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What Causes the Highest Amount of Flight Disruptions May Come as a Surprise

2 months ago
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It has been a winter fraught with wild weather that has translated to widespread flight cancellations and delays.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), weather is responsible for about 75% of all delays.

There are a number of different weather elements that can impact flight schedules, not limited to just the usual suspects of snow and ice.

In fact, what may be the most likely weather culprit to disrupt typically occurs with greater frequency during the spring and summer months. Here is a look at the top offenders when it comes to flight cancellations and delays.


Thunderstorms are responsible for more aircraft groundings than any other weather condition. Storm cells pack a number of hazards including high winds, lightning, and hail

The updrafts and downdrafts generated by thunderstorms are essentially columns of air that move at a fast pace and trigger severe turbulence.

Turbulence is associated with a more uncomfortable flight experience, creating sudden drops that can lead to injuries in severe cases. Significant turbulence can also negatively impact the plane's ability to fly as it alters both the speed and the altitude.

The good news is that pilots are able to take aircraft around storm cells in most cases. However, the longer routes often lead to lengthy delays that can have a ripple effect on flight schedules across the world.

You can mitigate the risk of thunderstorms impacting your flight by choosing to fly as early in the day as possible when storms are less likely.

This is most important during the spring and summer months when thunderstorms tend to come to life via the natural afternoon heating process.



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