Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsWeather · 1 decade ago

is it dangerous to fly through a thunderstorm but with slow wind?

i am flying tomorrow to atlanta and the wind is going to be 8 mph and its Rain / Thunder

i will be arriving at 5pm

4 Answers

  • UALog
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes, thunderstorms will increase the hazards of flying, but I am sure that pilots will use their professional skills and judgment to ensure that you will get to Atlanta as safely as possible. They can do this in many ways, including flying at alternative route path to navigate around the thunderstorms. If the pilots feel that the situation is more risky than what they are comfortable with, like a solid line of stong to severe thunderstorms near their aiport, they may land the plane at another nearby airport and wait until the path is clear and safe enough to continue the trip.

    Also, that 8 mph wind forecast is only the forecast of the average surface sustained winds expected for that area. What matters to the pilot are the winds well above the surface when they are flying high and th winds just above the surface when they are about to land. Also, they will stay clear of any area where they think a down burst may occur with a strong to severe thunderstorm. It is the sudden and significant change in wind speed and direction and possibility of strong turbulence that a pilot would be most concern with near strong thunderstorms. Large hail would be their next concern with any severe thunderstorms.

    Having said all that, I would still not worry as most airline pilots are well trained for these type of weather conditions that can develop along their flight path. Just don't order a hot cup of coffee before you reach Atlanta. And also bring some motion sickness medication just in case. Best wishes!


    The area will be under a risk of severe weather through Monday afternoon. However, the best area for severe weather at this time appears to be just to the south of your destination. Aviation forcast is for moderate turbulance and low level wind shear. Main threat will be through mid afternoon today (Monday). So...hopefully you will get there after the cold front passes. Check the folluwing links for updates.

    Source(s): Spent many years briefing pilots on the expected weather on their flight plan route.
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  • 1 decade ago

    The wind is never a problem for a jet airliner, a Cessna, or even a tiny two-seater Kitfox as the one I own and fly often. Unless, perhaps in a crosswind landing.

    A thunderstorm is a very strong convective system where the air is going mainly up and down. That causes what is called shear wind and it can be very unpleasant because of the strong turbulence. However it is never dangerous because in such a situation, the pilot will fly at or under what is called Manoeuvre Speed. It means, the speed at which the plane will stall before reaching its maximum G load. Should it happen, it is perfectly save although you should keep your belt on! :-)

    As written in the first answer, lightning is not a problem either; the fuselage works as a Faraday case.

    All airliners are equipped with a weather radar in the nose. It is used to see and avoid the center of the cumulonimbus that forms a thunderstorm cell. All pilots do that for the comfort of the passengers. The only time a thunderstorm can be dangerous for an aircraft is in the final approach phase, when low over the ground and meeting a micro-burst.

    A micro-burst is a parcel of air sinking very fast, all the way to the ground. It is sometimes found in the vecinity of a powerful thunderstorm. Think of it as an inverted tornado: a column of air that sinks very fast. If caught in one of those when landing, the aircaft will loose all bouyancy and fall to the ground.

    But if there is any chance of micro-burst, they close the airport for the time being. It is very difficult from the ground to judge the severity of a thunderstorm and things such as turbulence and micro-burst are reported by the pilots themselves. So, when you will be landing at your destination and feel a bit worry think that for perhaps every second minute before you, another airplane has landed without reporting dangerous conditions.

    Have a nice trip

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  • 1 decade ago

    8mph is laughable.. a pilot could ask for no better wind to fly in. For a puddle jumper plane like a 4 seat Cessna even 25 mph wind wouldn't put it in any real danger. As for a huge Boeing airliner, they fly in wind speeds sometimes exceeding 200 mph at 30,000 feet (granted the aircraft itself is traveling at over 500 mph). Anyways rain and thunder pose no threat to the flight either, on average every aircraft in service is struck by lightening once a year. In rare occasions the aircraft may lose power for a few seconds during these strikes, but they are designed to handle such an event. The electricity travels around the metal skin of the aircraft so the passengers inside are protected and will not be shocked.

    Also just a random fact. Large aircraft turbine engines are designed to withstand sucking in baseball sized hail and continue to fly the aircraft without failing, check out this video.. it's almost unbelievable!

    Youtube thumbnail

    Source(s): I've soloed a Cessna a few times and I've done my homework
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  • 3 years ago

    An airplane will in no way ever fly by way of a thunderstorm on purpose. The lightning interior a thunderstorm isn't the factor that makes this a everyday rule in aviation. truly a thunderstorms contains consistent updrafts and downdrafts, and the borderline between those create wind shear. in case you flew a small airplane by way of a severe thunderstorm it could truly be thrown around to a so great degree that it could disintegrate. yet another substantial factor approximately thunderstorms are hail. truly if an airplane gets undertaking to massive hail whilst interior a thunderstorm it could heavily injury the airplane, dent the wings of the airplane and destroying the wing layout that makes the airplane able to fly. For everyday aviation small plane the guideline of thumb is to stay an certainly 20 nautical miles far flung from a severe thunderstorm basically because of fact the severe air moving interior a thunderstorm could be felt many many miles from it, so basically think of being interior it. So truly you are able to fly around it, fairly a severe one, why no longer over it you assert? properly, in case you have a severe thunderstorm, it could also have a vertical progression of 40 000 + ft. Now each and all the great jet airliners have a cruising altitude of below 40 000 ft, so flying above it, even for the great jets is impossible, for a smaller plane it truly is no longer even tossed in as a concept. additionally, as others have suggested, they're quite dangerous to touchdown plane, they convey about wind shear which truly potential that the airplane could be undertaking to unexpected downdrafts and/or unexpected differences in air flowing over the wings. in case you communicate approximately that what makes an airplane fly is the air moving over the wings, if a 30 knot headwind shifts right into a 30 knot tailwind, that airplane is now flying 60 knots slower than it exchange right into some seconds in the past, this then interprets into the actual incontrovertible fact that the airplane will possibly no longer have sufficient airspeed to maintain itself interior the air, and it could then stall, and fall in direction of the floor. If this happens interior the touchdown component of a flight the airplane is already sluggish and occasional, and the effect of this might/could be disastrous to each physique on board on on the floor. so as a end. All airplanes, from the smallest to the biggest, stay out of thunderstorms edit: Peter: it truly is 20nm no longer 25 :p

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