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6 Tools That Can Help You Avoid Turbulence

Nobody likes turbulence. Here's how you can avoid it...


Giving ATC a brief report of conditions can help everyone behind you following your route. You can find turbulence PIREPs here.



Graphical AIRMETs and SIGMETs are a great way to visualize where you might find turbulent skies around the country. Click here for AWC turbulence AIRMETs.

3) Graphical Turbulence Guidance (GTG)

The Aviation Weather Center provides a graphical turbulence map to show turbulence anywhere from 1,000 feet to 50,000 feet. You can customize the turbulence chart by flight level, time, and aircraft type. Click here to use it yourself.

4) Analyze Weather Charts And Radar Summaries

Frontal turbulence is caused by lifting of warm air, a frontal surface leading to instability, or the abrupt wind shift between the warm and cold air masses. The most severe cases of frontal turbulence are generally associated with fast-moving cold fronts.

5) Winds And Temperatures Aloft Chart

Even though a temperature inversion produces a stable atmosphere, inversions can cause turbulence at the boundary between the inversion layer and the surrounding atmosphere. You can read the winds/temps aloft chart to find these inversions before you fly.


6) Other Pilots And ATC

If you're talking to ATC, listen for reports of turbulence from pilots nearby. Controllers are constantly receiving reports in their sector, so use their advice to find the smoothest altitude.


Besides Charts, Graphs, And Reports... What Else?

As a pilot, there are some visual and weather cues you should know about that indicate turbulence. Click here for 8 signs of turbulence ahead.

What Do You Use?

How do you plan your flight to avoid turbulence? Tell us in the comments below.

Thinking about becoming a pilot? Get started with ATP Flight School, and find out how to start your aviation career here.

Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and an Embraer 145 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota in 2018, holds a PIC Type Rating for Cessna Citation Jets (CE-525), and is a former pilot for Mokulele Airlines. He's the author of articles, quizzes and lists on Boldmethod every week. You can reach Swayne at, and follow his flying adventures on his YouTube Channel.

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