Every flyer's essential weather book!

RRP £32, €40, $45

Understanding the Sky is THE essential weather book for pilots – whatever you fly.

As a flyer, it’s crucial you have a deep understanding of meteorology, from the micro to the macro. Understanding the Sky covers it all, and having read it you will be a better informed, safer flyer, able to make better decisions based on enhanced knowledge.

Understanding the Sky will help you build your understanding of the way air flows and eddies over buildings and trees, figure out how micro-climates are created by coastal systems and mountains, and appreciate the impact of different cloud developments on flying conditions.

It doesn’t matter whether you fly paragliders, drones, balloons, RC models, ultralights, helicopters, or planes – this book has been the best-selling classic meteorology text for over 30 years. Substantially revised and updated, and packed with clear illustrations, you will find it seriously useful!

Become a wise sage of the skies

RRP £32, €40, $45

Understanding the Sky


Read an extract

A rising thermal

Read this free extract on how thermals rise from the book

Key Learning Outcomes

Natural lift

Learn how to use different kinds of natural lift

Understand what causes the wind

Flying conditions

Learn how to predict flying conditions

A rising thermal

Appreciate how thermals are formed and behave

Learn how seabreezes form and how to use them

The effect of shape on turbulence

Figure out how to manage turbulent air


Understand how to accurately predict thunderstorms

Deep dive into micrometeorology, from understanding upslope breezes through to gust fronts

Cloud street mechanics

Get familiar with cloud street development, wave lift and convergence

Plus lots more…

The Author

A pilot with nearly 50 years’ experience, Dennis Pagen is a respected author and meteorology expert. Dennis has served in many capacities for CIVL and the FAI, the world air sports federation. Understanding the Sky is the world’s best-selling meteorology book for sport aviation pilots. It is published by Cross Country, a specialist free flying publisher, with best-selling titles including ‘Paragliding: The Beginner’s Guide’ and ‘Fifty Ways to Fly Better’. 

Buy your copy

Understanding the Sky is available from bookshops, flying centres and online or buy your copy direct from Cross Country

RRP £32, €40, $45

Trade and bulk discounts

For all trade orders, please contact Verity at verity@xcmag.com

Join our affiliate scheme

Email affiliates@xcmag.com to sign up to our affiliate scheme

Promo kit

Download book description, author photos, high-resolution cover images and inside spreads

Understanding the Sky is published by Cross Country International Ltd


Cross Country International