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Weather Along Route Tool - Beta Feedback

Eric.Rush (Project Lead) 3 years ago updated 3 years ago 33

Please use this topic to report any issues, suggestions or general feedback on the new Weather Along Route tool in the flight planner. We have launched this new overlay/tool as a beta and are looking for user feedback so we can improve it if needed before finalizing the interface design.

There is a video tutorial HERE for details on how the tool works.

In v2.5, "weather along route" icons initially didn't update as I expected. On my very first use of the planner I planned a route from KLHV (Pennsylvania) to KTEW (mid Michigan) using the default corridor width (expecting no problems I didn't take note of the width, probably 25 miles?) . I saw no predicted weather icons beyond (west of) my destination in spite of nearby (& well within the corridor) KLAN being a reporting station. I had hoped to see some more distal weather reporting points to get an idea of what might be heading towards my destination from the other (west) side. I increased the corridor width so it included the larger cities along Lake Michigan. I'm not sure if I hit "apply". Still no additional reporting points appeared. Then I added KLAN as my destination, whereupon numerous reporting points appeared all around KLAN and KTEW including KLAN's weather icon, and out to the far edges of the expanded corridor beyond my destination(s) as I originally expected. Changing the destination back to the original KTEW and shrinking the corridor width did make the more distant weather icons disappear (but this time KLAN's icon remained), and upon again expanding the corridor all weather icons reappeared as I originally expected they should. In my effort to duplicate this behavior I set the corridor width back to 25 miles, clicked "apply", logged off the planner, shut down my browser (Chrome), then re-logged in, whereupon the originally missing KLAN weather reporting point did display without any intervention on my part, as did the other reporting points out to the far edges of the corridor as I expanded it again. So it happened, but I can't duplicate it. Go figure. For a beta effort, I think you all did a pretty elegant job.

Under review

Thank you for the feedback. We really appreciate the level of detail you provided above. Can you tell us about what time of day (eastern time zone I assume?) that you first noticed the issue detailed above? We can check the logs and see if that will shed any light on what the underlying cause might have been.

Thanks in advance.


I just tried it for a flight from PTK to RST for 7/23/16 at 7:30 AM EDT departure. Everything is reporting VFR, however the course line is magneta, indicating low ifr. A screen shot is attached. I thought the course line was color coded to the flight conditions.

The magenta color of the course line is just the normal color of the route line and does not reflect the weather conditions. I see how this could be confusing though since we are using similar colors to represent different things.


The weather conditions are represented only by the circular icons. So in your screenshot, you have VFR (green) and MVFR (blue) conditions for the visible reporting stations. If there were IFR or Low IFR conditions, then one or more of the circles would be colored magenta. See the screenshot below which shows all the possible colors:



true - except in your training video you specifically identify that the course line will change color defending on the weather conditions - and it shows three or four different segments. Not a problem as long as we know what to look for. Suggest you change either the video training or the application

I watched the video again and I see where the confusion could be. We'll re-word the final video to better clarify the feature. Thanks for pointing this out.

For an IFR flight from KBDN to KDEN, 12000 ft and low airways, I got an error message "An error occurred loading weather data." Worked great for other flights (KBDN to KAPC) (KBDN to KPRB) Thanks

I see that Weather Along Route is still in Beta, so I don't know if this is a Bug or just not implemented yet...


A) Unable to Save the WAR to my overlays. Pop up says it is saved, but is not actually saved.

B) No ways to minimize or close the WAR settings box. I'd suggest if a users does not have it saved to their overlay, then when you X the box it is minimized for that flight to an icon in the upper task bar. It will then turn off when Flight Planner is closed. If you have it Saved as an overlay, it will launch in the background and the settings will be minimized to an icon in the upper task bar. As soon as a route is loaded it will automatically get the information for that route.


If the above is supposed to be happening, then I guess there's a bug or I had a glitch when trying this morning.


Thx

Thank you for this information. Some of the new tools we have introduced to the flight planner are blurring the lines a little between an overlay and a tool. This is why we decided to put the Airports/Fuel Along Route and Weather Along Route toggle buttons in the right side toolbar. While they are also included in the Overlays menu, we will likely be removing both of those tools from the Overlays menu and just keeping them in the right side toolbar with the other tools since they are more of a tool than an overlay. They will also be available from the Tools menu and we have plans to include more options there as well.


One of our other enhancements for a future version is to better define tools and overlays and redesign the right side tool bar to make it more useful.


The Weather Along Route tool can be turned on and off by using the icon on the right toolbar. Since this tool turns off all other weather overlays, it will be set to off by default.

The weather along route has errored out for the last 30 minutes. I tried different browsers and different routes. Too many users (OSH)?

Thank you for reporting the outage. We'll look into is as soon as possible. Sometimes this is a disruption in service from our weather provider and it may recover by itself. We will investigate on our side though to be sure.

I've been trying the WAR since 4am EDT without success. It was working last night.

Thank you for the information. We are looking into the issue. We also noticed that Airports and Fuel Along Route is also offline. We will investigate as soon as possible.

The Weather Along Route and Airports/Fuel Along Route tools should be working again.

Apologies for the inconvenience.

Eric and team, Great job! I can't wait to use this. I have looked at the user's video you provided. Wow. I am so glad to be a member of AOPA where we get the latest.

Robert

Add the MOS data on ceilings and Cloud Tops? And,

MOS forecasts to each airport along the route that doesn't have a TAF?

Just checked this out on a flight plan and gotta say Nice Job AOPA! with this weather tool. Of course there may be some glitches at the start but it is a really useful tool and intuitively executed.

Very nice - as a recently re-qualified rusty pilot, I plan to use this tool on all cross-country's to help boost my go/no go decision making ability!

Excellent!! And welcome back to the skies!!

I like to tool, however a few comments. One, the corridor width and departure being displayed on a graduated scale underneath the slider would be very useful. The suspension of the radar and other overlay data should not happen. Those overlays combined with the route tool will provide a much better situational awareness summary.

Thanks for the information.... good ideas.


As for the radar being disabled when the wx along route tool is on, we are hesitant to do that just yet since we only have current radar images. Since the wx along route tool allows you to look at a future departure time, there could be confusion when looking at one piece of information that is a current condition along with another that is a future condition. To make this work the right way, we'll need to have the "forecast" precipitation returns and align that with the forecast periods.


We have lots of ideas of ways to enhance this tool so stay tuned!

+1

I am a new private pilot. I am just learning to navigate the AOPA weather page (I've been using CSRA DUATS). I did not look at the tutorial before I began exploring the page. I found it very intuitive. I dropped down the "Tools" menu, clicked on WAR, and I was impressed that I could see the corridor and flight rules condition instantly. Love the fuel price overlay as well. I will definitely always click on the WAR tool just to confirm at a glance what my research has already told me about the weather along my flight path. Thumbs up!

Concerning the "Information" boxes that pop up when you scroll over specific areas along the course line: Some of these boxes you allow us to click or move the mouse to get rid of them but others you time-out automatically and they disappear before I have a chance to absorb there content. Sometimes I like to re-read them to make sure I understand what they are telling me and sometimes I just get distracted and all of a sudden, puff, it's gone. So, could you please allow these boxes to remain visible until we either click or move the mouse at our leisure to get rid of them. Your program is not the only one that does this. I wish all programs would allow the user to make the decision of when to quit a pop-up "Information" box. Thanks for a very useful program.

Hi,

Could you give me an example of one of the pop-up boxes that you are referring to? I checked most all that I am aware of on the route line and all of them seemed to remain open until I moved the mouse. There are a few tool-tip boxes that self-hide themselves after a few seconds but these usually only contain a few words. Sometimes the length of time that they remain open is not controllable since that is set by the underlying code base. This is why you see this same behavior on other sites as well. If you can point me to one where I can see what you are referencing, then we'll see if there is anything that we can do about it.

Thanks.

Great addition to the flight planner! Looking forward to future enhancements.

Using the feature for the first time after being introduced to it at Oshkosh. Flight is from MHR to KWYS with stop at KJER, I found the tool be easy to use and interpret, very useful for long cross country flights. The sliding bar to adjust departure time and thus arrival at a particular fix is super handy. Great job!

Great addition to a great tool. I would suggest inverting the green colors for light rain. As in the other weather conditions, light conditions are noted as light colors (and most people naturally relate to that). So, lt rain would be more easily interpreted as lt green and heavier rain would be darker green. Thanks for this fantastic resource.

suggest ability to toggle passing time off as it obscures many of the weather icons. though I did solve the problem by using the zoom tool. Thanks for a good tool.

We'll look into this for the production release of the tool. Shouldn't be that hard to turn them on/off.Thanks

I am having trouble getting the sliding time bar and the route times both on EST (even both on Zulu would be fine, as long as they are synched to the same time reference

Right now, the time labels along the route line are fixed in Zulu time so there is no way to change them. This is something we are working on for the production release of the tool. You will be able to set the time labels in either Zulu or Local for all time reporting areas of the tool. In addition, we are trying to see if we can also provide the ability to set the route time labels to show "time from departure". So based on your departure time, you could set it to show +1 HR, +1.5 HR, +2 HR and so on rather than the actual time in Local or Zulu. So there will be multiple options to see the time along the route.

When changing the departure time of a future date (in the upper left box) the cruising altitude reverts back to an initial lower altitude and a box appears saying that I must pick a higher altitiude for my route. When I do that, and change the time it reverts back again. Also the slider box departure time always is for today even though I picked a future date.