Waving goodbye to weather balloons

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-06-30/rural-reporter-weather-balloons-mildura/4790042


Meteorologists in NW Victoria, Australia have phased out weather balloons for Wind Radar.

It’s the end of an era for weather forecasters in north-west Victoria.

The Bureau of Meteorology this week released its final hydrogen balloon to analyse winds above Mildura.

Forecasters have been releasing balloons for more than 100 years but the practice is slowly being phased out.

The balloons are being replaced by an atmospheric wind profiler, which includes 27 antennas on the ground that point to the sky.

The antennas analyse winds up to 20,000 feet and provide updated data every 15 minutes.

Meteorologist Mark Wilgar has been releasing weather balloons for 27 years.

He said he would miss the daily release and had fond memories of balloon mishaps.

“The all time best effort, or perhaps worst effort, was on Lord Howe Island were four consecutive balloon releases pranged straight into the big Norfolk pines that were right outside the office,” Mr Wilgar said.

“I gave up after that.”




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