Can Drones Fly in Bad Weather?


Can Drones Fly in Bad Weather?

*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

If you are a drone enthusiast or just someone who is learning about drones it is important to know the best time to fly a drone as well as when you should and shouldn’t take it up in the air. If you just went to take your drone out and noticed it was windy or rainy you might have wondered if flying a drone in poor weather conditions was possible. 

Flying your drone in bad weather is something that you can do but unless your drone is waterproof then flying it during rain or snow puts your drone at serious risk of crashing. Wind and other conditions are not ideal for drone flying either. 

Sunny weather is the most suitable condition for drone flying. A moderate temperature of around 75 degrees Fahrenheit with little or no wind to be specific is the best possible weather. The reason for this is that sunny days are not only beautiful but also offer a perfect temperature for drones to function at. The reality, however, is that not all days will have this temperature and if you live in certain areas a day without wind might be quite rare. 

Even if you fly in perfect weather you might still end up crashing your drone but you are obviously much more likely to damage it if it is windy, rainy, or if flying it in cold temps.  But what if you really want to take your drone out when the weather isn’t perfect? What are some things that you should keep in mind? What are the risks?

Is there a risk of operating your drone in poor weather?

If you expose your drone to any poor weather conditions (we will discuss some specific ones next), two things are likely to happen. In the scenario that the drone is waterproof, you can smile and continue enjoying the drone flight as long as you are careful to keep it within eyesight and make sure that any strong winds don’t blow you into obstacles.  

Related Post  Are RC Helicopters Hard To Fly? A Beginner's Guide

In the chance that the drone is only water-resistant to a certain level or not waterproof at all, you can be sure that the drone will be at risk of having technical complications like the speed controllers blowing out if you fly it in bad weather. If you experience the second scenario, place the drone in a dry place and remove its batteries, then check and see if the device has been damaged. In case the cells of the battery are damaged, dispose of them and if the damage seems to be worse or if you can’t get the drone to work after drying it out then take the drone to a professional repairer for further checkup. 

If the device happens to be under warranty and water damage is covered then don’t open the drone up and instead contact the company or insurer that you used. 

Examples of bad weather for flying your drone

Rainy weather 

Not all drones can fly when it is raining since not all of them are waterproof or water-resistant. However, there are some which have different levels of water resistance and can operate when the rain is at a certain intensity, above which it can destroy the functions of the drone, especially the critical parts of the device like the electronic and motor components. 

Even if your drone is waterproof flying it in the rain could still cause issues as visibility is often a problem in rainy weather and not being able to see your drone properly could cause you to accidentally crash it.

Snow

Normally, flying drones in winter is a very challenging exercise. This is because the low temperatures of winter adversely affect the flight performance of the drone. You are also likely to encounter snow during drone flights especially in certain parts of the country/world.  It is, however, still possible to fly a drone when it is snowing. 

Before you ever take off be sure that the device is free from snow and ice on any of the blades or body. Clean off any snow or ice before it melts to ensure that it does not come in contact with the battery or weigh down your drone and affect how it flies.

Related Post  Are Drones Flammable? (Are They Dangerous?)

Cold

Most drones are designed to fly in temperatures ranging from 32-104 degrees Fahrenheit. If a drone is flown outside this range, it can become dangerous to your device. However, if your drone has high-tech features that enable it to handle icy conditions, continue flying! 

Before you begin operating the drone, check the temperatures and weather conditions. Avoid taking flight when the temperatures are below 32°F if at all possible.

Fog

This poor weather condition forms the most common reason why a drone can get lost or crash. It is never advisable to fly your drone in foggy weather. Water from the fog can also cause short-circuiting in the electrical components of the drone. The design of the drone greatly determines how best the drone will react in the presence of fog. 

Some drones are designed with large air vents to help in flight control. Sometimes, the water from the fog directly penetrates the electric motor and adversely affects the controller or the power distribution board, causing a short circuit. The short circuiting melts cables, welds the stator and rotor of the engine therefore, destroying the drone.

Flying the drones over water

Although this technically isn’t a type of weather it is still something that you have to consider when flying a drone. Many aerial videographers are usually afraid to fly theri quadcopters or drones over water and with good reason. If you lose control of the drone or it runs out of battery before you can get it back away from the water not only will it crash but it will also likely sink and be unrecoverable. 

Flying along the edge of the water is fine but unless you have a drone that is designed to automatically come back to you once the battery levels reach a certain point then flying more than a few yards out over the water isn’t a good idea.

How are drones evolving?

Generally, drones are ranked among the most significant technological inventions in the aviation world. Plane manufacturers noticed the efficiency of quadcopters, and currently there is an explosion of brands and models on the market and that is not likely to slow down anytime soon. 

Related Post  Do All Drones Take Pictures?

To increase their effectiveness, manufacturers have added more features to their previous drones, and some have even been designed to battle with bad weather and prevail. It is also worth noting that as drones become more popular, they continually undergo development to make them suitable for any type of weather condition.

What is the best drone for bad weather?

These devices have significant features that make flying in poor weather effortless. While there exists some high-tech quadcopters capable of photography, videography, and aerobatics, not all of them are affordable. Manufacturers are therefore developing a larger number of affordable drones that can still work effectively in bad weather.

The main features that make a drone suitable for flying in bad weather include waterproof features and stabilization features that help the drone to maintain its stability even when operating in unfriendly weather.. Additional features to look for include a radical propulsion system that gives the device enough power to go against any type of weather. Weather-resistant drones are usually excellent and reliable in taking photos and recording videos because of their in-built thermal cameras.

The Swellpro Splash drone 3 is one of the only drones on the market that is actually waterproof and it is quite expensive. You can learn more about this specific model on Amazon by clicking here. 

Conclusion

Although drones can fly in windy or rainy conditions under most circumstances it is best to avoid using your drone in bad weather if at all possible. Since there are very few waterproof drones and even the most expensive drones from DJI are not waterproof any time that you take your drone up in bad weather you are risking damaging or destroying it. 

For most people only flying when there is no precipitation or fog is a good course of action. 

Matt Robbs

I love to spend time with my wife and 3 kids. There is no better way to get them off the couch and outside than for us to grab the RC cars or boat and enjoy the sunshine!

Recent Posts