Video of weather balloon launch in Midland receives lots of digital views

Video of weather balloon launch in Midland receives lots of digital views
National Weather Service Midland, Facebook video.

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - High winds in the Permian Basin on Wednesday got some attention, all thanks to a video that was uploaded on the National Weather Service in Midland.

"So, the reason this one is getting so much hype is that we were able to record it and it was a very windy day, so it made it interesting," said Abigail Duval with the National Weather Service in Midland.

Numbers of views are still growing, but by Thursday afternoon, the video reached more than 30,000 views and 67 shares on Facebook.

The biggest challenge was getting the balloon to fly and take off.

"Obviously, off the ground to make sure it doesn't run into a tree or a tower or anything like that, that's probably the most difficult part about the balloon launch," said Duval.

Meteorologists use weather balloons as a tool to carry instruments to find out the atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity and wind speed.

After, the data is collected weather forecasters and meteorologists use the data to make weather forecasts.

In the case of the high winds Wednesday, the results that came back.

"Basically, we were able to see that we had low clouds, and then, we had not as high of winds but we did have higher winds. You can also look up through the atmosphere and that'll kind of, sometimes give you an idea, if we're having strong winds that will mix down into the surface," said Duval.

And, also a cold front.

"A pacific front that moved through that moved with some lift that caused the showers and then that downward motion forced those higher winds speeds down to the surface and that's why we got such string winds," said Duval.

The weather balloon was made to fly in high altitude, and can go as high as 100,000 feet and drift up to 125 miles.

When the balloon pops, it can be the size of a small house. Only about 20% of weather balloons are actually recovered.

But if you ever happen to find one, there are instructions on it that explain how to mail it back.

The refurbished weather balloons actually save the National Weather Service money when they are recycled.

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