JetBlue Plane Flew Into Thunderstorm

Weather

Thunderstorms were in the area while the JetBlue aircraft was in mid air.  

Maps show the approximate flight path of JetBlue flight 429 across southern South Dakota late Thursday evening.  The satellite map shows a very active weather pattern not just here, but up and down the upper Midwest.  

Here’s a closer look at Doppler information from VIPIR just after 8 p.m. central daylight time. You can clearly see several clusters of thunderstorms in central and south central KELOLAND.  

At 8:09pm, the jet experienced severe turbulence between Winner and White River over Mellette County, flying at an altitude just over 30,000 feet. 

While a couple of storms near the Nebraska border were severe, these cells were not unusual. However, downdraft and updraft winds around any thunderstorm can pose a hazard to aircraft. A closer look at the 3D structure of the thunderstorms shows the storm cloud tops near the same altitude as the jet, around 30,000 feet.

Weather conditions improved on the other side of the line storms as the aircraft flew into Rapid City.  

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