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The best wind apps all RVers should know about

We need the best wind apps when wrestling the wind so we know what reservations to cancel. I never thought that after hours and hours of making detailed travel plans and campground reservations, I would be canceling them. There is a point when it is just not safe to keep traveling and bucking the wind in an RV.

Landlocked

We are traveling by the wind. 40 mph to 70mph gusts are leaving us landlocked at the nearest campground. The last 60 mph gust rocked everything in the motorhome. Even more concerning is that when we were checking in, they gave us the code to the tornado shelter. The slide topper has ripped, all slides are in, and we can only squeeze through by taking a deep breath and holding in our not-so-skinny body parts. Looking out the window, we can’t see much farther than a couple of blocks. The sky is brown with dust.

It is bad when every TV and weather channel’s biggest story is the wind and the wildfires it fans. And it certainly doesn’t help when they add photos of semitrucks being blown over on I-40!

Canceling

So far we have canceled reservations at three hard-to-get state parks and one private campground. We don’t know how many more we will need to move or cancel. There is no telling where the next stop will be. Not only are we losing time, but we are also losing money.

Cancel, cancel, cancel even when there is no refund. Campgrounds are too crowded to deny someone else the spot. Even when it is a hassle with no return, a little voice keeps going, “Do the right thing.” I was surprised that ReserveAmerica gave us a nominal refund when I hadn’t expected any. We canceled the day before.

These are the best wind apps to wrestle the wind

Now that we are caught in the spring rampage of wind, there are a couple of apps that we access at least several times a day when it is extremely windy to plan our next moves.

Windy.com, Windfinder, Windy.app and WindAlert are our favorites and I use them often.

  • Windy.com is my first go-to. It is available online or as an app. I find it is the quickest and easiest of the apps to find my current location and the ones we are (hopefully) traveling to. It shows hour by hour, day by day, projected prevailing winds and gusts.
  • Windy.app also provides hourly projections and up to 10 days of predictions. I have found, like windy.com, that the predictions are fairly accurate.
  • Windfinder provides current wind conditions based on airport and weather station reports.
  • WindAlert also provides the current conditions. I will often use that when a gust of wind hits us and my husband asks, “What is the wind?”

I like that they are all available as an app on my phone or tablet, making deciding the next stop easier. Well, when there is a next stop…

The wind is letting up for a day and then there are more red flag warnings. And we aren’t even out of Texas or to Oklahoma yet!

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##RVT1050

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Michael Galvin, PhD
12 days ago

My Radar has a good wind map.

Steve
14 days ago

I have Dark Sky on my phone and use it for weather if we don’t have WiFi. When we do have it, I use NOAA Weather Free, Storm Tracker, and Weather.com on my tablet. Just wish Storm Tracker had more detailed surface maps, so I could more easily locate places on the ground. The only reason I keep it is that NOAA Weather Free maps don’t work on my tablet anymore because it’s Amazon Android, not Google Android. And NOAA Weather now uses Google Maps.

If weather radar wasn’t so useful, I would just delete Storm Tracker. But, years ago in Kentucky, we were watching weather radar on TV when the “hook echo” of a tornado cloud passed directly over our RV park. Ten minutes later, the funnel touched down about 3 miles northeast of us. I haven’t been without a weather radar of some kind since that terrifying experience!

L Beal
15 days ago
Dminutilli
17 days ago

We use windy.com and Storm Radar. We left Fort Collins CO Monday instead of the previous Thursday due to wind. We are now in eastern Ohio heading to northern NY. We have been bucking an east wind all week. It’s been really windy in March and April, it has really affected our travel plans. But we don’t reserve in advance so we can be flexible.

DPHooper
17 days ago

Another we just started using as it is mapped to your route when driving is Drive Weather.
When on site my go to is Dark Sky weather as it moves with you by location services and has many detailed weather data including wind speed and gusts by the hour.

Marie Beschen
17 days ago

We’ve been RV’ing for over 10 years and this is the first I’ve heard of these! Wow, great info, thanks for sharing. There have been a number of times we could have used this info!! Got it now!!

George
17 days ago

I use the Windy app on my phone. I fly RC Gliders and it allows me to follow changing wind patterns over several days.

This year in Arizona and New Mexico the winds were stronger than we’ve encountered in past years. The Windy app allowed me to see wind direction, and speed, and make educated decisions to move or stay put.

Steven M Jenkins
17 days ago

When we began motorhoming a few years ago, whenever we inquired about driving in strong winds, nearly everyone we talked to gave us a strange look and a shrug. They all said they just push on through. One guy said he used to be a trucker and was used to it. We were made to feel inferior due to our dread of strong side winds. I am glad to see that the truth is coming out.

MarkW
17 days ago

We spent a week in the southwest this March with our trailer and had to change plans due to high winds a couple of times. But as we are primarily boon-dockers, this was not a big deal. It is unfortunate, though, that more and more campgrounds are switching from FCFS to reservation.gov — yuck! Thank god for boondocking.

Warren G
17 days ago

Great information! I’ve bookmarked Windy.com already.

Pat Larson
17 days ago

Drive Weather works wonderfully for wind, precipitation and temperature over your whole intended driving route and it will also show how it changes over the next few days. Very useful.

Diane Mc
17 days ago
Reply to  Pat Larson

Drive Weather is my favorite. Gives you 7 days of information. Will show different routes. Everything from the wind to temps, type of weather; rain, snow, thunderstorms, fog, hail, freezing fog/rain, smoke, haze, dust/sand, funnel cloud as well as blue skies, overcast and in between. And depending on which of these will tell you definite, likely, chance, light, moderate, heavy. Some of this is free, some is under the $9.99/yr subscription. Well worth 10 bucks. Has helped us many times.

LeslieP
17 days ago

Thanks for the app information! Our truck camper is not the best rig for wind either. We’ve had to leave much anticipated areas due to high winds. I’m definitely getting those apps. We also use storm tracker but it only shows the area you are in. Safe travels the rest of the way!

Steve
17 days ago

Years ago, I had a consulting project in Gallup, NM, at exactly this time of the year. On my way south, we were forced to detour through the streets of Las Vegas, NM, due to an overturned semi blocking southbound Interstate 25. When I finally reached Gallup, every motel was packed with westbound truck drivers and car travellers because I-40 was closed at the AZ border due to dangerously high winds.

Now in 2022, an out-of -control wildfire is burning homes in rural parts of NM between that same Las Vegas and Santa Fe. So, high spring winds along I-40 are nothing new, but the number of wildfires being spread by that wind is recent. And it can be traced to the unprecedented drought that we have been experiencing in the Southwest for 15-20 years. Reports from NM indicate that some standing timber is drier than kiln-dry wood. That’s a major reason to be very concerned about climate change!

Tony Barthel(@tony)
18 days ago

We’ve had to stay an extra day in places due to wind and are really glad that we did. Particularly in the SouthWest near Palm Springs where there are a ton of wind towers – I bet they know a thing or two about windy conditions with all those towers there.

In fact there’s even a sign at the KOA that we like (they have three mineral springs-fed hot tubs!) that reads, “yes, it is always windy here.”

Lee Ensminger
18 days ago

You should look at PredictWind as well.