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NWS Releases Doubles the Amount of Weather Balloons for Irma

7 Sep 2017, 7:32 pm

The National Weather Service (NWS) continues to dissect Hurricane Irma as it approaches Florida.

Meteorologist Melody Lovin with the NWS in Key West talked to WeatherNation about releasing double the amount of balloons in order to help determine the path of Hurricane Irma.

The US National Weather Service Key West Florida talks about what they've found after releasing double the amount of weather balloons for a better understanding of #Irma.

Posted by WeatherNation on Thursday, September 7, 2017

The big question NWS meteorologists are wondering with Irma is when is the hurricane going to make that turn.

“It is an incredibly hard question, because it is a complicated atmosphere right now,” Lovin explained. “These extra soundings are helping us pinpoint when and where that is going to occur. So, we are seeing the models come to a better agreement although they do shift every now and then.”

When asked about the safety of their employees if they were to take a direct hit, Lovin said they will take cover and the National Weather Service in San Antonio will take over their operations.

Watch the entire interview here:

Weather Balloons

Normally, weather balloons are released twice a day every day of the year. Weather balloons are filled with helium and attached to the balloon is a radiosonde. As the balloon is released and rises through the air, the radiosonde measures temperature, relative humidity, and pressure.  As the position of the radiosonde signal is tracked, wind data is at various levels in the atmosphere is tracked. That data is then sent back to the office and becomes ready for analysis.

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