February 5 2021 update
The developers of the new Turbulence Forecast website have released the beta to me, and we are working through some minor issues. I would expect the site to go live in just a couple of weeks. I've been posting pictures of the new maps coming your way on our Instagram, so please have a look!
With the new site comes "Futuremaps", very similar to the color coded maps we used to have on the site. They will provide an easy to read visual of conditions in the air for up to 36 hours in the future. Version 1 of these will have just clear air turbulence. Coming later in version 2 of these maps will be a configurable layer of weather, so you'll have an instant understanding of the type of ride you can expect, and worldwide coverage. In the interest of full disclosure, these new maps will require a subscription to access, and we will always show a 24 hour old map before subscribing so you can see what it looks like. This subscription map is the business model of the website, allowing me to hire developers to rewrite it from scratch and provide new products for you to enjoy. The site and everything that is currently free remains free, and largely ad free.
This website revision is not a redesign, so it will look largely the same but be more robust. I am also happy to say it still loads very quickly, just like the current version.
The iOS app is still in a good place and I will likely wait until iOS 15 before doing an upgrade. I apologize to my Android users, but at this time I am shelving plans for an Android app indefinitely, based on the 15% share of traffic vs 85% iOS. This may change depending on how many subscribers sign up for future maps. In general with this rewrite we can update the site more often and bring new features faster.
I am hoping to release the new backend by the end of the month. All site supporters that support the site via Chargebee will be moved to our own backend. Site supporters that are on our current backend will be updated to our new own backend. Those of you who support the site via PayPal will have their subscriptions cancelled, and I will work with you to get you signed up again, there's no way to migrate these automatically.
After the new site is released, these are the features that I am considering, and I'd love to hear from you what you think of these ideas.
- Update the appearance of Futuremaps
- Incorporate weather data into Futuremaps so you can have a single view of both clear air turbulence and weather.
- Automated Turbulence Forecasts. Rather than paying for a forecast by email and waiting for me to write it, you can pay a small fee and get a custom graphical turbulence forecast for your actual route. Ideally I'd like to reduce having to write manual forecasts, I've written over 10,000 of them! With the current forecasts by email at $39 to $59, automated forecasts will be substantially cheaper and faster, you'll have them within a minute or two of purchase, and you won't have to wait for me to write it. I will still be available for those of you who want the human touch, but pre pandemic it was getting to the point where I couldn't write anymore since it was just me.
- And perahps the most ambitious goal is getting IATA turbulence data and displaying it here.
Stay tuned, with the pandemic hopefully turning the corner soon, you'll have an all new Turbulence Forecast to use, and I am delighted to bring it to you. Started in 2005, the site is now 16 years old, and I'm looking forward to the next 16 and beyond.
Follow on Instagram - and see previews of new features.