You may be wondering “Does Starlink work in bad weather?”.
Before we answer that question, there are a few things you need to consider when using the satellite Internet service.
Traditional satellite Internet struggles with rain and heavy cloud cover.
However, some Starlink users claim that they didn’t experience unusually long and frequent dropouts during intense rain storms.
There are others who report slow speeds. Let’s find the real score!
Does Starlink work in bad weather? Absolutely yes! It can work through rain, snow, ice, and even lightning. Heavy rain and snow can affect your connection. You can experience slower speeds, but you will rarely lose your connection.
Before we discuss in detail how rain and wind affect your Starlink satellite Internet connection, let’s enumerate the things you should consider when using Starlink in bad weather.
Starlink satellites are scheduled to provide the Internet to all users within a specific area. Data has to travel through the air and not via wires.
So, during bad weather, it can suffer from connection issues. The service may still work, but with slower Internet speeds.
When using Starlink satellite Internet during bad weather, expect a few connection problems. On rare occasions, you may even experience an outage.
1. Signal Interruption
Weather conditions like snow, rain, and even dust storms can weaken the satellite signals, leading to connection issues. Also, raindrops can cause the dish to receive signals erratically.
2. Slow internet speeds
Starlink is designed to work just fine on rainy days, but heavy storms can slow down the connection speed.
3. Higher latency
In addition to slower download and upload speeds, bad weather can also cause higher latency. Since latency refers to time day, the higher the latency means the worse the connection.
4. Possible Interference
Weather does not affect the strength of your Internet signal from the router to your device, but it can affect the Internet service your network relies on.
You can expect these things to happen to your Starlink satellite Internet during bad weather.
Let’s take a close look at which weather conditions Starlink can handle.
All satellite internet services require a clear view of the sky to send signals to satellites in space.
Yes, satellite technology has already come a long way, and the weather isn’t a big problem.
But, it is still possible for heavy rains, snow, and strong winds to affect the signal and slow down Internet speeds.
Continue reading to find out how they can affect Starlink.
Generally, clouds won’t affect Starlink’s performance.
The advantage of Starlink compared with other similar internet providers is that their satellites are much closer to the ground.
Since the distance that the signal travels is significantly less, minor obstructions such as cloud cover won’t affect your internet signal and speed as much.
There is a specific cloud type that Starlink users don’t really enjoy, and they’re storm clouds.
These contain a lot of moisture and have a mass that can block your internet’s signals.
Rain clouds contain a lot of moisture, making them denser and blocking signals like a brick wall.
If you’re looking at a particularly cloudy day with lots of cloud cover, but no rain, you should expect excellent speeds from your Starlink internet.
However, if it’s low-hanging rain clouds above you, expect much slower internet speeds.
Here’s what you can expect during cloudy days:
- No performance loss on a sunny but cloudy day.
- Starlink internet should be fine on overcast days.
- Heavy storm clouds have a tendency to cause slowdowns.
Note: Clouds, even the denser rain clouds are not enough to cause an outage.
When it comes to Starlink’s signal, there’s nothing to worry about strong wind as they can easily pass through those.
However, since Starlink is a satellite internet service it does require some outdoor hardware to receive those signals.
One piece of equipment that’s going to be exposed is your satellite dish.
Now, these are incredibly sturdy and should handle a beating from the wind. In fact, Starlink’s satellite dishes are rated to stand winds of up to 100 mph.
Since your dish can withstand high winds, the component you want to monitor closely is your dish mounts.
As long as your dish and mounts are secure and it’s not able to sway or move around, you should not worry about strong winds.
The dish also uses a type of antenna that doesn’t need to physically swing around to track the Starlink satellites.
Here’s what you can expect with Starlink during windy days:
- Your Starlink satellite dish can stand winds up to 100 mph.
- As long as your dish is mounted, you should not experience issues.
- Strong winds with heavy rains can affect your Starlink’s performance
Note: Small movements with your satellite dish should not affect your internet signal.
If there’s one weather condition that can greatly affect your Starlink internet connection, it’s rain.
Light rain is usually not enough to cause issues with your Starlink connection. However, it’s the heavier downpours that can be a problem.
As we mentioned earlier, Starlink signals don’t like air moisture. Rain is simply a moisture overload and it can block the signals coming down from the Starlink constellation.
As long as it’s not a heavy thunderstorm, you shouldn’t worry about rain.
Here’s what you can expect with your Starlink connection during a rainy day:
- Light rain won’t affect your connection.
- Heavy, thick rain can slow down Starlink’s speed.
- Heavy rain can also cause outages.
Tip: The signal outage is temporary, and your service should return to normal once the rain eases.
There are a couple of ways that snow can affect your Starlink service. The first one is similar to rain since snow is essentially moisture in the air. Light snow should not be a problem.
However, you’ll need to be extra vigilant when the snowfall becomes heavier.
There’s a certain point when the atmosphere is so dense with water or moisture that the signal won’t be able to go through.
The other way that snow can affect your Starlink signal is build up on the dish.
If your dish is filled with thick snow, it can have a hard time receiving the signals. Your dish does come with a heating feature that slowly melts the snow away.
For heavy snowfall, we recommend that you manually clear it up as the heating may not be quick enough to melt it away.
Here’s what to expect from Starlink when it’s snowing:
- Light snow should not pose a problem.
- The heating feature can take care of a thin layer of snow on the dish.
- Heavy snowfall can cause outages.
Note: Sleet and ice can block Starlink signals and can cause more interruptions than snow.
Fog can affect Starlink’s performance. Since fog is also moisture in the air, it can cause slowdowns and outages if it’s dense enough.
You shouldn’t have any issues with your internet’s speed and performance with normal fog events. However, heavy fogs can interrupt Starlink’s signal and cause an outage.
Here’s what to expect with fog and Starlink:
- Normal fog should not cause any issues with your Starlink connection.
- Heavy fog can cause slow connections and even possibly outages
Starlink should work during a thunderstorm.
As long as the rain is not heavy enough and your dish can still receive the signal from the satellites, you should be able to connect to the internet.
Starlink’s satellites are much closer than other services, so their signals can still pierce through bad weather.
A power outage is a more likely cause of signal problems compared to your internet going out due to rain and lightning.
Here’s what to expect with Starlink during a thunderstorm:
- Starlink is 100% safe to use during a thunderstorm.
- Signal problems are unlikely.
- Watch out for heavy rain.
Note: As long as you’re inside your home, there’s nothing to worry about using the internet during a thunderstorm.
Starlink does work in bad weather. Only a few instances can cause a total outage with your Starlink service.
For the most part, it can handle just about any weather condition.
If you’re experiencing outages that are not associated with bad weather, we recommend contacting Starlink customer support for assistance.
Read Next: Starlink Stuck on Booting? – (Fix Guide)
Now that you know the answer to does Starlink work in bad weather, you can be confident in using it on just about any condition.
Starlink is a pretty reliable satellite internet service, and it should be able to handle different types of weather conditions so you can still stream, game, or use it for work.
Kevin has over five years of experience working in various Tech startups and providing Technical solutions. He has contributed to many Tech publications and websites.