How Weather Can Affect My Skydiving Day

How Weather Can Affect My Skydiving Day

Published: April 30, 2023

Skydiving is an extreme outdoor sport, which means that skydiving weather has to be pretty optimal across the board for a day to be jump-worthy. When checking for a good skydive weather forecast, we look for five things: temperature, wind characteristics, chance of precipitation, cloud coverage, and humidity. "Can you skydive in the rain?" It's a question we get all the time and we're here to answer it for you. Let's get into it!

What Happens If Weather Postpones My Jump?

If the weather gods are not in our favor then your jump will simply be rescheduled to a different day of your choosing, as all of our deposits are transferable (not refundable) for one calendar year. If on the day of your jump the skydive weather conditions are a bit iffy, we'll communicate with you via email by 7am. If you haven't heard from us and are weary about the weather, give us a shout prior to heading our way!

As with everything in skydiving, we have weather holds because safety is #1 before, during, and after every single skydive. Skydivers often say it's better to be on the ground wishing you were in the sky, than in the sky wishing you were on the ground because of finicky weather.

woman skydiving

What Is The Best Skydiving Weather?

Blue skies and 75 is what skydivers dream of! When we're checking the weather we're making sure the winds are light and variable, cloud coverage is minimal or nonexistent, and the temperature is comfortable both on the ground and at altitude.

How cold is too cold?

The temperature is one of the first things we'll look at to determine if a day is jumpable. We basically think: "Okay, if it's 40 degrees F on the ground, how cold will it be when we're actually exiting the airplane?" And if the conclusion is that the air temperature at altitude is bearable, we'll send it! We tend to not jump when it's too chilly due to safety and comfort reasons -- it's pretty important to be able to feel your hands when you're steering a parachute!

On average, the temperature decreases by about 3 degrees F for every 1,000 feet of altitude gained. This means that if it's 30 degrees F at ground level, it'll be a whopping ZERO degrees F at 10,000 feet - oof! If it's a bit chillier (but still a safe temperature), are you wondering "what should I wear?" Skydivers wear layers religiously. We recommend a nice underlayer and a couple layers you can easily shed if you start to feel warm.

The general rule of thumb with skydiving attire is to wear something you're comfortable in. Bulky clothing, such as winter coats and boots are prohibited, and snug, flexible layers are recommended. You're welcome to bring a pair of tight fitting gloves (or two!) and a neck gaiter - but no traditional scarves or hats. Why? They'll fly far, far away ... or worse, block your instructor's line of sight!

Don't end up like Dorothy & Toto

Ya know those days that look awesome through a window and the second you walk outside you're slapped in the face with a big gust of wind? Empty promises -- just the worst!

When we're checking out the wind we look at the speed, direction, and consistency. Most licensed skydivers opt out of jumping if the wind is inconsistent; meaning, blowing one direction one moment and a different direction a second later. This can cause the parachute ride to be choppy and uncomfortable at best and dangerous at worst.

April showers bring annoyed skydivers

Rain hurts! Absolutely no skydiving is allowed while it's raining -- whether it's a sprinkle or the entire zoo falling from the sky. If rain is falling on the dropzone that means, of course, that there's a rain cloud above, which will obstruct our view while jumping. It is super important to be able to see where you're going during a skydive. The rain rule is applicable to every skydiver, tandem and solo, so we'll all be right there with you waiting it out!

Big fluffies

Can you skydive when it's cloudy? The answer to this question is a bit foggier (hehe) than you may think. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is our primary governing body, and they prohibit falling through clouds. Essentially, if there are some white clouds hanging out in the sky that are not going to be in the way of our skydive, we're generally good to go. If the sky is overcast, the clouds look ominous, or they're too low in altitude (which obstructs a clear view of the ground), we will not skydive.

tandem skydiving

Why does humidity matter?

The stickiness of the air typically won't determine if a day is jumpable, but it is still an important factor to be familiar with prior to jumping.

Essentially, high humidity equals low air density, and low humidity results in high air density. Air density causes our canopies' flight characteristics to change a bit. When there is a higher density altitude, our parachutes will have a faster forward speed and quicker opening, and vice versa. Neither of these are dangerous, but we always like to be prepared for as many factors as possible during the skydive!

As we all know, the weather forecast can be quite unpredictable, so don't let it dampen your day! If we do end up on a short weather hold, there's tons of opportunity to learn about the gear and experiences of other jumpers. Ready to do a full send from a perfectly good airplane? Book today!

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