bibm
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Day Or Night Flight Turbulence The Worst And Why?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:13 pm

Is it me or anybody else thinks night flights are always much more turbulent than daytime flights? anything to do with weather in general?
 
trnswrld
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Day Or Night Flight Turbulence The Worst And Why?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:48 pm

I think its just you. Rough air doesnt care if its light outside or not   It must just be coincidence for you that your night flights are bumpy. I am an air traffic controller and have not noticed pilots reporting more chop/turbulence during the night hours. It all just depends on the weather systems.
If anything on my flying experiences, night flights were generally smoother.
 
eaa3
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Day Or Night Flight Turbulence The Worst And Why?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:05 pm

Quoting bibm (Thread starter):
Is it me or anybody else thinks night flights are always much more turbulent than daytime flights? anything to do with weather in general?

I think it's the opposite. In the daytime storms can build up and become incredible powerful because of the heat. But at night time things cool down and storms lose a bit of their power. Also in the daytime there is more updraft.

[Edited 2012-01-11 09:06:33]
 
LAXdude1023
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Day Or Night Flight Turbulence The Worst And Why?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:07 pm

I depends on where you are. The only places I can see it making much of a different is in tropical environments. There, it tends to be stormier in the afternoon to the late evening. That makes flights during those times bumpier.

But other than that, I havent noticed anything.
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ThirtyEcho
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Day Or Night Flight Turbulence The Worst And Why?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:11 pm

If you were to describe a typical summer day in the Texas "thunderstorm alley" it would start with a generally clear and calm morning with light winds and smooth rides reported. In late morning, cumulus clouds would start building, along with convective activity, making it bumpy near the ground and in the cloud tops. By mid afternoon, towering cumulus clouds would progress into thunderstorms along with locally strong winds, lots of chop and flights deviating weather. There would be lots of gusts and bumps near the ground. By evening, the thunderstorms are decreasing in intensity and becoming more isolated, except for the one or two that are still strong. By midnight, the Cbs are all gone, setting up the conditions for the calm morning.

This is so predictable that you can almost set your watch by it. Travelers in this area who are upset by turbulence quickly learn to travel in the early morning and to arrive at the destination before noon.
 
Type-Rated
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Day Or Night Flight Turbulence The Worst And Why?

Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:22 pm

My experience shows that turbulence due to convective activity starts to settle down around 5pm or so. As pointed out above around 7pm or so the lack of heat from the daytime usually makes the thunderstorms die out too resulting in less turnbulence.
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tdscanuck
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Day Or Night Flight Turbulence The Worst And Why?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:30 am

Quoting bibm (Thread starter):

Is it me or anybody else thinks night flights are always much more turbulent than daytime flights?

My experience is the opposite...the major causes of turbulence are convection and shear between different wind layers. The former is much stronger in the day and the latter is mostly insensitive to time of day.

Tom.
 
comorin
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RE: Day Or Night Flight Turbulence The Worst And Why?

Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:22 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 6):

I suppose it depends on geography too. As a frequent pond hopper, the overnight transatlantic flights East would be really choppy as we rode the jet stream. Returning West during the day, the flights would generally be smoother. Winter North- South flights across the Indian subcontinent tend to be bumpy as the jetstream dips.
 
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allrite
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RE: Day Or Night Flight Turbulence The Worst And Why?

Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:37 am

I've been on choppy rides both night and day, but I wonder if turbulence experienced due to thunderstorm activity, especially in the tropics, is more likely during the night for visual reasons. I've noticed the forward lights switched on while our aircraft has flown through areas of heavy cloud activity during the night. Surely it must be easier to identify and steer around large cloud masses in daylight, assuming that they were isolated enough for this to be possible.
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airportugal310
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RE: Day Or Night Flight Turbulence The Worst And Why?

Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:39 am

The two worst instances of turbulence I've been a part of were both at night...

One time flying CLE-BOS (738) at around 930p...the lights flickered on and off in the cabin

The other time was CAT turbulence on an EWR-LIS flight...gave the aircraft (an A310) some really good jolts

All depends where you are and what the weather is up to...weather has no boundaries!
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spacecadet
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RE: Day Or Night Flight Turbulence The Worst And Why?

Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:46 am

In the northeast US in summer, typically storms gather in the evening. During the storm season, we'll usually get several major thunderstorms per day right around 5PM or so. And the winds from those storms will stick around all night, usually, calming down slowly as the night goes on.

So I would also say it depends on where you are. Other areas may be different, but this area is definitely more turbulent at night, at least during summer.
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kgaiflyer
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RE: Day Or Night Flight Turbulence The Worst And Why?

Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:57 pm

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 6):
My experience is the opposite...the major causes of turbulence are convection and shear between different wind layers. The former is much stronger in the day and the latter is mostly insensitive to time of day.

I think you'll find this phenomena more common in mountainous areas. I remember a 7pm OO flight I was on December 29th out of Colorado Springs where the plane was so tossed about that the FA never unstrapped.

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