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Weather balloon found in Bassett

A special weather balloon launch took place Monday.
Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 3:47 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Monday, September 21, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Blacksburg launched a special weather balloon to acquire upper level weather data related to Hurricane Teddy.

During normal operation, radiosondes attached to weather balloons are launched from specific Weather Forecasting Offices (WFOs) twice a day. Forecasters from the NWS in Blacksburg launch a balloon at 0z (8PM local time) and 12z (8AM local time) and receive data such as temperature, air pressure, dew point, wind speed, and wind direction through the vertical profile of the atmosphere.

This data are used to aid in forecasting locally and used for numerical models.

Meteorologists see these data in a format called a skew-t, pictured below.

Upper air sounding from Monday September 21.
Upper air sounding from Monday September 21.(Grey)

Special weather balloon launches are often requested from offices like the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the Severe Prediction Center (SPC).

The launch Monday at 18z was sent to the NHC to see current data and help forecast the path of Hurricane Teddy.

It’s not often weather balloons are found or are found in good shape, but that was not the case for this sounding. It was found in the parking lot of Sanville Elementary in Bassett, Virginia. It’s truly a unique find the teachers can use for their students for years.

Weather Balloon found in Bassett, VA
Weather Balloon found in Bassett, VA(Grey)

For more information on weather balloon launches you can visit this weather balloon information page from the National Weather Service.

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