Age of weather overlay versus flight track?

How “current” is the weather overlay relative to the FlightAware flight track? In other words…if the flight track data is delayed by 15 minutes is the weather data also delayed by 15 minutes? I.E. is the weather radar “in sync” with the flight track?


Where the flight track is delayed it’s only by 5 minutes, and the weather varies from 0 to 15 minutes old.

Completed flights show the weather from the midpoint (in time) of the flight.

Great question, I have always wondered that myself. Thanks for the answer.

Welcome to Flightaware!:smiley:

One follow up question, When you guys generate a flight track pic, is the midpoint weather unique to that flight? Or do you just pull the weather radar data from a “master” radar mosaic. I have wondered what a massive amount of data it must be for a weather radar snapshot of EVERY single IFR flight.


I’m not on the mapping team, but I suppose it’s the same amount of data. We archive the weather every 15 minutes onto a cluster of weather servers and store every weather update ever (35,000/year). Each weather update is 15MB, so that’s 525GB/yr. The storage servers at FlightAware each have 10TB (10,000GB) usable storage.

The map server you’re talking to may have the weather locally or it pulls the correct weather from a nearby weather cluster over gigabit ethernet and zooms it to the right area and underlays it on the map.

Oh, and for people that block ads, remember that we maintain all this kind of infrastructure at several data centers in multiple countries. :slight_smile:

Hmmm, never put much thought into this but would it be possible to timestamp the radar overlay to show the delayed amount of time since it varies so much?

I.E radar x amount of minutes ago x dynamically changing?

Certainly possible. Perhaps the next gen maps will support that, but they’re currently feature frozen for release.

That doesn’t seem to be true, at least today. I’m looking at a flight completed last night and the nexrad overlaid on the map appears to be current.


I agree. Last few days it seams that the map shows the current weather even on tracked flights that are days old. If not then we have been flying thru lvl 3-4 storms (not).

Try this one: … 1250039700

Ahh got it – reported this to the map team. Thanks.

Thank you.

It is a mystery that is under study. We should have it fixed by Friday at the latest.

And, just for fun, here is a link to the National Radar Mosaic


Whenever you have weather turned on, the UTC time of when the weather is from will appear in small gray text at the bottom of the map.