Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Smooth skies and storms

Aircraft should stay well clear of storms according to research released by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science.  A storm cell is an air mass containing a convective loop of updrafts and downdrafts. As the mass of air is sucked up, gravity exerts a force pulling it downwards and oscillatory motion is generated. These are called gravity waves (see undular bores for more information).

Being caught in an actual storm cell is an extremely hazardous situation for aircraft, but what this research is saying is that the turbulent effects of storm cells can be felt as far as 100 kilometres away. 

I've flown through a few regions of storm activity in my time and any research that makes for a smoother flying experience gets my vote!

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