If that prospect gives you the jitters about an upcoming flight, at least there’s now a way to find out what you’re in for.
Turbli is a handy website designed to supply travelers with free turbulence forecasts based on the “same data sources that pilots and airlines use to plan their flights”: weather models developed by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United Kingdom’s national weather service, known as the Met Office.
Probably the simplest way to use Turbli, especially if you’re a visual thinker, is to visit the site’s interactive turbulence map, where you can get a current picture of the globe’s bumpy-skies situation at altitudes from about 14,000 feet to about 37,000 feet.
Updated every 6 hours, the map can show current conditions and forecasts for 3, 6, 9, and 12 hours into the future. You can even enter departure and arrival airports for a zoomed-in picture of your route.
According to the map’s legend, blue areas indicate smooth flying or light turbulence, orange means moderate to strong turbulence, and red means strong to severe turbulence. Consult Turbli’s FAQ page for details on the differences from level to level and whether, say, your Diet Coke will merely spill or will bounce around the cabin, spraying all of economy class.
Because turbulence can arise so quickly, predicting conditions with any degree of accuracy beyond 2 days or so has proven near impossible, Turbli’s website explains.
As an alternative to the maps, you can enter a departure airport and an arrival airport at Turbli’s homepage to get a graph-based forecast for flights up to 36 hours in advance.
To get started, go to Turbli.com.