Valley International Airport

What Is Turbulence? Revisiting the VIA Turbulence Guide

An airplane flying into a large cloud

Here at Valley International Airport, we are all about helping airline passengers travel comfortably. To that end, we maintain an updated guide on how to avoid air turbulence on a plane. However, one thing we haven’t focused on is what exactly turbulence is.

If you’re not a big fan of turbulence, keep reading to learn more about what causes it and how you can avoid it on your next VIA flight.

What Is Turbulence?

Turbulence is generally characterized by sudden jolting and rocking motions of an airplane. While turbulence occurs on many flights, severe turbulence is relatively rare. While many airline passengers find turbulence to be unpleasant, there’s no need to worry about any danger posed by turbulence. Turbulence is a normal part of air travel, but there are also steps you can take to limit the chance that you’ll experience it. 

What Causes Turbulence?

Turbulence is caused by rough air. Rough air can be generated by a range of different wind and weather patterns, including:

  • Weather Fronts – Warm fronts, cold fronts, storms, and humidity changes can all contribute to turbulence.
  • Jet Streams – A jet stream is a narrow band of air with high wind speed compared to the air around it. Friction between the jet stream and surrounding air can cause turbulence.
  • Mountain Air – Mountains can cause a range of weather phenomena, such as mountain waves, and some can cause moderate to extreme turbulence.
  • Clear Air Turbulence – Clear air turbulence occurs when there are no visible signs of turbulence and can be caused by a wind shear, temperature change, or jet stream.
  • Wake Turbulence – Wake turbulence is caused by the motion of other aircraft.

The flight crew in charge of your plane will be monitoring weather conditions to predict turbulence along the flight path. You may be warned up to 20 minutes before turbulence occurs.

How to Avoid Airplane Turbulence

While some of us are comfortable experiencing moderate turbulence on a flight, there are some travelers who would be willing to do just about anything to avoid a bumpy airplane ride. If you fall into the second category, you can follow the guide below to avoid turbulence.

Worst Turbulence Season

Due to increased atmospheric pressure and severe weather events, both winter and summer are known for having greater levels of turbulence. This means that those wishing to avoid turbulence should avoid flying from December to February and from June to August.

Worst Turbulence Time of Day

Believe it or not, the worst time of day for air turbulence is actually during the daytime. During the night and early morning, wind velocities typically drop, and storms are less common. This means that, if you want to skip the turbulence, you should fly at night or in the early morning.

Best Plane to Avoid Flight Turbulence

When it comes to which plane handles turbulence the best, bigger is better. The bigger the plane, the heavier the plane, and a heavier plane is less likely to be affected by wind changes. Some of the best options include large planes used for international flights.

Catch a Comfortable, Convenient Flight With VIA

If you’re looking for the ultimate in air travel comfort, you’ve come to the right place. Valley International Airport is committed to providing the most comfortable travel experience for passengers, and we will go above and beyond to make your travel a breeze.

You can catch non-stop flights from Harlingen to countless U.S. cities or book a one-stop flight to even more destinations from your Valley International Airport. Book your flight with one of our exceptional airline partners today!

Adventure is just a flight away! Book your non-stop flight with Valley International Airport today!

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