Good winds map

Found a good NOAA upper winds map for the USA. Has a slider to pick different altitudes. Good for flight planning. Symbol descriptions below map.

Unfortunately that’s only for the US. I use this map and it covers the whole world. In the upper right corner you can change the altitude.

I use the “Windy” app


There are several sources for wind data available.

The real issue is whether or not MSFS actually matches those real world reported conditions. More often than not, it won’t. And that makes external data pointless if it doesn’t match the conditions you’re flying in while in the sim.

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I flew from Austin Exec to Phoenix yesterday and the winds in the sim were very close to those on the map I suggested. At 30k in a TBM there were 85 mph head winds so I dropped to 25 k and less wind but more turbulence. I also noted that the arrow in wind option 3 of the Garmin 3000 PFD does not point in the direction the wind is moving. You have to go by the indicated compass heading, not the arrow.

It’s like the rest of the live weather engine in MSFS. Sometimes it’s reasonably accurate to real world conditions (which I consider good enough). But typically, it depends on where you’re flying and what time of day because the forecast you’re getting could be 3-12+ hours old. A lot can change in the weather forecast in a 12 hour period.

I think this map is close to what data is used in the sim. Notice the “NEMSGLOBAL Global” in the bottom right?

Though it’s been about a year, I recall learning from some source that this NEMSGLOBAL - Global is the forecast model that produces the data Microsoft buys or licenses for use in the sim. I believe that includes both the wind (above ground level or in places which are not close enough to an airport to use METAR data) and the clouds and precipitation. I believe that may be changing soon but I’m not sure. They discussed coming changes in the near and long terms in the last Developer Q&A, which you can find on YouTube.


I like Meteoblue for higher than surface winds, but I also like Zoom Earth ( for just surface level information as well as low level, constantly updated satellite imagery…

World Map in game has an option to show wind force and direction, and it is the one that the game uses.

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On the world map and kind find a setting to show winds. It would be helpful since those are the winds in the sim.


But does this wind forecast match the sim? I’ve haven’t found that to be the case…

I use the windy app a lot on my phone before flying to see the wind direction and figure out how fast the wind is along with the noaa weather radar and my lightning tracker apps before flying a route

I can’t find winds on the world map. How do you find them?


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