation, as it is almost always noticeably cooler at the top of the mountain than at the base. Weather patterns tend to shift most dramatically in these areas as well.

Every climber should always be capable of reading mountain weather and keep an eye on what the weather is doing while on the mountain. We hope this article helped you! 

 

 

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