Gusty winds grounded the star-attraction Thunderbirds at today's air show, but Air Force officials are hopeful the weather will allow the precision-performance team to fly Sunday over Tucson.
Winds gusted to about 30 mph at 2 this afternoon at the base at the time the Thunderbirds were scheduled to fly, says meteorologist Chris Rasmussen of the National Weather Service in Tucson.
For safety, the maximum winds the Thunderbirds can fly in is 28 to 29 mph, said Capt. Susan Harrington, public information officer for Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
"We're definitely hoping that they're going to fly Sunday," she said, noting that winds aren't expected to be as high in Tucson.
Rasmussen forecasts winds of about 15-20 mph Sunday afternoon, with gusts perhaps to 25 mph. The Thunderbirds are scheduled to perform at 2 p.m., and whether they fly or not, the pilots will be available on the ground to talk to fans and sign autographs.
Winds also prevented performances by parachutists Saturday at the Thunder & Lightning Over Arizona show at Davis-Monthan, Harrington said.
However, most if not all planes that were scheduled to fly did so before the gusts picked up, she said, so fans got to see the A10 and C130 aircraft in the skies, among others, she said.