SLC-DEN looks ok for this time of year, though I expect a few light bumps.
DEN-IAD looks ok, but a few light to moderate bumps nearer to IAD.
IAD-GRU looks ok, once out of IAD should smooth out a lot, no jet stream to contend with, only weather, which is easily avoided.
We had some wave-like turbulence climbing out of SLC, but nothing too bad. The cruise over the Rockies was relatively smooth, and the captain turned the seat belt sign off pretty early in the flight. There was no Channel 9 available on this leg, so I wasn't hearing what others were reporting. Our descent into DEN was very smooth with the traditional "Denver bump" as we came down over the front range. We had a nice smooth landing to the south.
There were a couple small bumps on the climb out of DEN, but nothing major to speak of. The view was hampered all the way across the country with cloud cover, which disappointed my travel companion, as it was his first trip east of UT. Things got bumpier as we got toward IAD, but there wasn't anything very big. Our decent was in light chop, and the ceiling was pretty low, so we didn't know we were near the ground until we were almost on it. Our biggest frustration with this leg was our tight connection. Although we were at the gate on time, UA didn't have staff to open the door, so our 37 minute connection quickly became a 20 minute one. We had to run from one end of D to the other end of C and barely made the only daily flight to GRU.
The climb out of GRU was bumpy, although I'm sure it was mitigated by the fully loaded 777-200. We took off to the north then turned around before heading southeast out over the Atlantic. The first couple hours of the flight were smooth as we cruised at FL330 and the seat belt sign was off. As we passed over P.R. and the D.R., lightening storms were visible below and the air got slightly choppy.
We climbed to FL350 as we crossed the South American coast somewhere over Venezuela. As we passed over their southern mountains, things got pretty bumpy and the seat belt sign came on. We continued in light chop for a couple hours as we tracked toward Manaus in Brazil. As we burned fuel and became lighter, we climbed to FL370 then FL390 and the air smoothed out again.
We descended into GRU under scattered clouds and mostly sunny skies. There were no bumps to speak of, and we made a rapid descent, going from FL390 to landing in little more than 20 minutes. We touched down and began our latest South American adventure.
This flight was one of the bumpiest of the trip. The seat belt light was on for most of our time over South America, especially as we crossed the mountains in Venezuela. After crossing over the coast line, we tracked all over the map, presumable avoiding the T-storms we could see flashing all around us. Nothing worse that light chop to continuous light turbulence through this point.
Our descent into IAD was very bumpy with occasional moderate bumps. We crossed above the N. Carolina coast and tracked all over vectoring for our arrival into IAD. The ceiling was very low and IAD was shrouded in fog. We touched down about 20 minutes behind schedule.
After making it through immigration and customs, we boarded our 763 to DEN. It was a full flight, but we closed up and pushed on time. Once in line for takeoff, things got dicey.
The tower was instructing most pilots to shut down engines. The explanation was a "severe turbulence event" directly over IAD with all fixes affected. Then, inexplicably, they instructed our flight to take the runway and depart. The captain sounded very hesitant when he confirmed the instructions with the tower, but off we went. He made an announcement saying we would likely hit some pretty rough air, and to please stay seated with belts secure and tight.
We took off into the cloudy sky and climber VERY fast to FL330 with nary a bump. It wasn't until we landed in DEN that we learned there were major delays and cancellations due to an FAA computer glitch that affected IAD as well as many other eastern airports. Hmmm...severe turbulence event, or cover story? The rest of the flight, including arrival into DEN was smooth.
Our home stretch, and a very good flight. We hit some light chop and occasional moderate bumps on the climb before finding smooth air at FL340 over to SLC. Our descent was smooth and we landed to the south to be greeted by the famous SLC smog inversion. Yuck. I still find it amazing that GRU, a city of 17 million, has less smog than SLC.
As always, thanks for the forecast. I have one more CLE trip, and that should be it for this year!