Our shipmate, Aerographer’s Mate Second Class (AW), Bill Dearing of the U.S. Navy, launches a weather balloon everyday. The balloons gather data about the upper level winds, temperatures, relative humidity, and air pressure over the Arctic Ocean. Amazingly, the Arctic is one of the most “data-sparse” regions of the earth in terms of weather information. The data gathered by the radiosonde attached to the balloon are sent back to super computers at Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center in Monterey, CA, where scientists and modelers use the data to improve weather prediction numerical models.
The Balloon will float anywhere up to 65,000 to 80,000 feet where it will eventually burst due to the expanding helium inside the balloon stretching it to over full capacity.