Can You Skydive in a Thunderstorm?

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Can You Skydive During a Storm?

Typing that sentence almost seems silly because of course, you can’t skydive in a thunderstorm! It’s generally not recommended that one walk their dog in a thunderstorm or even be outside! So before we expound further on this topic… why are we even writing about it?

Turns out our marketing team (made up of people who stay up late at night pouring over data that most of us would find terribly boring) have identified that the search query “Can you skydive in a thunderstorm?” is searched more than 90 times per month! This data point led us to ponder, who in the world would actually make this query? Turns out its two sets of people:

The first group of queries generally occur on the day people are supposed to make a skydive and it’s thunder-storming! What to do? Go to the dropzone or stay home? If that’s you right now, we’re going to spell out this query below to make sure it pops up on your screen to give you 100% clarity on this matter:

Can You Skydive in a Thunderstorm?

No. It is not recommended to skydive or participate in any activity when electricity is present.


Okay, we’ve got that covered!


The second group of queries stems from a famous skydive made in 2016 by Red Bull Air Force athlete, Sean MacCormac when he went sky surfing on the edge of a thunderstorm. Not surprisingly, the video went viral which was picked up by major news networks like ABC and was featured on Nightline. While some would call this cool (caution, this video will suck you in), it’s a definite win for the marketing team at Red Bull which has since likely generated lots of Google queries about skydiving in a thunderstorm. If you’re reading this because you saw the video and really want to make a jump in a thunderstorm, we’ve got bad news… you won’t find a dropzone willing to do it unless you’re a Red Bull athlete!

Can You Skydive in Bad Weather?

If you’ve made it this far, you may be wondering what the weather conditions need to be in order to safely skydive. If you weren’t thinking that, humor us as good information is coming!

Can You Skydive When It’s Windy?

Weather delays are one of the most frustrating aspects of skydiving especially when the sun is blazing and there are blue skies! To be grounded amidst a beautiful day because of high winds is maddening especially for people making their first jumps. Generally speaking, most dropzones stop operations when wind speeds get to about 20 mph (unless you skydive in Hawaii where 20mph is the norm).

The key with wind speeds is the smoothness of the air. If the wind is gusty or turbulent then that leads to everyone sitting around the dropzone and looking at the sky wishing they were jumping (it’s quite a depressing scene). Even more frustrating is when wind speeds at higher altitudes make it unsafe to jump even when ground winds are perfectly acceptable. Unless you want to land in the next county, jumping when the “uppers are screaming” isn’t exactly recommended.

If curious about winds check out our article on optimal wind conditions for skydiving.

Can You Skydive in the Rain?

You can go skydiving in the rain, but frankly, unless you enjoy going to the tattoo parlor and having your entire body inked simultaneously by ten tattooists, it’s a miserable experience because skydiving in the rain hurts! Turns out that the pointy edge of a raindrop is pretty sharp when you fly into it at 120mph!

Can You Skydive When It’s Cloudy?

You can, but it depends on the country you’re jumping in. In the US, the FAA mandates that skydivers visually see the ground before exiting the aircraft. This is a sound practice as it’s important to be able to know that there are no aircraft below you before leaving the plane or most importantly that you’re over the dropzone where you intend to land. The most perfect skydives are done on days where there are lots of broken clouds as it makes for beautiful visuals!


tandem skydive in clouds

Can You Skydive After It’s Snowed?

Believe it or not, skydivers love this! It’s a bit of a novelty, but diehard skydivers up north will jump after it has snowed to enjoy the incredible visuals below. Here at Skydive Carolina, we have done this in the past as it’s such a rarity to enjoy snow much less see the terrain covered in white!


If you’re planning to make your first skydive, here’s a pro tip. Be patient! Weather is an uncontrolled variable and it causes delays at every skydiving center on the planet. It’s part of the sport and we know it can be frustrating! We’ll leave you with this piece of wisdom shared by an old skydiver who went his entire career without an injury:


“It’s better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than in the air wishing you were on the ground!”

Have questions? We’d love to chat with you! Please feel free to contact us or call us at (803) 581-5867! Blue skies!

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