Article | Mar 25, 2013
The Weather Never Sleeps Turbulence What Causes Bumps In The Air BY JACK WILLIAMS (From Flight Training, June 1997.) Anyone who's made more than a few flights has almost surely had at least one bumpy ride. To pilots and passengers, the bumps are the result of "turbulence." To an atmospheric scientist, turbulence is "a state of fluid flow in which the instantaneous velocities exhibit irregular and apparently random fluctuations." Those "irregular fluctuations" of the air create the bumps.