Scientists Don't Know How Turbulence Works
It's a 40,000-foot mystery.
Ehhhh, this is your captain speaking, I hope you are enjoying the flight. Just a little reminder to buckle your seatbelts. I felt a bump a little earlier, and I’m coming up on a couple pockets of wind that might get a little uncomfortable.
Like it or not, turbulence is an extremely complex occurrence. We’ve got out best people trying to model and understand it, but it simply has too many moving parts. You can get a sense of just how complex it is when you take a peek at water moving under a bridge. Since there are an insane number of molecules in every drop of water, and those molecules move fairly independently, any small changes in a single molecule can affect the overall direction and flow of the water. We have a good handle on what turbulence is, but trying to predict it is a seriously lost cause.