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Airports with the worst weather

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:23 am
by sonicruiser
What airports have the consistently worst weather in terms of landing conditions (besides wind)?

A lot of the upper midwest airports like ORD, DTW, and MSP come to mind in the winter snow season for low visibility and braking action, others like a lot of the FL airports, ie. MCO and MIA get hammered with pretty severe storms on any day that ends in -y during the summer. DEN and DFW are also known to have some pretty unpredictable weather, so I'd imagine they'd also be in the running. But what airport would have the consistently worst weather throughout the year?

Re: Airports with the worst weather

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:24 am
by kordcj
San Francisco without a doubt. Low ceiling, fog, wind, and it’s year round

Re: Airports with the worst weather

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:32 am
by sibibom
Pakyong Airport PYG

Between rains, wind and low visibility coupled with lack of instrument landing facilities services can happen only half the days of the year at best.

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Re: Airports with the worst weather

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:52 am
by usflyer msp
In the mainland US, SFO is the worst major airport weather-wise. It is not even that the weather is that bad, it just that runways are too close together and that makes relatively minor weather events halve the runway capacity...

Re: Airports with the worst weather

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:45 am
by N649DL
EWR is pretty bad too. Even on a bright and sunny day, flights will get backed up because of "Wind". IDK what it is about, but it's usually absurdly choppy flying into EWR.

DEN has pretty unpredictable weather but I rarely ever hit delays when I lived there (mostly flying on Delta, a few times American) but all the adjacent flights on Frontier always had delays.

SFO indeed does suck horribly due to fog. I've also noticed that operations tend to a take a dump living in Austin whenever it starts to thunderstorm out here. Lot's of temporary diversions and whatnot.

Re: Airports with the worst weather

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:09 am
by DeltaConnection
ORD is pretty bad when bad weather hits and lives up the "windy city" name Chicago has, especially if you fly in on a E145 or CR2.

But as others have said, SFO is probably the worst, with EWR in close second.

Also while MSP and DTW can indeed be bad when really thick snow falls/icy conditions exist they are more prepared to handle winter operations and usually do a better job than their southern counterparts like CLT, ATL, and DFW.

Re: Airports with the worst weather

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:52 am
by sonicruiser
Interesting to see so many people say SFO. I've flown into SFO many times and had exceptionally good weather, no delays I've experienced there. It could just be that I could be very lucky weather wise, since I flew during July, Oct, Nov. What months are considered "bad" weather at SFO?

Re: Airports with the worst weather

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:18 am
by theasianguy
sonicruiser wrote:
Interesting to see so many people say SFO. I've flown into SFO many times and had exceptionally good weather, no delays I've experienced there. It could just be that I could be very lucky weather wise, since I flew during July, Oct, Nov. What months are considered "bad" weather at SFO?


SFO has gotten much better in the recent years due to NextGen. Before 2015, whenever fog rolls in, arrivals get delayed 1.5-2 hours. Fog delays generally average around 40 min-1 hour these days, the worst of the delays occurring on mid-morning arrivals around 11 AM. As fog dissipates in the afternoon, operations return back to normal after 3 PM.

August-November is generally the least delay prone period of the year: clear skies, no rain. April-July sees morning fog, which is somewhat of a nuisance.
However, the worst delays come during December-March, or the Northern California rain season. When SFO goes reverse operations with departures off 10L/R and arrivals on 19L/R, the airport becomes an operational nightmare. A lot of intra-California flights get cancelled, and 3+ hour delays become the norm.

Re: Airports with the worst weather

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:27 am
by theasianguy
In the past 2 years, I'd say ORD has had plenty of bad days. Even though snow is a regular winter weather event, the airport struggles to operate when even a trace falls. And when winter storm hits, it's a complete meltdown. In the summer, thunderstorms seem to have a much more adverse effect on ORD than other hubs like IAH or ATL.

Much of the same can also be said about NYC's airports. From worst to best, I'd rank them EWR, LGA, JFK.

Re: Airports with the worst weather

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:41 am
by FlyRow
Again, there is a world outside the US.

I would say one of the azores airports, the amount of crazy crosswind landings you have there is massive. But you said no wind.

Isnt Delhi having troubles with aviation due too constant smog and bad visuals?

Re: Airports with the worst weather

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:35 pm
by TOGA10
Maybe one of the Northern Italian airports? Big big thunderstorms in summer, lots of snow / fog in winter.

Re: Airports with the worst weather

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 7:26 pm
by dfwjim1
I live in South Florida and FLL and MIA are not that bad weather-wise expect for the afternoon thunderstorms in the summer which come and go. Otherwise no snow, fog and high winds.

Re: Airports with the worst weather

Posted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:37 pm
by Skywatcher
YYT (St.John's, Newfoundland, Canada). Freezing rain during the winter and tons of fog the rest of the year.

Re: Airports with the worst weather

Posted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:56 am
by smallmj
YYZ doesn't have anywhere near the worst weather, but some might argue that they are the worst at handling it. Maybe because they are operating at capacity most of the time so there is no wiggle room.

Re: Airports with the worst weather

Posted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:29 am
by ParkFSI
Astoria Oregon ? Low IFR, it was pretty crappy every time I went there 20 to 25 years ago.