What Is A Weather Balloon

Weather balloons are hot air balloons that are sent high into the atmosphere. As they rise the findings are radioed back to meteorologists on the ground using a system called radio sonde. Hundreds of balloons are launched around the world every day. A weather balloon carries scientific instruments high into the atmosphere. Weather balloons are inflated with hydrogen. They are filled with enough gas to cause them to ascend through the atmosphere at about 300m (1,000ft) per minute. During the hours of darkness balloons are released with a small torch attached under the target to allow visual tracking for the first few minutes before the radar acquires and automatically tracks the reflective target suspended under the balloon. The hydrogen used to inflate the balloon the balloon is a highly flammable gas and safety precautions must be strictly followed when inflating and handling weather balloons.

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