The most important factor in most cross-country aircraft races is the weather. Your team is handicapped to equalize the advantages of aircraft type, engine size, and crew weight. The measure of victory can come down to getting 10 knots more tailwind than the competition. That can often be achieved by knowing the en route wind conditions at cruising altitudes within the capabilities of your craft.

You want to avoid a penalty for not reaching a designated airport, so it pays to know that developing weather will prevent or delay landing at  your ETA. Advance knowledge of storm conditions can tailor your departure time to produce an estimated time of arrival during acceptable landing conditions. Our forecasters can also make you aware of weather that will lead to IFR [instrument flight rules] conditions. If your craft must run VFR [visual flight rules] throughout the race, your team could be forced down at the nearest airport, with the clock running until you make it to your designation or retreat back to the airport you took off from. That could easily knock you out of the race.

These effects become even more important when you are piloting a hot air balloon or glider, as these craft are more affected by the vagaries of wind and weather than engined aircraft.

Skywatch Weather Center forecasters can guide you through the storms, aid in getting the most advantageous winds, and give you the edge you need to be a successful competitor.


Business is business, and time is money. When your boss has to get to the branch office today, you either get him there safely and on time, or you get another job. The weather doesn't always want to cooperate. Flight service can give you current weather, and the National Weather Service forecast for the route, but it's still your responsibility to make the go-no go decision. At times like this, the Skywatch Weather Center can be the edge you need to make a rational decision.

Weather conditions en route and conditions for the return trip are also important, because the boss is going to want to get home to the family tonight, and wants to know before the trip if that expectation is going to be jeopardized by weather later in the day. We give you the info now.


You have enough to think about between planning for the afternoon board meeting and flying the plane to get to it. Put worries about weather behind you by letting the Skywatch Weather Center forecast conditions for this trip and every flight you make throughout the country.

It doesn't matter what you're flying... light plane, jet, or helicopter. We can provide you with optimal flight levels for the trip, warn you of impending weather, and steer you around severe weather. Even if you only fly occasionally, the personalized service of Skywatch's trained staff of meteorologists will keep you informed.



For more information contact our webmaster or call us at 1-800-SKYWATCH  1-800-759-9282

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