Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
Drones work best when the weather is clear not in bad weather. Clear skies, low winds, and warm temperatures are your best friend when it comes to flying your drone.
However, not every day is going to present with the ideal weather conditions.
Some days are going to overcast, drizzling, breezy, or cold. Some conditions will affect your drone negatively and can even render your drone completely useless.
This is why it is essential to know what conditions your drone can fly in and what conditions you are better off to avoid.
So, Can a drone fly in bad weather?
Although it is best to fly a drone when it is sunny, it is still possible to pursue the activity when there is wind, rain, or snow. However, you must be prepared to put in an extra effort and also expect the battery to drain fast. A drone may also get damaged in the rain if it is not water-resistant, but flying in snow may not be a bad idea after all.
Table of contents:
- Can A Drone Fly in the Rain?
- Can A Drone Fly In Windy Conditions?
- Can Drones Fly in Snow?
- What Are IP Ratings?
- Best Drones for Bad Weather:
Can A Drone Fly in the Rain?
Your first instinct to this question might be a hard no. After all, water and electronics don’t tend to mix.
However, this answer is not accurate. You can fly your drone in rainy weather, depending on the drone you are flying and how rainy it is. While some drones are resistant to moisture, most drones are not waterproof or water-resistant.
So, it is vital to be familiar with your specific drone and what its capabilities are. Water getting into your drone can penetrate the drone’s electric parts, which will cause it to short out.
If this happens while the drone is in the air, you may lose control of the drone, leading to someone becoming injured. Furthermore, It is crucial that you consider your landing pad’s moisture if you fly your drone after rain.
Landing your drone in the wet grass can lead to a short circuit in the electrical components, or rust to develop over time if water gets into the drone on landing.
What Happens to the Drone When It Gets Wet?
When a drone gets wet, it can lead to many drone issues, depending on where the water enters the drone. Some drones are designed to have large air vents, which aid in flight control.
If water gets into drones with this design, it will likely get right into the electric motor. If the water gets into the drone’s power distribution board, the controller, or the electric motor, the batteries will short circuit, which can lead to many possible consequences.
Some of these consequences include melted or burned cables and other components of the circuit board. In addition, the rotor and stator can weld together.
Many commercially available drones are protected by a housing that determines whether the drone can withstand any moisture.
To find out how water-resistant your drone is, use the IP code as a reference.
Can A Drone Fly In Windy Conditions?
Whether a drone can fly when it is windy is impossible to answer with a simple yes or no, this question cannot be answered like this is due to the term windy being open to interpretation.
As a general rule, a drone can fly in winds up to two-thirds of its maximum speed. This means that if your drone has a top speed of 16 MPH, you can fly in winds up to 10 MPH.
Drones are affected by the wind, but each situation requires different considerations. Going through the starting sequence and landing sequence of your flight are the most dangerous situation during strong winds.
This is because the turbulence of the wind overlays the ground level turbulence of the drone.
In this situation, the drone can be displaced or flipped over. You can prevent this problem by taking off and landing your drone in a protected place from the wind.
During your flight sequence, you must be incredibly attentive. The drone will react to the wind with unexpected movements, and you must be able to counter those movements.
Keep your drone in sight at all times and avoid flying over people in case you aren’t able to compensate accurately for your drone’s movements.
The best is if you also remembered that your drone is going to need more power to fly during windy conditions, so your flight time should be shorter than expected.
Can Drones Fly in Snow?
Flying your drone in the wintertime can lead to some beautiful photos. However, flying while snowing can damage your drone because snow is water, and water can get into your drone and cause damage.
Flying during flurries or after a snowfall is the best time to take your drone out.
How Cold Is Too Cold to Fly A Drone?
Cold weather will affect how your drone flies and how your battery functions. It is important to note that cold weather will reduce the amount of time you can fly your drone because the battery will drain faster than it usually would.
For this reason, it is not recommended that you fly your drone when the outside temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to Keep Batteries Warm?
When you take your drone out for wintertime flying, it is essential to keep your battery warm. Before you even start to take your drone outside, make sure that your batteries are charged to 100.
Keep them warm, keep them in a special battery bag that keeps batteries warm, hand warmer, and never place them on the ground.
Place them into your drone right before you start flying and hover your drone for about thirty seconds to ensure that your battery is warm before you start flying.
When you land your drone, remove the batteries immediately and warm them up with hand warmers again in the special battery bag.
Ensure that you charge your batteries back up to 100% within twenty-four hours of being exposed to the cold.
What Are IP Ratings?
IP (International Protection Marking) ratings are the standard used to classify a product’s resistance against water and dust.
IP ratings usually include two numbers in their rating, where the first number represents the solid particle protection, and the second number indicates the protection against liquids.
When insignificant data has been gathered, there is no number to express it. In this case, the empty place is held by the letter “X.”
The tables are summarized as follows.
For dust protection:
- Level 0 is not effective against dust particles
- Level 1 is effective against dust particles larger than 50 mm
- Level 2 is effective against dust particles larger than 12.5 mm
- Level 3 is effective against dust particles larger than 2.5 mm
- Level 4 is effective against dust particles larger than 1 mm
- Level 5 is dust protective
- Level 6 is dust-tight
For water protection:
- – Level 0 is not effective against water
- – Level 1 is effective against dripping water
- – Level 2 is effective against dripping water when tilted at fifteen degrees
- – Level 3 is effective against spraying water
- – Level 4 is effective against water splashes
- – Level 5 is effective against water jets
- – Level 6 is effective against powerful water jets
- -Level 7 is effective against water immersion up to a depth of 1 meter for thirty minutes
- -Level 8 is effective against water immersion up to a depth of more than 1 meter for long periods
So for example, a code of IP61 stands for dust-tight and dripping water, and a code of IPX3 means the drone is protected against spraying water but has not been rated against dust.
Best Drones for Bad Weather:
If you want to fly your drone in less than ideal weather, you will have to invest in a higher-end drone. A drone equipped to handle bad weather will need high battery life, a high maximum speed, and a high IP rating. The following drones are good choices.
Swell pro Spry+:
This drone is one of the few drones that also comes with a waterproof remote that will float on water. Its battery can last for a flight time of fifteen to seventeen minutes, and its speed can climb to 43 MPH.
The Spry+ is also the only drone that will return to the remote if it loses signal instead of taking off.
The Quad H2O appears like a flying submarine. However, it will not cut through the water like a submarine. This waterproof option has a fully floating design and up to ten minutes of flight time on a full charge.
Yuneec Typhoon H Plus- My Top Choice:
If you are looking for a drone that will be great for flying in more inclement weather conditions, the Yuneec Typhoon H Plus is the right choice.
While most drones cannot be flown in temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, this drone can fly in temperatures as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Additionally, the Typhoon H Plus has a battery life of up to thirty minutes and has a wind resistance of up to 35 MPH. Though not completely waterproof, the Typhoon H Plus is water-resistant.
Note- Look out for new DJI Matrice 200. It can fly in rain or snow, and also it carries three cameras at once.
Weather conditions that are less than perfect don’t need to leave you grounded.
Knowing that risks each of the different weather conditions will pose to your drone will help you know exactly what precautions you need to take to protect your drone.
When flying in weather conditions that are not perfect, be sure that you keep away from any people and buildings and keep your drone in your vision line during your entire flight.
Be prepared to end your drone flight early if the weather conditions suddenly get worse. If you do these things, you will be able to enjoy flying your drone in any weather.