User manual

This single web page contains the resources for a web-based gliding briefing

for flights in the PACA (SE) region of France.
 Some images are also links to the source site for more detail or if the images has not loaded.








Situation générale et évolution    

Overview of the day

This title introduces the two images which follow but is itself also a link to
the  Meteo France AROME model
can help provide an introduction to a commentary.

The Meteosat infra-red animation shows high cloud nicely as denser white areas, and also shows the general flow pattern which allows a good estimate of how the day will progress.

Animation infrarouge Météosat


Fronts et isobares 

The chart of fronts and isobars shows the situation. Clicking this image links to various UK Met Office charts, courtesy of Top Meteo.

Animation visible Météosat,

The Meteosat "Visible" animation, available after sunrise, shows up any low cloud and also any fog banks - provided there is no upper layer.


Radars précipitations et foudre :
Composite rain radar and lightning strike animation.
There can be false spots shown due to interference particularly during anticyclonic conditions, so compare this chart with the satellite images.

Meteo France ARAMIS radars into a new window.


Le ciel de VINON :

Current image of the sky over Vinon.
Click on the picture for a choice of webcams selected by "


Résumé WRF Météociel nébulosité Blanc bleu précipitations QNH ____;-)

WRF Meteociel model, check that the date and time values are valid.

Here the "QNH" is a link to a spreadsheet in which you can the altitude in metres
for the various relevant Flight Levels, by inserting the forecast QNH on orange cell A6  in the worksheet which appears. On this spreadsheet there is also a graphic
showing FL limit of airspace for the whole area.
The graphic is of course not an official map.

Résumé WRF is a cloud and weather summary forecast, the legend is: 

Black = blue sky, grey and white = clouds,

blue patches = rain or drizzle

but blue spots = Towering cumulus with perhaps just a few showers.  

Green and orange = rain,  red blobs  indicate the presence of cumulonimbus with thunderstorms.

White hatching = snow

By clicking on any of the three Meteociel charts you will open a new window. In this window you can see the hourly forecast Meteociel chart changes
by just sliding the mouse over the button for each hour.
(No need to click these buttons...if you do, the map becomes
the whole of France and you'll need to navigate back ! )


Clouds AROME model

Vent à 10 m, confluences :

10m elevation, really a surface wind forecast WRF chartwind.

The zones of constant wind are in km/hr and the directions of the flow shown at ground level show any local confluences, and the converse also. The wind velocity increases parallel to the relief can show wave influence which may be confirmed by the following chart of medium level vertical wind speed.

(It can be difficult at first to relate these charts to real
landmarks and mountains, but the backgrounds are all the same and they
show Department boundaries.
For example 05 "Haute Alpes" includes Gap and Briançon
and some of the Ecrins.
Northern edge of the 05 area is the ridge south of the Maurienne valley.
Department 04 "Alpes de Haute Provence" which includes St Auban,
Digne etc, has a point at the North-Eastern corner which helps identify it
- this is the valley from St Paul sur Ubaye East to Maljasset
and the Col Longet.
The Northern boundary of the 04 administrative area runs West from here,
via the Col de Vars, westwards along the line of mountains
to the north of Barcelonnette to Serre Poncon and so on westwards.
Vinon is at the triple junction of 04 and 84 (Vaucluse) and 83 (the Var),
just by the 13 (Bouches du Rhone) round outline.
With a little knowledge of the 04, 83, 05 and 84 Department boundaries,
the WRF charts can be related to mountains etc.)

Vitesses verticales à 3000 m (700 hPa) Vertical speeds at 10,000 feet
(the third WRF chart)

The vertical velocities here are in hPa/hr, thus they are in the opposite sense to our climb rates. Wave is forecast if a pair of zones of
"Up" and "down" air is arranged perpendicular to the charted lines (isohypses)
or parallel to the relief. (verify this by referring to other times in the manner explained above.)
Organised wave is quite clearly shown as well as its evolution during the day by clicking through and then again mouse-over the time buttons.

Next is a link to Rasp France, this opens a new window. 
For a start, in the box top right of the map initially presented
you can enter any French ICAO airport code.
(Useful might be LFNF which is Vinon...LFMX= St Auban...etc)
Entering either of these location codes zooms the map to include
as far north as the Maurienne.
The map is about convection parameters while in the panel on the right
the wind/altitude profile for the day,
a sounding, and a weather bulletin are all available.
This is an FFVL project, supported by donations also.

Almost at the end of the brief now,
the link
Heure de la nuit aéronautique pour LFNF takes you to
the "Navigeo" site with data for Vinon initially.
Other airports can be entered.
The information includes the time of local night
which is always briefed in France because of the possibility of late returns
from long final glides and indeed on wave days.

On the Navigeo site if you click the "carte" tab, a local airspace map appears - this can be used for a brief on any relevant airspace issues.

The final link is "Animations au Choix",
which leads to the "meteomedia" web site,
initially at a wind animation page, there are other options.