"Urgent - Severe Turbulence"

While I realize this is coded information, I want to make an important point:
It is a report of severe turbulence near Grand Rapids, Michigan from a regional jet that was sent with urgent priority.

Severe turbulence is rare. I am a very frequent flier and have experienced it exactly once (in a thunderstorm). If your flight is scheduled to fly through the oval I have drawn, please keep your seat belt tight, don't get up more than necessary and don't eat a big meal right before take off.

Addition: I plotted a map (courtesy, NWS Aviation Weather Center) of the current reports of turbulence and their short term forecast of moderate or greater turbulence (brown tint). The area of turbulence will expand and increase during the afternoon to, more or less, the red oval above.


  1. I flew into GRR about 8 hours before that report. The Southwest captain briefed the passengers that it was going to be a bumpy ride an as a result he was turning on the seatbelt sign for the last 45 minutes of the flight. As someone who works in the FAA Command Center (non-FAA) I can tell you that one of the reasons most people rarely experience this is because after ATC receives a report like this (and in many cases once they have even a forecast for these conditions) they will keep the aircraft out of that airspace. Of course, during the busy holiday season this leads to delays because they have increased traffic volume and reduced airspace to use. Personally, I'll take a delayed flight over experiencing severe turbulence any day! Thanks for sharing this information with your followers, not enough people understand why they need to keep their seatbelt fastened.


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