Anchorage is a HUGE (size wise) city. Anchorage has only 360,000 people yet is 1700 square miles of land. (Compare that to LA, which has about 500 square miles of land and almost 4 million people...) We have 6 mountain ranges around us. (Not mountains...mountain RANGES.) Plus we are, technically, a peninsula, with water to our north , south, and west.
Anyway, getting a good picture of the weather here is an important factor and the weather is often completely different in one part of town than another. It can be sunny and windy in one spot and a mile away it will be raining and dead calm. (Though I usually find that rain brings wind & sun brings calm.) I have become an amateur meteorologist by watching the various weather forecasting tools because the ones who get paid to do it never seem to get it right. (I have a 70-80% accuracy rate now, and they have about 40-50%
I use "Weather Underground" for my current views of various places to fly. They have a GREAT kite fliers tool there called "Wundermap" which incorporates google maps and the many weather stations around the city. When you look at it, it gives the temp and wind speed/direction at each station. (There are 31 weather stations currently in the municipality that are shown.) Here is a link to what I mean: Anchorage Wundermap
It is a bit tricky if you don't know the symbols for maritime wind, but there is a key for doing it there.
Does anyone else use wundermap, or do you have a favorite weather source? I know that wundermap is pretty much everywhere in the US... Just type in your zip code, click on the wundermap link and have fun.
Edited by SynTaks, 08 June 2010 - 02:26 PM.