Weather Resources

Weather Forecast

Start your day with a review of the following sites, learning what weather is flyable or not is an important part of your skills. Over time you'll find a few of these sites part of your favorites.

One of the keys to determine if today is a day for us to fly or not is understanding what the wind speeds and directions are doing at the LZ , at launch and above launch. High pressure days, with high speed upper winds often creates a lot of friction and turbulence.

National Weather Service 7-Day forecast

National Weather Service Hourly Forecast

Met Station MesoWest Viewer

| WindAlert See current live wind readings from public and private wind stations.

Windy: Wind map & weather forecast Free, forecasting with 4 different models, check to see if all 4 models predict the conditions you need to safely fly. Upgrade to the 1 hour model for a more complete picture.

XC Skies Soaring Forecasts A subscription after a free trial is required. A very comprehensive site.

Winds and Temperatures Aloft Billings MT ( This site will show predicted winds aloft. We check both Billings (east of Bozeman) and Dillon, (west of Bozeman). Always check uppers before flying and especially before XC flying. Click on 12 and 24 hour forecasts to see trend. For Bridger XC flying, 9,000ft and 12,000ft should be calm or single digits.

Local Station Data

Hogback WX Station

Bridger Bowl Weather

Wunderground our station located in the north end of the Bridgers.

Flight Outside of Conservative Weather Parameters.

What it is.

  • Flying a paraglider with cumulus congestus, cumulus nimbus, mammatus, or virga in the same valley system.

  • Flying mountainous terrain with winds more than 12mph at peak level, more than 9 mph at the level of any ridges or spines you may be flying near.

  • Flying a paraglider anywhere with surface wind at or above 15mph.

  • Risk in the mountains caused by winds is increased when the winds are cross; particularly so when cross from the north.

  • Flying a paraglider in mid-day temps above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Flying a paraglider during times of extremely high pressure, pressures above 30.4 inches of mercury. A barometer reading of 30 inches (Hg) is considered normal. Strong high pressure could register as high as 30.70 inches, whereas low pressure associated with a hurricane can dip below 27.30.

With regard to wind in the mountains:

    • Mechanical turbulence and rotor downwind of obstacles start with winds at about 9 miles per hour. At 12 miles per hour that turbulence has the strength to collapse a paraglider. At 15 miles per hour, the collapses become difficult to block. At 18 miles per hour, even the very best among us will lose their wing.

    • Cross winds cause the strongest turbulence. The closer to 90-degree angle across slope, the greater the turbulence.

    • Cross winds create turbulence above the sunny aspects that most thermals rise through. As a result, thermals gain turbulence which they can carry over 1000 ft above the ground.

    • High pressure creates smaller, stronger, higher thermals that can collapse a paraglider.

    • Pilots new to mountain flying and all intermediate pilots should look for flying days with the following winds aloft maximums:

      • 12mph at 12,000 ft.

      • 10mph at 10,000 ft.

      • 08mph at 8,000 ft.

      • Surface winds below 9mph

What it is not.

Flying a paraglider in calm air from a gently sloped launch to a large obstruction-free LZ is the most risk-free form of paraglider flight.

How to avoid it.

Begin your day early studying weather forecasts. Learn to read them and what they mean. Watch the wind, clouds and birds as you travel to and set up on launch. As you fly continually assess the wind strength and cloud development. Know that the cloud above you is likely similar to the other clouds you see, particularly with regard to height.

How to reduce consequences of bad weather.

Know how to get down quickly. If you see a weather risk you do not wish to accept, fly away from terrain & land. Find the greenest most obstruction-free landing area you can and land as far away from even the smallest obstacles as possible. Don't launch if you have doubts about wind strength, direction, strength of thermals or possibility of overdevelopment.

(Thanks to UHGPA for this weather parameter guide)