What Is The Best Kind Of Day For A Hot Air Balloon Ride?
If you are planning your once in a lifetime hot air balloon trip, you might be wondering when the best season and day is to book your flight in the hopes of the best view and weather.
The best kind of day for flying in a hot air balloon is a dry calm sunny day, with stable winds and no chances of rain/clouds for poor visibility. Ballooning should be done during the early hours or later hours of the day when the sun is setting.
We’ve put together a short guide below which will take you through the ideal times of the year for ballooning and conditions, why bad weather can cancel your ballooning day and why ballooning is done during the sunrise and sunset time of the days.
Which Time Of The Year Should I Go Hot Air Ballooning?
Hot air ballooning is an activity which can typically be done all year round if conditions allow, but most popular times tend to be during the months of April and October, this can change according to the destination you are ballooning in, however.
Hot air ballooning will ideally be planned around months when rain and stormy weather is not likely, but nowadays weather can be unpredictable, winter months can also be ideal for ballooning when conditions are clear.
What Are Ideal Conditions For Hot Air Ballooning?
As we mentioned above, hot air ballooning can be done all year round but is condition dependent. The best conditions for balloon flights are clear days, with no fog, mist or chances of rain which could affect visibility.
Ideally, this is done in the early hours or late hours of the day in light winds between 4-6 mph.
Why Do Hot Air Balloon Rides Get Canceled?
If you are trying to plan your hot air balloon ride to avoid cancellation or maybe your balloon flights keep getting delayed, you might be wondering what factors influence whether or not a hot air balloon takes off?
- There’s a thunderstorm near – Hot air balloons are not allowed to fly within 100 miles of a near thunderstorm due to the horizontal air streams which can affect the speed of a hot air balloon flight.
- It’s too hot – Very high temperatures can keep a balloon grounded, not only do these hot weather conditions make the balloon uncomfortable to ride but they can also produce unstable weather patterns such as dangerous winds.
- The clouds are too low/fog – Fog and poor visibility make conditions for ballooning super unsafe since you can’t see power lines and other obstacles, plus if the view is limited it doesn’t make a very scenic ride! Heavy fog is usually the cause of last-minute cancellations since it can appear out of nowhere.
- The wind – This is the number one most important factor as to why hot air balloon pilots can’t fly, wind affects taking off since too strong wind direction can make the balloon harder to inflate, it affects the steering if upper and lower winds are too strong and also the landing safety, fast winds can affect how smooth this process goes.
Which Time Of Day Should Hot Air Ballooning Be Done?
As well as the kind of day and right category of weather, you should also consider the time of day for the best ballooning.
Most hot air ballooning is done either early in the morning at sunrise or evening at sunset, this is because the air temperature is low at this time and the sun is weak, it’s also an ideal time for safe winds because the sun has not produced unstable wind conditions through thermal tunnels in the air.
This is why hot air balloons do not often fly during the day unless it is winter or overcast because there are strong surface winds.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Kind Of Day For Hot Air Balloon Riding
What wind speeds are too high for hot air ballooning?
Any winds above 10 mph are considered risky for flying a hot air balloon, this can make the balloon harder to control and a riskier landing.
Why can hot weather cancel a hot air balloon ride?
If the temperature is too hot outside wind gusts can make the ride more unpredictable, it also makes the balloon sluggish and unpleasant for hot air balloon passengers since the balloon is already hot inside.
Do hot air balloons fly during the rain?
No, this is because the rain on the balloon fabric can cool the temperature inside, this interferes with the buoyancy of the balloon and can cause it to sink the smaller the temperature difference to the outside air.
Overall, a clear day with moderate temperatures, no clouds and light winds is ideal for a hot air balloon ride, this is typically done during the summer months of the year but might change according to the destination and its weather patterns.
Hot air balloon rides can be cancelled for numerous reasons but most are related to poor unexpected weather which makes controlling the balloon dangerous as well as taking off and landing. Most companies do allow you to rebook your flight for free however when conditions improve the next day.
I’m Annie, a twenty-something year old girl who loves hot air balloons. So much so, that I have a full time job as a Flight Instructor and it is all I love talking about. Something about being up there in the elevated altitudes helps all my stresses float away!