Benefit1970
Jun 01 2007, 03:21 AM
How much, REALLY, does air temperature affect distance?

The last month in particular I'm reaching holes I've never reached before... I know I'm getting better, but the 15% or so increase in distance has me scratching my head.

If anyone has any theories/facts about this, I would be curious to hear them!

Thanks - Brandon

Karl
Jun 01 2007, 02:09 PM
Brandon,

I'm figuring that air temperature may affect distance a very little - but not for the reason you may think it does.

In itself, warmer air is less dense than colder air (and thus would offer less wind resistence), but the reason you're probably getting more distance now I'm guessing is because of one (or a combination) of the following:

1. The air is dryer. (This maybe it, but highly unlikely to benefit the throw 15%).
2. It's a little later in the season and your throwing muscles have become more used to throwing and have stretched out a bit. (This is my guess for the majority of the extra distance...based on my first-hand experience of the same phenomenom over the last few years).
3. Because it's warmer, you're probably wearing less clothing and thus are less restricted than you were. (This may be it in part).

Karl

bruce_brakel
Jun 01 2007, 03:14 PM
I'm going to post your question on the Ask Dave thread, because he knows more about this stuff than anyone.

DSproAVIAR
Jun 01 2007, 05:05 PM
I don't have any facts, just observations to add. I have experienced a lack of glide at the end of any disc's flight in the cold weather. So where I would throw a putter in the summer, I have to use a roc or more in the winter. I have no idea why tho.

westxchef
Jun 01 2007, 07:25 PM
Does anyone think thermal convection is a factor? It does allow birds some lift.

Greg_R
Jun 01 2007, 07:42 PM
Warm weather also keeps your body warm and limber which adds to your flexibility / snap.

flynvegas
Jun 01 2007, 08:56 PM
From Dr. Stancil Johnson's Frisbee "A practioner's manual and definitive treatise", page 181:

Moisture and Temperature

The density of air, which depends on moisture and temperature, is not as important as wind turbulence with regard to the flight of the Frisbee. Density can, however, make some difference, since it is directly proportionate to the amount of resistance encountered by the Frisbee as it passes through the air. As consequence, the Frisbee should travel faster and farther when temperatures are warmer, since warmer air is less dense than cold air. Moist air is lighter than dry air (in comparing two equal volumes at the same temperature), so that an increase in humidity is coupled with a shift to atmospheric conditions , are favorable for Frisbee.

Pages 174 thru 184 are on "Weather and the Frisbee". You can pick up a copy on Ebay at a reasonable price.

westxchef
Jun 01 2007, 09:41 PM
My layman's take from what has ben presented so far is in descendining order of influence.
1- Warmer conditions effect on the body due to less clothing and warmer more limber muscles

2- warmer disc grip conditions ie. better grip and snap

3- Later in the season better physical conditioning(not such a factor here in Texas were we play hard year round)

4- Warmer less dense air- less wind resitance- better speed longer flight

5- And lastly I'm holding out that warm air convective currents help lift the disc for further carry(especially on taller, bomb turnover shots)

ChrisWoj
Jun 02 2007, 08:57 PM
I believe that the first reason that 'westxchef' posted is huge. Your wrists are tight in the winter, you aren't going to get nearly as much snap out of things. During the summer you have much looser tendons, you're able to really snap the disc when it heats up.

Benefit1970
Jun 04 2007, 03:13 AM
I would say that the part about being warm is definitely true (for me) at temperatures below 40 degrees. Most days above that temperature, I'm able to use hand warmers, gloves, and warm but loose fitting sweaters, etc and I will EVENTUALLY warm up.

I'd like to say it's great to have it be in the 80's compared to 53, though

-Brandon

pnkgtr
Jun 05 2007, 04:11 PM
I am pretty sure that warm air is made up of larger molecules. Since gases expand when warmed. And discs need air under them to stay up. When I throw in cold weather the disc flight reminds me of throwing in Tahoe. Less air, less glide. So dry hot air, a little above sea level should be the best for distance. My distance increases 10-12% in the summer.

JIO
Jun 20 2007, 04:17 PM
That would make sense. It's been very hot down here near the gulf and a couple of days ago I destroyed my long distance record, chunking a 175g Pro Wraith 530 feet. I've been getting some great distance in the last couple of weeks.

zzgolfer
Jun 20 2007, 06:43 PM
Wednesday, Jun 20
High: 112 F
Mostly sunny
Thursday, Jun 21
High: 112 F
Hot with plenty of sun

Come on down and get big D in the valley of the sun!

bcary93
Jun 20 2007, 06:44 PM
I am pretty sure that warm air is made up of larger molecules. Since gases expand when warmed.



While I can't give a positive answer regarding changes resulting from throws at different temps, I can assure you that the size of the molecules themselves don't change. Gases take up more space at higher temperatures because the molecules are more active: they fly around more at higher temps pushing each other around.

paerley
Jun 21 2007, 11:40 PM
I am pretty sure that warm air is made up of larger molecules. Since gases expand when warmed.



While I can't give a positive answer regarding changes resulting from throws at different temps, I can assure you that the size of the molecules themselves don't change. Gases take up more space at higher temperatures because the molecules are more active: they fly around more at higher temps pushing each other around.



That's the Entropy increasing. As far as what causes the change in differential lift across the 'wing', more dense fluids generate more lift. Colder air is more dense, so it {in theory} should generate more lift, meaning things tend to fly more towards the understable side of the spectrum. They should also have more drag, decreasing glide. All in all, things will likely fly more S like and shorter.