A very important part of preflight planning is obtaining weather information. It really pays off to start observing the weather a number of days ahead of the planned flight to see what the weather systems are doing, getting the big picture here is important. This also gives you an idea how good your favorite weather forecasting service is performing.
The views below represent an overview of worldwide weather and gives you an broad idea of what the weather is doing around the globe. Use this information before studying the local weather systems that may influence your flight.
These world weather maps are movable and you can zoom in and out. Using these tools you can see the clouds and weather over any location. The first link is a Google Earth view with a weather layer, the second is a flat view of the planet. All links will open a new but somewhat smaller, resizable window.
• World Weather Overview (deprecated as of mid 2015, but still gives Earth, Moon and Mars views)
• Weather.org (w)
• Lightning location (w)
• OpenWeatherMaps Weather Data and Analytics (w)
• Orbifly Met'MAP, Visual METAF / TAF charts
• SkyVector, Charts & Visual METAF / TAF
• Earth Nullschool, A global map of wind, weather and ocean conditions
With these maps give you really get the big picture of weather globally. Studying them daily and you will get amazing insights in the coriolis effect caused by the Earth's rotation. You will want to pay special attention to the movement of the low pressure areas in the Northern and Southern hemisphere!
Watch the sun rise and set all over the world on this real time, computer generated illustration of the Earth's patterns of sunlight and darkness. The cloud maps are updated every three hours with almost live weather satellite imagery.
Keep in mind that in some countries VFR at night is not allowed at all. So in those cases these maps are informational and are not to be used for flight planning.
All data and images are copyrighted by their respective owners.