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Revealed: The countries where planes have encountered the most and least turbulence in 2024, with the USA outside the top 50 and the UK one of the BEST places for nervous flyers

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The world’s most and least turbulent countries so far in 2024 have been revealed – and it’s Bhutan where planes have experienced the most rough air, with Antarctica ranking as the least turbulent area in 172nd place.

Just above Antarctica comes Svalbard (171st), Russia (170th), Greenland (169th) and Canada (169th).

The UK ranks 150th and the USA 68th, with Australia in 64th.

The list has been drawn up by turbli.com, with the data relating to turbulence averages in January 2024.

Turbli assigned the rankings using the same data sources that pilots and airlines use to plan their flights, ‘data that comes from advanced weather models developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the MetOffice’.

The world's most and least turbulent countries so far in 2024 have been revealed

The world’s most and least turbulent countries so far in 2024 have been revealed

Following Bhutan, the rest of the top 10 comprises Guinea-Bissau (second), Senegal (third), Cabo Verde (fourth), Nepal (fifth), Gabon (sixth), Guinea (seventh), Congo (eighth), Cameroon (ninth), and Sierra Leone (10th).

The most turbulent mainland European country of 2024 is Spain, which ranks 42nd.

As well as a ‘most turbulent country’ ranking’, Turbli.com features an interactive map that forecasts turbulence levels for any given flight route.

The map, updated every six hours, offers forecasts for the current time, and three, six, nine or 12 hours into the future, across altitude levels between 4,200m (13,800ft) and 11,800m (38,700ft), which is a cruising altitude for many airliners.

Turbulence is marked in ‘heat map’ colour gradations that move from light blue to blue, and from orange to red.

Blue indicates light turbulence, with orange to red indicating moderate to strong or severe turbulence.

THE COUNTRIES WITH THE MOST AND LEAST TURBULENCE 2024

1 Bhutan

2 Guinea-Bissau

3 Senegal

4 Cabo Verde

5 Nepal

6 Gabon

7 Guinea

8 Congo

9 Cameroon

10 Sierra Leone

11 Mauritania

12 Ghana

13 Western Sahara

14 Togo

15 Azores

16 Ivory Coast

17 Liberia

18 Ctr. African Rep.

19 Benin

20 Canary Islands

21 Mali

22 Mexico

23 Burkina Faso

24 Kenya

25 Morocco

26 Uganda

27 Nigeria

28 Saudi Arabia

29 Ethiopia

30 South Sudan

31 Chad

32 U. Arab Emirates

33 Sudan

34 Niger

35 Algeria

36 Congo (Dem. Rep.)

37 Pakistan

38 Tanzania

39 Eritrea

40 Egypt

41 Oman

42 Spain

43 Somalia

44 Iran

45 Hawaii

46 Japan

47 Libya

48 Tunisia

49 Burundi

50 Galapagos

51 Yemen

52 Djibouti

53 New Caledonia

54 India

55 Switzerland

56 Uruguay

57 Ecuador

58 Portugal

59 Taiwan

60 Afghanistan

61 Lesotho

62 French Guyana

63 North Macedonia

64 Australia

65 Italy

66 Jordan

67 Albania

68 United States

69 Angola

70 Bangladesh

71 Suriname

72 Guyana

73 Bosnia-Herzegovina

74 Myanmar

75 Kyrgyzstan

76 Austria

77 Botswana

78 Palau

79 Greece

80 Panama

81 Argentina

82 Colombia

83 Guatemala

84 Indonesia

85 Madagascar

86 South Africa

87 Croatia

 

88 Cuba

89 Tajikistan

90 Namibia

91 Maldives

92 Venezuela

93 Honduras

94 Bahamas

95 Slovenia

96 Costa Rica

97 Malaysia

98 Belize

99 Laos

100 Vietnam

101 French Polynesia

102 Malawi

103 Vanuatu

104 Nicaragua

105 Papua New Guinea

106 Chile

107 Slovakia

108 Armenia

109 Czechia

110 Serbia

111 Iraq

112 Zambia

113 New Zealand

114 Brazil

115 Fiji

116 South Korea

117 Bulgaria

118 Syria

119 Micronesia

120 China

121 Mozambique

122 Sri Lanka

123 France

124 Turkey

125 Jamaica

126 Philippines

127 Puerto Rico

128 Romania

129 Zimbabwe

130 Thailand

131 Georgia

132 Azerbaijan

133 Dominican Republic

134 Peru

135 Haiti

136 Hungary

137 Solomon Islands

138 Kerguelen Islands

139 Paraguay

140 Ireland

141 Marshall Islands

142 Cambodia

143 Germany

144 North Korea

145 Falkland Islands

146 Poland

147 Bolivia

148 Belgium

149 Mariana Islands

150 United Kingdom

151 Turkmenistan

152 Alaska

153 Moldova

154 Mongolia

155 Uzbekistan

156 Ukraine

157 Netherlands

158 Iceland

159 Belarus

160 Lithuania

161 Kazakhstan

162 Denmark

163 Latvia

164 Estonia

165 Norway

166 Sweden

167 Finland

168 Canada

169 Greenland

170 Russia

171 Svalbard

172 Antarctica

Source: Turbli.com 

It's Bhutan where planes have experienced the most rough air

It’s Bhutan where planes have experienced the most rough air

Nervous flyers now have a powerful tool to help make their next flight all the more enjoyable ¿ an interactive map that forecasts turbulence levels for their route. The map covers the globe and comes courtesy of turbli.com, which explains that it uses the same data sources that pilots and airlines use to plan their flights

Nervous flyers now have a powerful tool to help make their next flight all the more enjoyable – an interactive map that forecasts turbulence levels for their route. The map covers the globe and comes courtesy of turbli.com, which explains that it uses the same data sources that pilots and airlines use to plan their flights

Turbli.com says that light turbulence equals a ‘smooth flight’; moderate bumps mean ‘difficulty in walking and with food services’; ‘strong’ results in ‘strong strains against seat belts’; and ‘severe’ turbulence results in ‘violent and sudden changes in altitude’.

Turbulence can also be defined as ‘extreme’, but here, an aircraft is ‘practically impossible to control’ and would be vanishingly rare. The kind pilots might never encounter in a career.

One of the most useful functions of the interactive map is that waypoints can be added.

Key in start and end points for a flight and a flightpath appears so users can see if it passes through any patches of turbulence. Click ‘get forecast’ and the site rustles up a turbulence graph for the trip.

Turbli.com also offers three static turbulence maps – for the world, the U.S and Europe.

These offer forecasts in three-hour steps to 24 hours into the future.

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