If you’re really bothered by turbulence when flying, you might want to consider just driving through North Carolina.
A turbulence forecasting company called Turbli just released a list of the most turbulent airline routes in the world, and the area with the MOST in-flight pot-holes is between Chile and Bolivia. No U.S. routes made the Top 10.
But the most turbulent route in North America is: The 442-mile flight between Nashville and Raleigh / Durham, North Carolina. And in second is Charlotte, North Carolina to Pittsburgh.
Four of the 10 bumpiest routes involve North Carolina, but none of their airports were named the roughest. The most turbulent airport is Portland, Oregon. Denver is second, followed by Las Vegas.
Typically, turbulence is worse over mountain ranges and at airports near water.
When you’re flying between Nashville and North Carolina, you’re going over the highest peaks of the Appalachian Mountains, but there’s a bigger issue: You’re also crossing the jet stream, which is like a river of fast-moving air.
The jet stream isn’t always in the same place. It’s usually a little farther north, but over the past year, El Niño has pushed it south.
And that DOES make a difference. In 2022, no North Carolina routes were among the 10 bumpiest. That year, the roughest flight in North America was between Boston and Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada.