Skydiver Tip: Weather Watching

“What’s the weather like today? Is it good for students? What about experienced jumpers?”

If we had a dollar for every time we got that phone call, text, or Facebook message, we’d all be retired. 🙂 And as you know, the answer is usually a variety of “You can’t jump if you’re not here.”

In all seriousness though, weather and its nuances are critical to whether we can skydive or not, particularly for our Skydiver Training Program students who have a slightly narrower definition of suitable weather than licensed skydivers making their own decisions. Here are a few of the resources we use when deciding whether the weather is OK for STP students to jump or not. Bookmark these on your phone or tablet for quick reference!

  • Ground winds forecast. This page shows a forecast of wind speed and direction. Most students can jump in winds up to 22 mph, so when in doubt, come on out. 🙂
  • US AirNet (similar to above, but also shows forecasted cloud bases)
  • Forecasted winds aloft. This resource is great for evaluating on the way to the DZ, so you have an idea where to hold when flying your canopy pattern.
There are also a few phone apps you might find useful:
  • AeroWeather: Great for cloud condition forecasts (iPhone/Android)
  • Hi-Def Radar: Great for watching isolated storm cells in the summer, as in “Is it coming or going?”  (iPhone/Android)
If you have any questions about interpreting this weather information, feel free to ask your instructors or our pilots next time you’re at the drop zone. See you soon!