Good source for wind/weather data?

Can anyone recommend good wind/weather data sources for outdoor rides? It feels pretty brutal sometimes and I’d like to try to get good wind data afterward so I can understand my training results better. Two examples for the same stretch of straight road:

  1. Dec/28, an Endurance ride: westbound at 17.2 mph on only 90W (5.2 W/mph), but eastbound just 12.9 mph on 137W (10.6 W/mph).

  2. Dec/22, a Tempo ride: westbound 20.2 mph on 128W (6.3 W/mph), but eastbound 14.5 mph on 186W (12.8 W/mph).

In both cases, the power per unit of speed more than doubles comparing tailwind to headwind. And given my FTP of just 178W at the moment, that’s a huge energy drain.

I’ve found two sources that give me some idea of wind data so far:

Wunderground
LocalConditions.com

But though I’m asking for HARB data from both (Homestead Air Reserve Base, since that’s the closest weather station to where I was riding), one basically says 10mph wind speed while the other says 13-14 mph. That’s a big difference.

And as I kept looking for the best available data, it occurred to me to ask the rest of you if you check wind data, and where…

Thanks for any input you may have.

Spotwx.com

Go pull the raw data right off of the stations themselves.

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You can pull current winds from almost any airport using a cellphone, a lot of the automated weather systems at airports you can also call and listen to their current report. But unless you’re going to pull the data right where you are it is going to be off a bit. Even from one end of an airport to the other they’re usually different.

I reference weather underground some and it can be very useful but regarding winds you’ll see not all the reporting stations are setup so that they accurately reflect local prevailing wind conditions.

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I use an app called Windfinder

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The Windy app on iOS is incredible. Multiple forecast models, detailed wind speed, gusts, direction, etc. I use it all the time for planning outdoor rides. Looks like they have some of the functionality on their website: https://windy.app

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Best Bike Split’s premium service can take your fit files and and pull/overlay the weather data in the Race Analytics tool.

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This is an awesome tool: https://mywindsock.com/

There is some free functionality but there is also a paid service too (it’s super cheap). You can even get alerts for optimal days for a strava segment attempt etc.

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Some great suggestions here! MyWindSock seems to be the kind of thing I’m looking for, and I’ve already signed up for their premium service. For about $25/year (they have a 25% discount right now), it seems like a great deal and something that can help me plan for future events as well as analyzing previous rides.

Thanks to everyone.

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Amazing that people are creating paywall apps to charge for literally FREE data.
Even if you don’t use spotwx.com it will show you exactly how forecasts are created and where the information is being pulled from, in raw form, algo form, and then meteorologist form.
With that understanding you will be able to figure out how to check for the stations near you and what data to be looking for.

Any app that is charging you for that same data, or trying to extrapolate data from a station to an area nowhere near it is just selling you bogus junk. They’ll be using the exact same data every other weather service pulls from.

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@RONDAL, you are correct that the data is free and one shouldn’t pay for it. But this goes further, because the value in some services is in what they help you DO with that data.

As a pilot with over 1200 flight hours, I learned how to plot every segment of a trip, including wind effects and fuel consumption. Knowing how to do that ensured that I understood my flight plan, could see when it needed adjustments, and could make those adjustments along the way. But in practice, I always built my flight plan online with paid services that would crunch the data on my aircraft, load center-of-gravity, passengers, fuel, route, and wind to spit out a very accurate flight plan in seconds. The value was not in the data, but in the speed, ease and accuracy of the calculations.

In the same way, I could plan out a ride, calculate distance/grade/etc, get wind data from one or more stations, and use math to apply that wind to my aero profile and cycling speed on each segment. But that’s a ton of work! My Wahoo gets data from GPS, the power meter, and other sources, then does all the calculations to give me a single file with all of that, in seconds.

If MyWindSock takes the free wind data and applies it to each segment of my ride file, letting me see the effect on every segment graphically and helping me learn from this data better, that work which the service is doing is certainly adding value. It would take me at least a half-hour to crunch all that data properly for each ride: if MWS saves me 2-3 hours each month by doing calculations for me, then that’s certainly worth $2/month in my value judgment.

Of course, anyone who doesn’t want this granularity in data won’t see value in the service, and that’s OK. But they’re not just regurgitating free data and charging for it.

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I can second that. Mywindsock has helped me get 3 KOMs even though my FTP is at a modest 240w. I’m a numbers guy but my time is better spent elsewhere than figuring out something that is already sorted out.

+1 about going straight to the source. Try taking a look at the hourly weather chart at https://www.weather.gov. It shows vectors for wind speed/direction over the course of the day. The local office will have adjusted the values geographically which may take in effect larger terrain features. Oh, and no ads!

For really long range, take with a grain of salt forecast models, the geek in me likes https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/. It aggregates the runs of global weather models like GFS (run by the National Weather Service) and the ECMWF (the European equivalent.)