How Weather Affects Skydiving

Michigan Weather…

it’s unpredictable and crazy year round. On days when it’s pouring rain, it’s easy to see that we won’t be jumping. But what about the days when it’s not rainy, just gloomy? We thought it might be helpful to give you guys an idea of what our weather decisions are based on.

Wind

There are a few different ways wind can affect us. Generally, we can handle pretty strong wind as long as it is consistently strong. When the wind is “gusting” is when we start getting into some trouble. As long as the wind is predictable, we can make it work, but when it comes to gusts, we never know how light or strong the wind will be when it comes time to land our parachute and that can make things very dangerous. If the wind is unsafe to jump in, we will generally go on a wind hold until it dies down.

Clouds

While a few big white puffy clouds are definitely cool to see on your jump, but not all clouds are good clouds. If it is overcast and the clouds are below our exit altitude, we are unable to see the ground from the sky. This means that we cannot tell where we are over the ground in relation to the airport. If we don’t know where we’re getting out, we don’t know if we will be able to make it back safely.

Rain

Generally, if there’s rain, there’s low clouds. But if the clouds are high enough and there is rain, it feels a bit like riding a motorcycle in the rain. Not a great feeling!

Should You Trust the Forecast?

Michigan weather is unpredictable at best. While using the forecast can be a good starting point when booking a jump, there is always a good chance it will change. When booking your jump, it’s best just to pick a day that will work well for you and hope that the weather will cooperate!

How does SDGH Handle Weather Days?

With the weather changing so rapidly here in Michigan, we hate to cancel anything too soon only to have it clear up on us! We will give you a call one hour before your appointment time to let you know if the weather is going to cause any cancellations or delays. If you’re driving more than an hour to get to the airport (or if you’re just curious), you can always call us at (616) 350-8020 for weather updates!

We know it’s disappointing to get that “reschedule” call, but we always put safety first. It’s better safe than sorry when it comes to skydiving and as we always say, it’s better to be down here wishing you were up there, than up there wishing you were down here!

 

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Haley Gwinn

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