Casey Letkewicz is a doctoral student in meteorology at NC State University in Raleigh. She is one of a half-dozen students and faculty from NC State participating in VORTEX2, a research project designed to learn more about how and why tornadoes form.
It was EXTREMELY windy, making it a very difficult task to get a balloon off.
You will see how we had to shelter the balloon from the wind as we were filling it up and had to let it go immediately after getting it out of the truck.
You can tell how windy it is by how far the balloon travels horizontally, rather than vertically. Normally, a balloon ascends at 4-5 meters/second. Horizontal wind speeds Monday were much stronger than that!