Columbus State students launch weather balloon


The weather this past week was ideal to measure the change in temperature, wind speed and direction with height during our weekly laboratory period.

Ben Gelber’s Columbus State Weather and Climate class (GEOG 1900) combined with an earlier session to launch a weather balloon to a height of nearly 200 feet. Small weather sensors were attached to the tether, and students viewed the data that we analyzed in the classroom: the lesson covered wind shear and micrometeorology, related to surface heating and building friction.

Twice daily NOAA’s National Weather Service launches 102 weather balloons at the same time across the United States, Pacific and Caribbean stations.

Data recorded in the radiosonde package attached to the balloon is sent back to the NWS ground stations and entered in the supercomputer database, which is incorporated into forecast models.

Nearly 900 locations worldwide loft weather balloons, usually twice a day, which ascend as high as 115,000 feet.

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