Getting Weather Forecasts

Although can be helpful in certain cases, it provides too much information with a distracting level of detail that implies an ability to make accurate, finely-tuned predictions that is, frankly, unrealistic. Moreover, it does not help student pilots learn about METARS and TAFs (hourly surface weather observations / terminal area forecasts) that they will need to know how to interpret and use for their eventual FAA private pilot written examination.

There are two good Apps that are much better than usairnet: ForeFlight and FlyQ Insight. The former is subscription based, providing a wide variety of weather and navigation information for pilots. FlyQ Insight is free, and also provides more than aviation weather - but at no cost and no account is required. (I use both.) With FlyQ Insight, you simply go to Airports and enter the airport code under Search (or you can search by state). Van Sant (9N1) does not officially report weather; Doylestown (KDYL) is the closest reporting airport, and this is some of what you get on the opening page for KDYL at FlyQ Insight:

Then, click on Weather:

You will see the current METAR and the first TAF, as well as a radar depiction (select local, regional, or national):

If you select Trans[scribed] rather than Raw, the weather info will be presented in an easier-to-read manner (although you will need to be able to interpret the raw format as well):

Please bear in mind that Winds Aloft Forecasts are just that - forecasts - and are designed regionally rather than for all individual airports such as DYL. The actual winds aloft for the DYL area, including Van Sant, are likely to differ somewhat from what you will see in the forecast.

For that matter, the surface winds reported at DYL are often less than what we experience at Van Sant. One way to get a better overall picture of aviation weather at Van Sant is to check the weather not just at DYL, but also at Allentown (KABE) and Trenton (KTTN). If the METARs are generally the same, you can generally rely on the one for DYL. But if there are significant differences (in winds, cloud ceilings, visibility), you should be very alert for what may be changing weather or localized differences. You can also call Doylestown to get a recorded version of the current METAR: 215-345-0392. (For ABE: 610-264-1765; for TTN: 609-538-8690.)