How does weather impact my skydive?

It’s probably not surprising that skydiving is a weather-dependent sport. Some weather conditions can create increased risks when skydiving. In this blog we will discuss how weather conditions have an impact on your skydive and why.

Can you skydive through a cloud?

While it is physically possible to skydive through clouds, we avoid doing it. The problem with jumping in clouds is visibility. It’s important for jumpers and pilots to be able to see the ground. We want to make sure we’re choosing the correct spot to exit the aircraft to make it back to the designated landing area. We also need to look out for other aviation traffic in the area. All skydiving operations are conducted under “Visual Flight Rules” and those rules require that we maintain proper separation from clouds and proper visibility using a visual reference. These rules are enforceable by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Weather Impacts on skydiving. Licensed Skydivers perform a hybrid jump and smile at the camera

Can you fly your parachute into a cloud?

We don’t want to fly our parachutes into clouds for the same visibility concerns. If we can’t see the ground, we won’t know which way to fly to get back to the landing area. We also need to be able to see to avoid a potential collision with another parachute/jumper.

What happens if you skydive into a cloud?

If you could fly your parachute into the clouds or skydive into a cloud, it would be a lot like being in a thick fog. The air would feel dense and moist and you wouldn’t be able to see very far in front of you.

Weather impacts on skydiving. Tandem skydivers landing a parachute with clouds in the background.

Can it be too windy to skydive?

Yes, absolutely. High or gusty wind conditions can be dangerous. If the wind speed is higher than the forward speed of our parachute it can cause the parachute to descend straight down instead of with forward momentum. Even higher winds could cause our parachutes to be pushed backwards. Our priority on any jump is to try to land safely. If we determine the winds are too strong to land safely or accurately, we will go on a weather hold until the winds drop off.

Can you skydive in the rain?

Rain doesn’t necessarily mean your jump will be cancelled. If the clouds are high enough that we can exit underneath them, we could still skydive in the rain. Even though we CAN skydive in the rain, we often try to avoid it. Jumping in the rain can be kind of unpleasant. We like to say you’re getting hit with the “pointy end” of the raindrops when you skydive. The truth is, you are falling at 120mph through the rain and it stings anywhere your skin is exposed because of the velocity at which you collide with it. It’s might sound fun to jump in the rain, but it really isn’t. Additionally, if you have a videographer coming along on your jump, moisture isn’t good for their camera equipment.

Can you skydive in the snow?

Yes, you can. Just like with skydiving in the rain, if the clouds are high enough that we can exit underneath them, we can skydive in the snow. Click for more on Skydiving in the Winter.

Tandem Student yells in excitement during a skydive

Can you skydive at any temperature?

We can jump in almost any temperature if we dress appropriately. Generally, temperatures drop as you climb in altitude. The standard “lapse rate” is 3 degrees per every 1000ft. This means there’s about a 30-degree temperature difference between the ground and the altitude at which you exit the plane. We’re not up at that altitude for very long, so as long as you dress warmly and put on some gloves, you should be able to handle the chill just fine.

On hot summer days, the temperature difference works in your favor. Skydiving is a great way to cool off! You’ll often see our instructors jumping in shorts and a t-shirt. In our opinion, mid-summer is the most comfortable weather for skydiving. However, extreme heat can cause the aircraft fly less efficiently. This can cause slower/longer climb times to get to altitude, which can make the day move a bit slower.

What is the best weather for skydiving?

The ideal conditions for skydiving would be a clear, sunny day with low winds (less than 20mph) and temperatures warmer than 70 degrees. Click for more on The Best Time of Year to Skydive.

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