Many backcountry users are familiar with the website mountain-forecast.com, which is pretty impressive. (Pro tip for mountain-forecast.com that took me a long tome to find: Click the “F” or “C” degrees” button in the top left of the screen to change to between metric and ‘Merican units,)
However, I recently found one I like for a few other reasons - windy.com.
Windy.com is a mesmerizing way to look at worldwide weather patterns. But, if you can make it past looking at Pacific Ocean wind patterns and dreaming of your next round-the-world sailboat trip, or checking out the typhoon in Sri Lanka, it's pretty darn good for local forecasts also.
What’s cool about windy.com?
It has a mobile app. (Mountain-forecast does not, or at least not one I can find)
No advertising. (Mountain-forecast has ads.)
Local webcams, for an immediate look at road conditions. (Mountain-forecast does not.)
Here’s how to get a local forecast with Windy.com. (It works pretty much the same on your phone.)
Zoom into your general area of interest. Today, we’re after a forecast of Mt. Hood Oregon. Your screen should look something like this.
Next, click the “Settings” icon in the top left corner. (Looks like three horizontal lines, aka the “hamburger” icon. On a phone tap the hamburger icon in the bottom right and scroll down. )
Toggle the settings to your preferred measurement flavor, metric or ‘Merican. Here, everything is set to ‘Merican units.
Next, zoom in a bit more with either the scroll wheel on your mouse or the “plus” button in the top right corner. The map should change to something a lot more legible. Pan the map until the area where you want the forecast is visible.
Now right click (or long touch your phone screen) and choose “Forecast for this location”. On the bottom of the screen, you should get a nice multi day forecast for the exact spot you clicked. Be sure the “Basic” forecast button in the lower left of the screen is selected. Check out the other options on the bottom row if you want to get fancy.
One more helpful feature - “Click for webcams”. Click this and it will show the available web cams that are on the map, that can be pretty darn handy!