Best Weather Apps For Drone Pilots

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Modern camera drones like the DJI P4 Phantom 4 or the DJI Mavic Pro are astonishingly well stabilized via the autopilot and can be flown well even in light wind conditions. However, the emphasis is on “light.” Sudden gusts of wind can lead to significant compensatory movements of the drone, which is especially unpleasant while recording videos.

Fortunately, some tools can be used to check whether flying and filming is possible before leaving the house. There are countless apps for weather information. As a drone pilot, you would like to get some specific parameter besides the general weather situation. For example, you might need to look-up wind conditions for a particular altitude, since conditions in different air layers can vary greatly.

One app supporting this feature is UAV Forecast, which can be used to check wind strength and direction, cloudiness and visibility at the desired altitude. Another interesting value for drone pilots is the KP value for disturbances in the earth’s magnetic field. A high KP value can warn you about a negative impact on your drone’s GPS reception. The UAV forecast app offers a wealth of weather information and is very useful for flight planning. The free access shows the data for the next 24 hours, if you want to plan further ahead, you can open an account for about 2 dollars per month.

If you don’t want to spend money on weather information, you will also find the most important weather information in the free App Hover. This App is based on Yahoo Weather data and is also including no-flight zones information from AirMap. The design is user-friendly and easy to use.

DJI recommends flying a Mavic Pro only up to conditions with a maximum wind speed of approx. 24 mph (about 38 km/h). For good filming, however, it should be as little as possible – as a rule of thumb, wind should be below 10 mph.

A simple conversion of the frequently used units to wind speeds like m/s, km/h, Beaufort, etc. can be found here.

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