Weather plays a huge part in hot-air and gas ballooning. Below, you can find helpful links and information to assist you in securing weather information and forecasts for ballooning.
The FAA will discontinue the Direct User Access Terminal Service (DUATS II) Program (duats.com), effective May 16, 2018. Internet services, including access to weather and aeronautical information, flight plan filing and automated services will remain available at no charge to pilots at www.1800wxbrief.com.
To continue to receive free services, users are encouraged to register with www.1800wxbrief.com. The FAA will work with current DUATS II providers on transition activities, including conducting pilot outreach, establishing commercial interfaces, and providing user migration assistance.
Weather Forecast Sites:
BalloonCast online forecast (operated by Blastvalve.com): This site provides current and future forecasts and allows pilots to choose their own reporting stations within the state chosen. Also includes radar and winds aloft forecasts. This site was created specifically for balloonists.
AviationWeather (affiliated with the NOAA): This site, operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, provides current and forecasted weather, radar and satelitte reporting, prog charts, TAF and Area Forecasts, Pilot Reports and more.
Winds Aloft Forecast (provided by the National Weather Service): This site provides collective winds and temperatures aloft forecasts for the United States.
Weather Underground: This site provides great radar reports and images, local forecasts and aviation related weather.
Weather Briefing Information:
Balloonists can also get local weather briefings via phone (recorded or live) by calling Flight Service at 1-800-WX-BRIEF (1-800-992-7433) and following the prompts. Flight briefers provide the latest weather conditions and forecasted conditions for a particular area. Be certian to inform the briefer that the weather is for balloons and have your registration number ready, as they will request it.