Radar Storm

Michigan Weather is Difficult to Predict

The weather patterns of the 2019 season continue to be challenging. One of the most difficult decisions faced as a dropzone in Michigan is making weather related schedule changes. If we have clear blue skies and light winds, or a big blob of thunderstorms that stretches 2-3 states away, rescheduling tandems and canceling operations is easy. It is those days were weather is moving through, or deceivingly windy that makes the process more difficult.

There are three major weather factors taken into consideration: temperature, clouds/precipitation and winds. Over the next few weeks our series, “Now You Know,” will feature these three different weather components in a series, highlighting their importance in making safety decisions.

Storm over Padgham Field

The storm moved in quickly over the airport in Allegan.

Decision Making

Before honing in on details, it is important to understand the process we go through as a business. As the dropzone owner and Safety and Training Advisor at Skydive Allegan, I make the final decision as to whether we are open for jumping, canceled for the day, or on a weather hold. After doing so, we utilize our Facebook and Twitter channels to relay information to our customers. These decisions are made utilizing a number of real time aviation and radar weather apps. Padgham Field has a weather station which posts weather updates to the internet every five minutes which we use extensively. Although the call isn’t always correct, years of weather watching and observation works in our favor.

Social Media Weather Announcements

If the weather is good, no weather post will be made and it is safe to assume we are open for business. If we are concerned about the weather, we post the latest information between 7 am and 8 am on both platforms. Weather hold posts have a time associated such as, “We are on a weather hold for 2 hours.” We will then reassess conditions in two hours and announce opening, closing or continuing to delay for an additional period of time.

Tandem Students Please Note: If you are scheduled to jump during the delay, you will receive a phone call as soon as a weather decision is made. You will be given the choice to either reschedule for that day (if appropriate) or a later date.

Please Message or Call with Questions

We understand and appreciate that many of our experienced skydivers, students and tandem jumpers are driving from fairly long distances and therefore, our goal is to get you the most up to date information as quickly as possible. As always, if you have additional questions regarding weather or our schedule, not answered through our posts, please contact us over DM (Instagram, Twitter, Google), Facebook messenger or call the DZ at 269-998-7747.

Now You Know