Ballooning is a ‘Fair Weather” sport!
Conditions must be right for us to fly. The "Go For Launch" decision has not yet been made. It may appear that it's a beautiful day but sometimes it might not be suitable for a balloon flight. If you are here, we are pretty confident the conditions are great but we always like to be sure.
For Sunrise flights, it might be foggy or we have a low layer of clouds present. For Sunset flights, windy conditions at meeting time are normal. As the day progresses, fog goes away and the winds calm. We want to get into the air at just the right time to have a great flight. If we launch too early it might be too fast and over too soon.
For the last couple of hours, our Pilots have been checking weather forecasts and actual conditions all over the area. Weather changes by terrain so it might be good a few miles away but not in our flight area. So we are assessing the last minute conditions for our flight and landing area. Feel free to chat with our flight team members while the Pilots assess and make final decisions. The flight team members are very knowledgeable and are always happy to answer questions too!
So before we say Go, we make sure we are going “The right direction”
We care what direction we fly. Once aloft we go with the wind. There are good directions and there are difficult directions.
Our Team is checking the actual weather conditions at locations locally and as far away as 50 miles of Harvey Field to be sure we can have a great flight.
What are we looking at:
The wind speed. We don't like fast winds. It's tough to launch, we get to the landing too fast, and landing can be bumpy.
The wind direction. We want to go towards great views and big landing spots. Not every direction the wind is moving takes us to great spots for landing.
We don't want to get wet. Rain 20 miles away can get to us while we are flying.
How do we check?
Did you see the little helium filled balloon we launched? We call them "PiBals" (Pilot information balloons). They tell us the speed and direction. We time them so we know how high they go. They climb approximately 300 ft / minute. How long we can watch them tells us how fast the air is moving.
We check lots weather sites. This gives us a great idea of what the weather is doing now, what it might be doing later and what might be heading our way.
Is there a chance we might cancel the flight once you are here?
Yes unfortunately it's possible!
We want you to have a safe and enjoyable flight.
If the conditions are not suitable, it's best to stay on the ground. We have an old saying in ballooning, "It's better to be down here wishing we were up there than up there wishing we were down here"
What if we can't fly? We hope you can reschedule! We hate to disappoint anyone, but we know when you get in the air it will be the balloon flight worth waiting for.