Can I Skydive When It's Cloudy Outside?

December 11, 2023

Whether they are fluffy and white or gray and gloomy, when the clouds start to roll in on your skydiving plans, your curiosity takes flight. “Can you skydive on a cloudy day?”, you may wonder. With skydiving being a weather-dependent sport, there are a few important safety considerations to take in before attempting to jump in potentially dangerous conditions. We hate to be a Debbie Downer, but your dreams of laying on a bed of puffy white clouds may not be a reality. So get your head out of the clouds, and let’s clear the air on all things skydiving when it’s cloudy!

Can You Skydive In The Rain?


This one is usually pretty understandable, most people don’t favor being outside in the rain, let alone up in the sky. If you’re wondering “Is it safe to skydive through a rain cloud?”, you most likely won’t be surprised to know that skydiving in the rain or through a rain cloud is prohibited. Safety is paramount in the world of skydiving, and at Skydive Danielson, we prioritize the well-being of our jumpers above all else. Jumping through a rain cloud is not only dangerous, it’s quite uncomfortable! Here’s how rain can negatively impact your skydive:

  • Rain limits visibility
  • Rain alters the way the parachute is designed to perform
  • Rain is uncomfortable, even painful, to skydivers zooming at speeds of 120 mph.


Can I Skydive When It’s Cloudy?


The allure of soaring through the clouds prompts the question: can you skydive on a cloudy day? Skydiving while it’s cloudy outside comes with its own set of challenges and safety considerations. At Skydive Danielson, we adhere to very strict safety guidelines and closely monitor weather conditions to ensure optimal skydiving experiences. Skydiving when it’s cloudy can impair visibility and heighten the risk of collisions, making it crucial for jumpers to exercise caution.


However, not all clouds are bad. Clouds can turn your already amazing view into a majestic marvel. There’s nothing better than freefalling past a perfectly puffy white cloud and feeling one with Earth’s undeniably beautiful canvas. As long as the skydiver has visibility, clouds in the area can be a real treat while in freefall.

Can I Skydive Through a Cloud?


When we’re talking about skydiving and clouds, the most dangerous thing is skydiving through a cloud. Clouds may look delightful from the ground, but in all actuality, clouds are basically just really dense fog. And if you’ve ever seen fog on the ground you can imagine how terrifying it might be to not be able to see your surroundings while in the sky, especially because skydivers use their frame of reference to make very important decisions and split-second judgment calls. Here are the reasons why you cannot skydive through a cloud:



  • Clouds significantly limit visibility
  • Clouds increase the risk of a mid-air collision and/or landing off the dropzone
  • Skydiving through a cloud is illegal! (See below)


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sets forth strict guidelines that skydiving centers throughout the United States must follow. Violations of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) are federal offenses. According to FAR Part 105.17“no person may conduct a parachute operation, and no pilot in command of an aircraft may allow a parachute operation to be conducted from that aircraft - 


  1. Into or through a cloud, or
  2. When the flight visibility or the distance from any cloud is less than that prescribed …”

How High Do Clouds Need to Be to Skydive?


Skydivers follow Cloud Clearance requirements for Visual Flight Rules (VFR) conditions. A skydiver, or pilot, that is more than 1,200 feet above the surface and is:


  • LESS THAN 10,000 feet MSL must be able to see with an unobstructed view for at least three miles and must maintain a distance of 500 feet below clouds, 1,000 feet above clouds, and 2,000 feet horizontally away from clouds.


  • AT OR ABOVE 10,000 feet MSL must be able to see with an unobstructed view for at least five miles and must maintain a distance of 1,000 feet below clouds, 1,000 feet above clouds, and one mile horizontally away from clouds.

So, basically, as long as the clouds are above your exit altitude, you’re good and anything in between will be assessed by the Safety & Training Advisor and the aircraft pilot.


What Happens If You Skydive Through a Cloud?


Skydiving through a cloud can be unexpected and disorienting for a moment. At Skydive Danielson, we prioritize the safety of our jumpers and advise against intentionally skydiving through clouds. Skydivers use multiple aviation weather reports such as AWOS (Automated Weather Observing System) to follow wind and weather patterns throughout the day. However, if you know anything about weather, or Mother Nature for that matter, you’ll know that weather can be pretty unpredictable and that clouds can form out of seemingly nowhere. If this does happen while on your jump, don’t worry; our instructors are trained to guide you back safely into clear skies.


If the clouds are scattered, we will usually try to wait it out to get you up in the sky. In some cases, clouds are just stubborn and there’s not much we can do about it. Sometimes we have to make tough decisions to protect the safety of our customers and our team. Find out what happens if there are clouds on the day of your skydive at Skydive Danielson. We wish you blue skies and sweet skydives! Come jump with us!


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