WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

THERE IS A ORANGE BALLOON WITH WHAT APEARS TO BE A PARACHUTE ENTANGLE IN A TALL TREE. FROM THIS BALLOON IS A LONG LINE APPROX 100 FT LONG. THERE IS A CONTAINER ABOUT 12 IN. SQ. HANGING APPROX 80 FT. FROM THE GROUND. IF THIS IS A WEATHER BALLOON, SHOULD IT BE RETRIVED

Posted February 13, 2008

MIKE MOSS SAYS:     W.D.,    If it is not dangerous to retrieve it (in terms of a fall or other injury of that sort) then yes it should be retrieved. You have run across a rawinsonde that was launched to measure temperature, dew point, pressure and wind aloft. When the equipment reaches about 85-90,000 feet the balloon bursts (having expanded from a diameter of about six feet at launch to around 30-35 feet when it pops) and the entire package falls to the ground.

If you retrieve it, you should find an included tyvek envelope that is pre-addressed so that you can drop the package in a mailbox and return it for reconditioning and re-use by the National Weather Service.

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