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zippyjet
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Flying Through A Snow Storm?

Sun Feb 12, 2006 6:48 am

If this seems like a stupid question, oh well, and if this has been covered before...

On the east coast, we are in the beginning of a major snowstorm. The Baltimore area could get up to 15 inches of the white stuff. BWI which is south southwest of the city could see upwards of a foot. Is flying through a snowstorm different than a rain event? Does heavy snow cause more turbulence? I should post a request in the photo section to see if there are any great A-Net shots of snow outside at 35,000 feet.


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EMBQA
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:52 am

RE: Flying Through A Snow Storm?

Sun Feb 12, 2006 7:07 am

Big snow storms can pack a lot of energy. Growing up in the Northeast I've seen and heard 'Thunder-snow' a few times. This is where their is so much enegry and unstableness in the storm, you'll actaully get a clap of lightening and thunder.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
Kohflot
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RE: Flying Through A Snow Storm?

Sun Feb 12, 2006 7:10 am

Quoting Zippyjet (Thread starter):
Is flying through a snowstorm different than a rain event? Does heavy snow cause more turbulence?

I've had rides through moderate-heavy snow that have been completely smooth and one or two that have been with continuous moderate chop.

The snow really doesn't change the turbulence. Once airborne, it's the wind that would make it a 'fun' ride.

Sort of a side note, but I personally think flying through heavy snow at night with the landing lights on is one of the most amazing experiences in life.
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zippyjet
Posts: 5089
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RE: Flying Through A Snow Storm?

Sun Feb 12, 2006 8:23 am

Quoting Kohflot (Reply 2):
Sort of a side note, but I personally think flying through heavy snow at night with the landing lights on is one of the most amazing experiences in life.

Cool! you just gave me a great idea for a photo request!  bigthumbsup 
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OPNLguy
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RE: Flying Through A Snow Storm?

Sun Feb 12, 2006 8:33 am

Quoting Kohflot (Reply 2):
Sort of a side note, but I personally think flying through heavy snow at night with the landing lights on is one of the most amazing experiences in life.

I'd have to agree... The snow whizzing past adds a "visual" component to the aircraft's speed, and psychologically, it's a great example of the contrast between how cozy it is inside the cabin and how inhospitable it is on the other side of the fuselage...

Another photo idea, maybe better for video than a still shot: Find a shot of a flight with a cruising altitude that's just above the tops of an overcast deck.

I was on a DCA-PIT flight years ago (BAC-111, IIRC), and were about 500 above the top of an overcast deck, and with that new flat "plane" of visual reference, it felt like we were doing about Mach 3 in reference to it...
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daus
Posts: 232
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 5:37 am

RE: Flying Through A Snow Storm?

Sun Feb 12, 2006 11:09 am

Quoting Zippyjet (Thread starter):
Does heavy snow cause more turbulence?

Not always. A couple weeks ago I flew into MKE on Frontier in the middle of about a 6 inch snow storm. Smooth as glass at 10K, as we spent 30 minutes doing laps getting ready to land.

Funny story though, as we approach MKE the pilot and comes on to announce the news that they have to plow the runway before we can land. I think OK, that sound prudent given what I am seeing going by my window.... 10 minutes later he comes on and announces... "GOOD news! They are NOT going to plow the runway, we are going in and we are 6th for arrival". Whaa whaaa waaaaaaa? So much for prudence  Smile

10 minutes later he comes back on and declares they are going to plow the runways and we are now third for arrival. All I could imagines was the first three guys must have plowed all over the place trying to land.
 
Captintut
Posts: 317
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RE: Flying Through A Snow Storm?

Sun Feb 12, 2006 2:05 pm

Well I started my flight From IAD in the same time the storm start hitting DC area today, I was ON NW on route IAD- MSP-COS but they changed my flight to IAD-DTW-MSP-COS but after boarding we had to wait about 1:50 for the storm to give us a little break so we can go through, and finally did, honestly it wasn't bad at all actually it went smoothly.
Couple of weeks ago I was in route LAS-COS and there was a big storm over Colorado and we landed on a medium snow storm and nothing it was normal kinda scary but fun thought
The only hard thing is that I have to wait more than 14 hours in DTW till I can catch my flight in the morning because there was no flights tonight, otherwise no problems at all.
Aircraft Flown: B747-B777-B737-B767-B757-A300-A318-A319-A320-A321-A330-A340-MD80-MD90-CRJ600-CRJ900-E190-A380

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