Weather balloons

Q: Does the weather service still use weather balloons?

A: Yes it does, said Brent McRoberts of Texas A&M University. Many of the uses of weather balloons can now be carried out by weather satellites that orbit hundreds of miles above the Earth.

“But weather balloons are still used regularly by several agencies,” McRoberts reported. “In fact, there are dozens of weather balloons released every day in the U.S.

“ Weather bal loons car ry sensors that measure specific readings, such as temperature, humidity, wind speed and even air pollution. This information is relayed back to a sensor on the ground. There are two types of weather balloons — free-f lying and tethered. The free-flying balloons often reach 90,000 feet or more into the atmosphere.”

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2013-06-06 digital edition

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