Where to look for the best wind forecasts for free

Windfinder, Wisuki, Windy.com, Windy.app, Predictwind or Windguru. Which is the best free wind forecast site? Some are very limited. Some are much better.

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Logos
Logos

An accurate wind prediction is worth a lot. Like most of you we need to schedule our kiting to make it fit in our busy agenda’s. So it is important to know the pro’s and cons of the (free) apps and websites with wind forecasts. To our surprise they can be so good they match that of the paid pro account. But some sites just give you a fraction of the possibilities. Often to seduce you to get a paid account. Our advice? Ditch some of the many wind prediction apps and sites and just take one. The right one.

Tabel of wind prediction
Tabel of wind prediction

Best free wind predictions

Lets make a difficult subject a lot easier. So yes, it is quite difficult to understand how a wind forecast is created. But it is easy to comprehend that a website that limits the amount of models and the update frequency is less attractive over one that offers more models and doesn’t limit its updates. That is why we made a survey on 4 different kitespots over the world and compared 7 different websites or apps.

The differences between the websites are stunning. Some just provide one model which is updated only twice a day. While others (Windguru for example) provide up to 14 models for one location which are updated up to 8 times a day. For free.

Basic knowledge; km’s, update frequency and origin of model

It doesn’t take long until you realise that models with a high resolutions (recognizable by the number before “km”) are generally more accurate. 5 Km or less is a very good sign. If such a prediction has a high update frequency it becomes even better. By the way this update frequency can be influenced by both the website and the model.

Another added value is related to the location of the meteorological institute. Those local fabricated models (for western Europe for example the German made ICON, Dutch Harmonie and French Arome) tend to be better compared to models which are made on the other side of the world (in this case for example the Australian Zephr).

What is wrong with windy.app and Wisuki?

Simple; the better models are only available at the paid account. These applications are only useful if you try to figure out if you can kite next week. But they are far less accurate for roughly the next 48hrs compared to a lot of other models.

Windy is not Windy

Windy.com is not the same as Windy.app. And the Windy.app desktop version has less over the app. Still the app version is just showing a very limited amount of prediction models. Windy.com is compared to Predictwind and Windguru.

left: Windy.app (2 free models). Right: Windy.com (6 free models)
left: Windy.app (2 free models). Right: Windy.com (6 free models)

Windguru pro; worth the money?

Our biggest surprise; the free version of Windguru is just as accurate as the pro version. It provides the same amount of models and are updated simultaneously with the pro version. The only relevant difference is that the free version offers this only for all major (and less major) kite spots. Just a few adds to swallow and you can plan you agenda perfectly and spent the money on kite gear (although just a leash or a knife).

Windguru all models available for free
Windguru all models available for free

So let’s give some space for the man behind Windguru -who gives us so much for free- to seduce us into a paid Windguru Pro account…

`There are differences 😉 described here: https://www.windguru.cz/pro.php PRO users have full access to everything, free users have limited access to the “PRO models” (they don’t see their forecast maps, archives, no custom spot forecasts, no alerts based on these models etc…) PRO users can click anywhere in the map to show forecast from all models available for this place, free users can’t, and last but not least PRO users have an ad free site. I try to offer enough even for free users, and that content is paid indirectly by ads, but if you use the site frequently then I think the little fee (2.9 eur per month or even less if you pay full year 😉 is worth the additional features and higher comfort without the rather annoying ads…

Vaclav Hornik

 

14 COMMENTS

  1. Which Windy? .com or .app? Both provide less compared to predictwind and Windguru.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  2. Hi Andrew,
    All comments undergo a moderation purely due to the amount of the spam.
    All 3 of your comments are placed. Or dit you send more?
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  3. Hi Andrew,
    Current wind measurements are also a bit better on Windguru over Windfinder (although this can be really important on the day itself, the article is focused on predictions). Windguru measurements are updated in seconds, windfinder in hours
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  4. Hi Andrew,
    Windfinder is our 5th favorite and listed as such in the table.
    Why 5th? Yes it is easy to read but doesnt have only one or 2 models. Which means the chance you miss the most accurate predictions.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  5. And another thing. Forecasting is nice, but is (by design) inaccurate. And it’s worth nothing if reality does something else than what its supposed to do.

    Hence, actual current weather data not only helbs you to figure out accuracy, but also enables you to see when the wind has come, when it has shifted and what is really going on. Windfinder has these for some stations easily available. I haven’t seen that on windguru or alike.

    For me the forecast is nothing without the current conditions right next to it.

    Windguru also lacks a decent app. With poor cell coverage around the coast it simply isn’t what it could be.

    But to each their own. I just feel important aspects have been neglected.:-)

  6. Great read, however, you are missing out on windfinder. The logo is up there the tag below as well, it just isn’t mentioned in your article. lol

    Which is sad because it is my number 1 goto for reliable, easy to read and up to date forecasts. Usability is probably what puts it first for me.

  7. Hi Arthur,
    It is a way to manually correct a model. Not all free versions of the websites allow you to look at those maps (for example I think what is shown in the video is a paid account since they speak of a 2km model)).
    If we do look at for instance Arome1.3km on several moments there is no reason to take a 12km of shore forecast as those to the beach are correct anyway (ad more or less the same). So the real question for this video is; isn’t there a model for this region which can just give you the right data for the place you want to kite?
    Dave
    We Test Kites

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