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What are the weather restrictions for hot air ballooning?

19/10/2022 Jo Bailey Features

There is no other form of flight that is quite like the experience of drifting in a hot air balloon. It combines the thrills offered by rival types of air travel such as aeroplane or helicopter flights with a serene charm all of its own.

Not every day will be suitable for taking a hot air balloon up into the sky though. This is a mode of travel that is particularly dependent on the right sort of weather conditions to make it the safe and pleasurable experience that it should be.

So, what weather restrictions are there on hot air balloon flights?


Wind is one of the elements that can have the most influence on whether a balloon flight is able to go ahead. Although balloons have a burner that pushes the hot air up into the envelope and lifts the balloon that is all it does. Once it is in the sky, the balloon is pretty much dependent on the wind to determine where it will go. For that reason, there has to be restrictions on how strong the wind can be unless you want to book a hot air balloon in Bath and finish up in France!

The standard rule among professional balloon companies is that light winds of below 10 miles per hour are suitable conditions for a flight.


Fog is another factor that is very important in deciding whether a ride can take place or not. No pilot would take a hot air balloon up into the skies when thick fog was affecting visibility. Aside from the fact that it would be dangerous, it would also make the experience pointless.

The purpose of a hot air balloon trip is to be able to experience the scenic beauty of places like Bath and Bristol from above. Very few customers would be satisfied with a trip where their memories – and pictures – consisted of fog, fog and more fog.


Rain can turn a balloon ride into a dangerous prospect. It is kept in the sky by the hot air being pushed into it and rain will act as a coolant – which will make the balloon lose height. The pilot will be forced to counteract this by making greater use of the burners, which in turn makes controlling the balloon harder.

If you want to book a Bristol, Bath or South Wales hot air balloon ride, contact Bailey Balloons now.

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