Wind shear Aviation

When the phrase wind shear is used, you might immediately think of something wind-related, but discussing shear in aviation can be more confusing.

Having little turbulence when flying is nothing new for a pilot or passenger, but you could have heard the captain say that “the flight is suffering a little wind shear,” which made you ask some pretty unsettling rhetorical questions.

Join me as I take you through this word in its meaning, synonyms, antonyms, translations, and use cases for a better understanding.



Wind shear Aviation / wɪŋ ʃɪər / is a sudden change in the direction or speed of the wind.


Wind shear is a relatively small region of abrupt velocity shift. Both close to the ground and in jet streams, where it might be connected to clear-air turbulence, wind shear is seen.


This is a sudden change in wind direction or speed. A shear line is a relatively small region of abrupt velocity shift.


Other Meanings

Wind shear in aviation occurs when there is a change in the wind’s direction or speed at a specific distance, usually one that is close by.


A short-distance, abrupt change in wind speed and/or direction is known as wind shear.



microburst aircraft.

sudden downdraft plane.

veering wind jet

wind shift airline

abrupt downdraft airplane

drifting wind flight

wind change aviation



straighten thicken

free inflate

let go blown up

release aerated

uncover filled

unloose puffed up

untwist puffed out

unwrap pumped up

elongate thicken

Freely expand

release blown up

reveal filled

unloose bloated

rip open pumped-up



Many languages have a pronunciation to these words, but here we will take a look at some of the ways some world languages pronounce it.

French: Cisaillement du vent

Romanian: Forfecarea vântului

Russian: сдвиг ветра (sdvig vetra)

Albanian: Qethje e erës

Catalan: Cisalla del vent

Chinese: 风切变 (Fēng qiè biàn)


Use cases

  • The crew of the Michael Else claims to have been trapped in the accompanying wind shear, which affected my flight to Nigeria.


  • The findings demonstrate the need for parametrizations of GWD to account for directional wind shear. This takes into consideration elements like wind shear and torque on the tower itself.


  • The storm was greatly lessened by strong wind shear and falling sky surface temperatures. Flight delay occurred that day as a result of wind shear and terrain interaction.


  • Prior to flight 269, another aircraft landed and encountered wind shear. The atmosphere was particularly favorable for the development of tornadic activity due to explosive wind shear.


  • A wind shear can cause a plane to be abruptly launched downward.


  • Wind shear energy is used to create the turbulence that results from dynamic instabilities. But once the warm season starts, wind shear typically stops over Florida.


Frequently Asked Questions

What affects wind shear?

The short-distance shift in wind speed and direction is known as wind shear.

Microbursts from thunderstorms, temperature inversions, and surface barriers are the main causes of it. Wind shear patterns can be classified as either horizontal or vertical.

What kind of wind shear is most harzardous?

Undoubtedly, the most hazardous types of wind shear are produced by microbursts.

It is made up of a narrow column of extremely concentrated and confined sinking air that falls to the ground (known as “the downdraft”) and splits apart upon making contact with the surface of the earth, creating a ring-shaped vortex.

What is strong wind shear?

When the jet stream crosses tropical waters, it typically causes strong wind shear, which is characterized by an area of rapidly accelerating wind speed as it ascends into the atmosphere.

The top of a tropical storm or hurricane may be blasted hundreds of kilometers downstream when it comes into contact with high vertical wind shear.

Can wind shear be detached?

To avoid airplane mishaps during takeoff and landing, the ground-based LLWAS system monitors wind shear on and near the runway.

Pole-mounted wind sensors are used by LLWAS to collect information on wind direction and speed. The data is then transmitted to a master station inside the facility using radio frequency (RF) connections.



In conclusion to this article, it is pertinent to understand that, any altitude can experience wind shear but can be assisted if the pilot knows how to apply the  crosswind landing, but low-level wind shear is particularly dangerous because of how close an aircraft is to the ground.

Strong upper-level winds, thunderstorms, passing frontal systems, and temperature inversions are all known to cause low-level wind shear (greater than 25 knots).



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