Saturday, December 8, 2012

Weather 4D Pro 1.3.2 Updates

Application: iPad, iPhone 4S,5, iPod Touch 3,4,5 Requires 4.3 or higher
Function:Weather, Current Forecasts, Polars and Weather Routing
Cost: $27.99
Rating: ****

It snowed  yesterday for the first time this season.  We may have a White Christmas after all.  The weather has been unseasonably warm and dry up to this point.  You will notice from the picture above that our lake is not even frozen over completely yet.   Ice fisherman are normally out there by now wetting a line. They will have to wait for cooler weather.
Weather is a very important part of a boaters life.  Boats move with the seasons and the ebb and flow of the winds, currents and tides.  One app that gives you forecast weather data better than any other is Weather 4D Pro.  The author, Oliver Bouyssou, is constantly adding new features to make his app even more cutting edge and state of the art.  No other app puts together so much data and allows it to be viewed it in such an elegant way.

I reviewed the original Weather 4D app back in April 2011 and was blown away how cool it was.  Since then the app has gone "PRO" with new features to allow you to view currents, import polar data and create weather optimized routes.  Check out the list new features.

  • Compatibility iOS 6.
  • Isochronous routing  for sailing and motoring
  • Import of polar from csv file.
  • Management of polar combined with multiple sail sets
  • Mail request by Great Circle (Mail, XGate, AxcessPoint)
  • Management of a route from the current position
  • Compatibility with iPad mini and iPad 4th generation
  • Management of  Current GRIB parameter
  • Added units for currents
  • Compatibility with the "Export Routes" of iNavX
  • Ability to reverse a route.
  • Display of the estimate size of GRIB files.
  • Improved editing of grid.
  • Setting of the depth of historical (1d -> 30d or unlimited).
  • Predictions of satellite passes without a time limit related to the current GRIB file.
  • New weather models GCWF (Great Circle Weather Forecast)
  • Download GRIBs from Internet and Satellite connections
  • Added parameter "Currents" in the meteogram
  • Added display settings currents (Gradient, Isoplages)
  • Access to catalog Tidetech in the definition of GRIB file with filtering based on the geographical area
  • Tidetech tidal GRIB files and account management
  • Fixed maximum zoom level for GRIBs files containing "Currents" and / or "Waves"
  • Simulation of route and routing calculation with currents
  • Importation of polars from iPolar app
  • Visualization of polar diagram and tabular values 


Weather 4D Pro provides all the great weather forecast features of Weather 4D with all of the new additional features listed above.

The last several releases of Weather 4D Pro have added powerful weather routing features taking into account your yachts performance and polar diagrams.

Your average casual sailor in probably not going to worry about polar diagrams and maximizing your speed to that degree.  But if you race sailboats or plan on making a long ocean passage, it will come in handy to determine the optimum route for the forecast wind and current models.

A Polar diagram is the graphical diagram estimating the theoretical maximum boat speeds at various wind speeds and headings with the associated upwind and downwind velocities made good,VMG.  Polar Diagrams are used by sailors to determine the optimum course to sail, given the existing wind conditions.

Weather 4D Pro now gives you the ability to import a polar diagram data as a .csv file. The file can be email and then downloaded using the OPEN In feature to import the data file into Weather 4D Pro.  The Polar files are listed under the Route feature. Select your imported Polar file for use.


Routing was added to Weather 4D Pro with revision 1.3 and offers the ability to optimize your route in combination with the weather forecast GRIB data and your yachts polar diagram performance.

Francis Fustier at NavigationMac has a great tutorial on all the steps needed to import the polar csv files and optimize a route and then export the route back out to a program like iNavX.  He does a great job explaining it and has many nice screen shots showing exactly how it works, so I will not try to duplicate his efforts.  His routing comparisons with the MaxSea TimeZero program validate that the program works as advertised.

Current GRIBs: 

Another new feature for Weather 4D Pro has been the addition of Currents and being able to download and display these GRIB files. 

The current data comes from a company called Tidetech.  The current GRIB data is extensive and covers many areas. Make sure your area is covered before you make a purchase.

To get access to the data you will have to go to the Tidetech website to get a user name and login and purchase a PRO subscription to get access to the GRIB files.

The Pro subscription is a fairly expensive investment of $649 per year.  Once you have purchased your subscription go to the the Weather 4D Pro app and enter your user name and password for your Tidetech account at the bottom of the settings menu.

Weather 4D Pro continues to be the leader and my Go To app for GRIB forecast weather data.  The additional new features of Routing, Polars and Currents make this more than a just weather app.  These powerful features provide the mariner with additional tools to optimize the boats performance with the forecasted data and provide the optimal route.

If your a coastal cruiser like me the weather forecasts features are all I will probably use. If your in need of these additional technical planning features Weather 4D does a great job in providing them. 

~~~Sail On~~~ /)


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