After making some improvements — many of which stem from using the system myself during my own holiday travels — I have brought BumpySkies back online, albeit with rather more humility than displayed during its public debut last month.

I should have made it more clear (to myself, as much as to anyone else) that the service remains very much in beta for the time being, with lots of bugs and lesser usability problems still to find and fix. I feel hopeful that I won’t ever again need to take the system entirely offline for such a long time. The extended outage over the last couple of weeks was unavoidable due to the same “holiday vortex” that I rushed to release BumpySkies ahead of.

I remain eager to receive user feedback about BumpySkies, which always helps tremendously. Please send along any comments to its Twitter account or to email.

After a couple of weeks of great feedback from its earliest public users, I’ve decided to take BumpySkies offline for a while.

I know that the timing isn’t spectacular here, with holiday travel happening right now. However, while its weather predictions are spot-on, its flight information is variously inaccurate, and I’ve decided I’d rather not have it work at all for a while than have it publish false information.

I will work hard on getting an improved BumpySkies up as soon as I can. Thank you to all who have tried it and reported its various successes and failures so far this month.

With pride and relief, I this week launch the public beta of BumpySkies: my gift to the air-traveling world at large, and to and my fellow aviophobes in particular. I have worked on it since late 2015, and plan on keeping it a focus of my attention for the indefinite future.

As its about-page states, BumpySkies is a free online service that hopes to help demystify plane travel for commercial air passengers. Its sole function, for the moment, is predicting turbulence intensity along the planned routes of major-carrier flights over the contental United States.

If you make use of BumpySkies, I’d love to know about your experience. How accurate did you find it? If you’re a nervous flier (like me), did it make your flight a little less scary? Please drop me a line at to let me know what you think.

This blog will serve as my platform for occasional news and updates about BumpySkies. You can also follow this service on Twitter, or sign up to our mailing list to get important news about BumpySkies sent to you directly.

I would like to thank various people who’ve helped with BumpySkies over the last year:

  • Tim Mahony and Brian Pettegrew of NOAA, David Wickes of FAA, Yemin Htay of Harris Corporation, and Chrissy Jackson of Shadowcat Systems, all of whom provided invaluable technological assistance.

  • Michael Carriere, Chris Cieslik, Liza Daly, Kevin Jackson-Mead, Jim Manning, Marc Moskowitz, and Carolyn VanEseltine for pre-beta testing and early feedback.

  • Mark Musante, for accidentally giving me the idea for all this.

  • Everyone in chat, social media, and real life who showed interest in all my BumpySkies talk for months, and helped encourage me to see it all the way through to launch.