Mjoelnir's Keepers

  • Published
  • By 14OSS Weather Flight
  • 14th Flying Training Wing

After a final tweak and a last-minute update, 44 teams eagerly wait to see who is worthy.  

This is no fantasy football league; this is Thor’s Legion Forecast Challenge: held annually for all U.S. Air Force weather flights and U.S. Army weather support elements world-wide.   

This year the Team 14 weather flight, also known as “The Thunder Eagles”, competed with two teams in this grueling 2-week challenge to provide the most accurate forecast in a simulated remote, complex location not released to the teams until the start of each round.  Last year both teams placed in the “Sweet Sixteen.” This year, both teams once again advanced and made it to the “Elite Eight,” surpassing last year’s results. 

Columbus AFB's weather flight has a 98% accuracy rate, well above the 74.9% lauded by other popular commercial weather forecasting services. The flight provides 24-hour, seven days a week weather services to the wing, flying squadrons, and transiting aircrews.  

They have also been on the leading edge of weather technologies, recently providing a critical update to the Air Force Weather System Joint Environmental Toolkit (JET), the software used for meteorological watch and management of weather observations and alerts, after it was discovered to be producing erroneous pressure readings for several stations nation-wide. These readings are vital for our aircrews to calibrate their altimeters while airborne, keeping them safe from inadvertent flight into terrain.  

As the Air Force moves towards integrated systems and common operating pictures, the weather flight is once again in front of testing the capabilities of BiFROST, the new platform which will consolidate and present all USAF weather materials in a single place for all users.   

When they are not generating the Mission Execution Forecast (MEF), testing new systems, or coordinating with base leadership during severe weather, The Thunder Eagles are deploying and imbedding with US Army units to provide joint weather reporting capabilities to the warfighter.   

These Airmen are excited about their job and thrive in a challenging environment. When you see one in a staff meeting or at a cross-country briefing, make sure to congratulate our teams on their 5th and 6th place performance against their joint partners in Thor’s Legion Forecast Challenge 2023!