Does Santa Take Weather Flying Safety Precautions With His Sleigh and Reindeer?

Weather Talk

POSTED: Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - 11:50am

UPDATED: Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - 12:20pm

There Are Some Flying Challenges During The Cold Season.

I was thinking this morning about all the safety precautions Santa must take to fly around the world with his reindeer. Is Reindeer fur a natural “deicer”? Does he have to deal with a lot of turbulence? Maybe he catches a ride on the fast moving currents of air 6 to 10 miles above our head we call the “jet stream”. Many questions were tumbling around in my head, so I decided to research about flying during the cold season.

Any month has its set of challenges for flying, especially here in the Borderland. We have some of the best flying weather in the world just up the road at White Sands. That is why we have tested every type of flying device imaginable at White Sands Missile Range. That is also why the German and Japanese air force uses it for training as well.

During the spring and summer months turbulence is a problem, especially during the maximum heating part of the afternoon. Our “windy season” strong, gusty winds from the end of February through the start of May, makes it especially challenging to take off and land.

Cold weather presents its own set of challenges. Now the air tends to be much smoother in the winter, less turbulence, unless, the plane or Santa is flying over the Area Mountains. The jet stream air tumbles over the mountains like a stream tumbles over rocks, causing a bumpy ride.

All pilots are required to obtain weather information before they leave the airport. Many of the larger planes have their own Doppler radar, on board lightning detectors and equipment that heats the planes wings to melt ice. Some airlines even have their own meteorologists and weather forecasters. Pilots can talk to the air traffic control tower for updates.

I am sure Santa has a team of meteorologist elves and flight planners to aid him on his long and fast journey around the world tonight. I wrote him a letter; I will leave it with the traditional milk and cookies, asking a few questions I haven’t quite figured out. You know about the reindeer fur and all. I will let you know when he responds. I wish everyone safe travel this holiday season and days filled with family, friends and joy!

Ho..Ho..Ho Merry Christmas!

Chuck DeBroder, Chief Meteorologist
KTSM, NewsChannel 9, NBC, El Paso, TX Chuck DeBroder NC9 @wxchuckNC9

(Image. MGN Online)

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