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RCP_0709_p20-23:Feature 8/12/09 12:30 AM Page 21
A new Tool For All Aviators
By Tom Hughes
As professional aviators, we all have • SIGMETs you get historical METAR data
our personal favorites for getting our • Echo Tops showing the past several readings,
weather fix. Today the average pilot has • Freezing Level great for showing trends.
tools available to them that would have • Severe Weather Storm Tracks
made their father’s meteorologist green • Surface Analysis Weather Maps • AIRMETs and SIGMETs are very
with envy. • Satellite Mosaic easy to see and color coded by type,
WxWorx, the exclusive weather data • AIREPs and PIREPs just click inside a box and text pops
provider for XM WX Satellite Radio has up in a separate window.
announced their newest product, WxWorx The software installation was quick and
Online. painless. Once loaded and installed, the Pop up windows are moveable to any-
WxWorx Online, is a fully interactive opening screen depicts a map of North where on the desk top as well.
graphical weather software package for America with weather products along the There are two user defined views that
daily weather monitoring and pre-flight left side and program controls across the can be saved. This allows you to save an
weather analysis across the United States top of the screen. The layout is slightly area such as your local operating area.
and Canada. different from their WxWorx on Wings TFRs are one of the more useful tools
The WxWorx Online suite brings the program, but all your favorites are still available. With this tool enabled, active
same weather tools to your desktop that there. There is an extensive online man- and upcoming TFRs are displayed on the
many pilots have come to trust and de- ual included to explain how everything map. Just click on the TFR graphic and
pend on in their cockpit. The aviation data works. an information window pops up listing
package comes with an impressive list of While there is an extensive list of fea- type of TFR, altitudes, date created and/or
weather tools to include: tures, some of my favorites include: modified and active and expire times. It
will even display those hard to find sta-
• High resolution NEXRAD Radar • A fixed range ring feature that allows dium TFRs.
• High Resolution Canadian Radar the user to define an area by coordi- Click the five day forecast button and
• Precipitation Type (at surface) nates and create range rings. Options selected cities 3 letter identifiers will ap-
• TFRs include number of rings, distance be- pear on the map. Click one of these and a
• METARs tween rings in miles, thickness of the window with the five day forecast for that
• TAFs rings and even color. city will pop up.
• County and Canadian Weather Warn- Choose the Fronts button to display sur-
ings • METAR data is excellent, not only face analysis information. The current lo-
• Winds Aloft (at altitude) do you get METAR data in symbol, cation and forecast locations of highs,
• Lightning encoded and decoded formats but lows and fronts are depicted.
• AIRMETs double click a METAR symbol and Continued on page 22 • July 2009 21
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