Weather Balloon Launches With Video

NWS Duluth played a part in the 2013 Balloon Festival by launching weather balloons with local middle school students. 
Every day around 800 locations across the globe launch weather balloons.  Most of launched twice a day; at 0000 UTC and 1200 UTC (6:00 am and 6:00 pm CST) to collect information on current atmospheric conditions.  The information gathered from these weather balloons (commonly called radiosondes) is used for many weather applications.

Hermantown Middle School's 8th grade science class launched a watehr balloon on Saturday and  Sunday's launch was done by Marshall School's 6th grade science class.  Visits and presentations to the schools by NWS meteorologists prepared the students for the launches.  The data collected by the weather sensors will be used to enhance their weather studies.

Radiosonde observations are applied to a broad spectrum of efforts. Data applications include:

- Input for computer-based weather prediction models;

- Local severe storm, aviation, and marine forecasts;

- Weather and climate change research;

- Input for air pollution models;

- Ground truth for satellite data


Enjoy the photos of the launches. Click on each image to view a larger size.




Mrs. Gulbrandson's 8th grade science class readies the 
balloon for launch.

Getting ready to let it go!


And there it goes!

The track of the balloon launched by Hermantown MS.


Good knots are very important.

Fill 'er up!


Let it go!

The track of the weather balloon launched by the Marshall School.

The track of the weather balloon launched by the
Hibbing, MN 8th Graders
The Hibbing 8th graders getting ready to fill the balloon.
And there it goes, over the Hibbing school!  

For the launches, a GoPro camera attached to the payload filmed the balloons ascent and descent. A GPS was also attached to track the balloon in the sky, and to also help us retrieve the GoPro after the weather balloon burst and fell back to earth.

To view the GoPro video from the balloon flight, please click here: September 21st, 2013 Weather Balloon Flight by Hermantown Middle School

Thank you to the St. Louis County Volunteer Search and Rescue crew for retrieving the payloads! We know it wasn't easy, but we sure appreciate it!


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