Air turbulence flying

by Magdalena
(Krakow, Poland)

Turbulence Drawing

Turbulence Drawing

I have been researching the net to find some information but I didn't managed so I decided to write to you. Once I've read in the newspaper about something really interesting for me. It was an interview in which a guy described his flight from Europe to the US. There were really serious turbulences during the flight. As he said, it was the time of the year when the weather changes every year and the turbulences over the Pacific Ocean are really serious.

Cabin Crew (as he said) confirmed that information. And that's why I decided to ask you - is there really such a period in the year when flying over the Pacific Ocean
may be really annoying? If yes, when does it occur?

I would be very grateful for the reply.

With kind regards,
Magdalena S

Barry's Response - Magda:

Turbulence is invisible air movement. Due to atmospheric pressure, jet streams, mountain waves, cold or warm fronts, or thunderstorms. Passengers and crew may feel choppy during flights.

Turbulence is usually caused by:

1) Thermals - Heat from the sun makes warm air rise and cold air sink.
2) Jet streams - High-altitude air currents that change direction quickly, disturbing the nearby air where planes fly.
3) As air passes over mountains, it causes turbulence as it flows above the air on the other side. Over the Pacific, it won't be like that.
4) Plane wake turbulence - from the plane itself.
5) Microbursts - from storms.

As jets usually fly over 30,000 feet, they're likely to be affected most by the jet stream over the ocean. Now in the autumn (October to December over the north Pacific) the jet stream sweeps southward, often covering a lot of airspace in one day. An upper cold front moves air in many directions, including vertically. Passing planes jar up and down because of this.

It's called wind shear, and it's something aviation weather stations need to measure. Here are some other parameters.

What about consistencies

If you're flying over the Pacific Ocean, you can get turbulence at any time of year. Weather conditions such as strong winds, thunderstorms, or atmospheric disturbances can cause turbulence, and it can happen anywhere at any time.

There are some regions in the Pacific Ocean that are more prone to turbulence than others. Areas around the equator, like the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), have a higher incidence of turbulence because warm and cool air masses are convergent.

During certain times of the year, such as winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the jet stream can become more active and shift to lower latitudes, causing more turbulence over the Pacific. Pilots rely on weather forecasts and real-time information to avoid turbulence and ensure a safe flight.

This won't happen to every flight, but significantly more than at other times of the year. It's usually harmless, but annoying, as you say.

Good Luck

Goin' Somewhere? - Be sure to get to the airport in plenty of time for your flight. Always wear your seatbelt and follow the flight attendants' instructions. Have a great trip and enjoy the journey!

Magda's Response - Thanks a lot for your reply!

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Comments for Air turbulence flying

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Good One
by: khushe

The article is very easy to understand.The content is simple and good. It has increased my knowledge about the air turbulence.

From Barry - I try to write in clear, concise language that's easy to follow, with diagrams and examples to explain air turbulence and other topics. A detailed overview of the causes and potential solutions to air turbulence was also researched to produce the article.

Thanks for noticing.

Highly Informative
by: Anonymous

This site is highly informative. I love this site. It gives information on all the causes of pollution in air. Air turbulence flying blog was very interesting.

Effects of Air Pollution - serious issues

From Barry - The science behind air turbulence and how pilots can prepare for it was really interesting to me too. It would be great hearing the pilot's perspective so that others can feel more comfortable flying.

Very good
by: daggett

It's very important subject. It's give very good information about air turbulence. I think if you know everything about turbulence you will be less afraid.

From Barry - Here's a video of landings in potentially dangerous conditions:

Good one
by: Anonymous

I liked the information provided on your web page. The information was quite interesting and informative too. The first impression on viewing web page is normal as it has very simple layout but information is worthwhile. I would like to explore the site further for some more informative articles. I use to search websites with such informative article to know more updates in technology.

From Barry - I've learned a lot about technology while developing this website. I'm looking forward to exploring the topics more and creating more informative articles. Thanks for your support.

I can use this!
by: Anonymous

Nice Web page, not too fancy and easy to get round in. That "air turbulence" answer is going to be useful, my SO has never flown and we're going to the Midwest sometime soon. Since she figures most men are morons and don't know anything LOL, I'll quote this page and tell her it was written by a stewardess LOL!

I'm going to look round and see if there's more interesting stuff here, maybe I can find something about jazz rock or Nascar (my hobbies).

From Barry - I hope to continue to help and inform you and others who are curious. There's a
lot of information about the atmosphere, climate, weather, and other topics, so I'm sure you'll find something interesting. At least I hope so.

First Impressions
by: LiL LoNgMa

Well, this article is cool for people who like flying but for me I think I don't like it. Its kind of interesting but still I didn't continue reading. I'd prefer reading more. Maybe it would make my change my mind. I would like to find stuffs like tricks or stuffs like that.

From Barry - You might change your mind if you read about tricks and techniques to make flying more fun. Additionally, reading about the history of aviation, the different types of aircraft, and where they can take you can be fascinating.

Looks pretty good
by: Anonymous

The page looks good, the couple of typos give a bad first impression.
The info was good and complete, but I'm not going through the rest of the site, just not my sort of thing today. And If I were to search I'd look for info on particulate pollution.

From Barry - Typos can give the impression that the page isn't up to date and isn't well maintained, which can make people question the accuracy of the information. Additionally, if the page isn't tailored to the visitor's needs, they may not explore further, even if the information is accurate. I try to make the page more user-friendly by fixing my own typos.

And I think a lot of visitors would also appreciate more info on particulate pollution. Thanks for your input.

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Thank you to my research and writing assistants, ChatGPT and WordTune, as well as Wombo and others for the images.

GPT-4, OpenAI's large-scale language generation model (and others provided by Google and Meta), helped generate this text.  As soon as draft language is generated, the author reviews, edits, and revises it to their own liking and is responsible for the content.