Why are some plane rides bumpy?

It hits you like a speed bump out of thin air – literally. The plane lurches, your orange juice sloshes on the tray table, and the “Fasten Seat Belt” light illuminates overhead. Turbulence – aka chop or bad air – is as much a part of air travel as bagged pretzels and bad in-flight movies. It’s the reason pilots wear their seat belts at all times, although it’s not dangerous (planes are built to withstand even the most severe turbulence). Thunderstorms and pockets of warm air called updrafts create turbulence, but pilots can usually spot these areas of bad air and steer clear. What pilots can’t see are jet streams, fast-moving rivers of air that course through the atmosphere at altitudes that planes fly. Flying “upstream” in these rivers or skimming along the banks can make even the largest passenger planes rock. If it happens on your flight, don’t panic!


Picture Credit : Google