10 March 2010

Raob (Weather Balloon) Launch from Station 89007

Posted by Dan Satterfield

I’ve seen quite a few Raob launches over the years. RAOB stands for Rawinsonde Observation. You can think of them as weather balloons. They are vital for making forecasts. We live in an atmosphere over 100 km thick, but most weather happens in the troposphere, the bottom 15 km or so.

To forecast weather knowing only what is happening at the ground would be like guessing the outcome of a suspense novel after reading one chapter. OK, well my wife would get it, but the rest of us probably not. These atmospheric “soundings” are not cheap, but twice a day, every day of the year, they are sent up.

They rise from a hundred different countries and the data is shared among all. Politics aside.

So here is the launch of the RAOB at station 89007. A VERY remote station that is among the most expensive to maintain. Thanks to Meteorologist Tim Markle for letting us tag along!

Note from Dan: The linked HD video was crashing too many browsers, so above is the You Tube version. You can right click on the video and watch it in 720P on YouTube!