August 2018 SporkNews

If you are new to WeatherSpork, welcome to the family!  This e-Newsletter will be emailed out at the beginning of each month to keep you updated on the new features and content provided by WeatherSpork.  We hope the app has made your preflight weather analysis much easier and has saved you time to find that perfect time that minimizes your exposure to adverse weather.

The month of August meant recovering from our trip to AirVenture.  We hope you enjoyed our YouTube video seriesGetting to AirVenture that we plan to repeat for AirVenture 2019 as well as for Sun ‘N Fun 2019.  We met a few dozen Sporkies at the event and received lots of great suggestions.

What’s new with Spork?

With version 4.4.2, we implemented a feature to help decode those imagery date-time stamps.  Likely one of the most requested features since we launched the program in March.  Read more about this below. Also in August, we tested our fail over capability.  As you may have heard, the NWS experienced a major data outage to their online services.  This affected the Aviation Weather Center and Weather Prediction Center both of which provide a significant number of weather reports and forecasts used in WeatherSpork.  We experienced a couple of days of data interruption that mainly affected the Imagery view, but WeatherSpork was able to successfully recover and draw from it’s backup sources.  This major outage was very unusual and an event of this magnitude won’t likely happen for a very long time.  Nevertheless, it was good to see that WeatherSpork fared much better than many of the EFBs.  Lastly, in late September or early October we hope to release our very first version of the WeatherSpork Pilots Guide.  This should answer most of your questions about the app.

Help us to reach our goal of 1000 subscribers on YouTube!

WeatherSpork is not only committed to being your best online source for aviation weather, but we also want to teach you how to minimize your exposure to adverse weather.  We will be releasing dozens of new training videos in the coming months and we want to be sure you don’t miss a single one.  The best way to stay informed is to take a minute and visit our WeatherSpork YouTube channel at and subscribe.  And don’t forget to pass this along to all of your pilot buddies so they can see WeatherSpork in action.

Register for our nationwide webinar

On the evening of September 6th, Gold Seal is hosting a live webinar entitled, Weather Wisdom- Real Tools For Safe Flight!  Join Scott Dennstaedt (WeatherSpork), David St. George (S.A.F.E) and Russell Still (Gold Seal) as they have a candid discussion about weather and the knowledge and tools that may save your life.  The program will last about an hour and is scheduled to start at 8 pm EDT.  Click here to register on the FAASTeam website.  Once complete, you will qualify to receive one credit for Basic Knowledge Topic 3 in the FAA Wings program.  We hope you can take a moment out of your busy day to listen in.

New YouTube videos 

In order to continue your education we created three new videos in August.  The first is a short video of a convective outflow boundary from thunderstorms that erupted in the Fort Worth, Texas area.  The second video discusses some tips on how to use the Skew-T diagram within WeatherSpork.  Lastly, the third video describes a preflight planning analysis using WeatherSpork for a proposed flight from Bismarck, North Dakota to Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Speaking schedule for 2018

Scott will hold two more live workshops and will be speaking at the AOPA fly-in events and the annual Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) Migration.  If you are planning to attend any of the fly-in events, please stop by and say hello!  Here are the remaining events.

  • Weather Essentials for Pilots in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, September 8-9 (registration fee required)
  • AOPA fly-in, Santa Fe, New Mexico, September 15 (9 am)
  • Weather Essentials for Pilots in Houston, Texas, September 22-23 (registration fee required)
  • AOPA fly-in, Carbondale, Illinois, October 6 (time TBD)
  • COPA Migration, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 13 (1 pm)
  • AOPA fly-in, Gulf Shores, Alabama, October 27 (time TBD)

New labels for weather imagery

Decoding all of those date-time stamps in the Imagery view can be a serious challenge to even the most weather-savvy pilot.  So we took the challenge to decode these for you and added a label in the footer bar of the app.  And even better, if you are UTC-challenged, the labels will be in local time assuming you have your Timezone preferences set accordingly in WeatherSpork.  Although most of the Imagery view is decoded, there are a few sets of images where you will need to look at the chart itself.  This includes the CONUS Radar and Visible and IR Satellite imagery.   Click here to learn more about this new feature.

Stale imagery

Speaking of imagery, as with any automated system, there’s always a risk of stale or outdated imagery.  Some of the weather forecasts you find in WeatherSpork are non-operational or experimental.  This doesn’t mean they are invaluable, just that they are not monitored by NOAA and may get bumped off of the host computer at times.  What products are operational vs experimental will be outlined in a future version of the WeatherSpork Pilots Guide.  In the end, if something doesn’t seem right, it’s always a good idea to double check any imagery you use against the actual date time stamps printed on the image.

Want WeatherSpork to be FREE?

It’s easy…give us a referral.  We’ve gotten several dozen new members through the WeatherSpork referral program we launched in May.  A big thanks to those who are spreading the word!  Essentially if you refer a new member and they register and pay for an annual membership, we will add an extra month to your current subscription.  Alternatively, you can donate your free month to the member you are referring…it’s your choice, so let us know.  Refer one new member each month and you’ll never have to pay for a WeatherSpork subscription.  We know the WeatherSpork app is a revolutionary new tool that will help pilots plan safe flights very efficiently with the patent pending Wheel Up Departure Advisor .  So spread the word and keep the Spork-speak going!

Scott Dennstaedt
Weather Systems Engineer

Scott Dennstaedt

View posts by Scott Dennstaedt
CFI and former NWS research meteorologist. Co-founder of WeatherSpork
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