Did Weather Cause the AirAsia Plane Crash?

Early Sunday morning, AirAsia Flight 8501 disappeared. This aircraft took off from Surabaya, Indonesia with 162 passengers and two pilots. So where in the world did this plane go, and what might have caused the crash?

In an article from Discover Magazine, potential weather impacts are discussed.

An animation of satellite images acquired by NASA’s Terra satellite about two and a half hours after AirAsia Flight QZ8501 lost contact. One is in true color the other in false color. (Source: NASA)

Thunderstorms with clouds heights over 44,000 ft were present in the area. Storms with over shooting tops show an intense updraft. An intense updraft has the potential to greatly impact an airplane in the air. The Pilot was reported asking to ascend to 38,000 ft but was denied his request. Perhaps the intense storms played a role in the plane crash.

The MTSAT-2 weather satellite acquired this infrared image close to when the AirAsia flight disappeared. A circle indicates the approximate location of final contact with controllers. Singapore, the flight’s destination, is labelled as “WSSS” in the upper left corner of the image. (Source: CIMSS)

To read more, check out the Discover Magazine article.