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Eeek! It's pouring at FL330 !

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I am flying the NG 900 into Charlie Bravo weather theme with massive t-storm clouds and it's pouring suddenly at FL330. Is this possible? Rain at such a high altitude?!JonathanP.S. It just stopped as I entered clear air. Phew! But, still, rain at this alt ?


Jonathan Sacks

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Hi Jonathan,The tops of these thunderstorm clouds sometimes reach 40,000 to 50,000 feet. If you were to fly into these thunderstorms clouds, you would encounter rain, not to mention heavy turbulence and up and down drafts. Flying through these thunderstorms would throw the airplane around and passengers would be thrown about the cabin, if they were not in their seats with seatbelts fastened. That's how turbulent it gets in these thunderstorms clouds and would be a very rough ride. Pilots check for weather at destinations and alternates airports. They usuallly avoid these thunderstorms and fly around them or fly to an alternate airport. Ken.

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Guest tmetzinger

>>I am flying the NG 900 into Charlie Bravo weather theme with>massive t-storm clouds and it's pouring suddenly at FL330. Is>this possible? Rain at such a high altitude?!>>Jonathan>>P.S. It just stopped as I entered clear air. Phew! But,>still, rain at this alt ?Absolutely... a thunderstorm takes warm unstable air (which rises), moisture, and creates the atmospheric equivalent of a boiling pot of water.Anytime you're in a CB, you can expect heavy precip of rain and/or hail, and violent vertical air motion. You can also expect the need for a change of clothing (and hope your plane has leather seating), and a discussion with your chief pilot sometime in the future.Nobody flies into a thunderstorm unless there is no other alternative, and then you have to ask how you got into that box in the first place. Usually up high you can spot the individual towers and avoid them - it's recommended to stay 20 NM away. I've been on airline flights that diverted and landed short of the destination because of T-Storms, but now the weather forecasting has gotten good enough that they generally don't launch if the weather is predicted to be significantly bad.When you're slogging along in IMC in the teens, it's possible to wander into a storm you couldn't see, which is why radar is so helpful.

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Guest Lenny Zaman

it is possible to encounter precipitation, but i'm doubting it would be rain. i'm not sure at such altitudes the water content is not ice yet.Anyone know for sure?(normally in a CB you have an ICE/HAIL-RAIN division but i don't remember up to what alt this can go)Cheers

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...Must be Global Warming! ... :-sun1 John


I love flying my "iddy biddy Jumbo"

 

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