National Weather Service launches balloon to test atmospheric pressure during storm

NEWPORT, N.C. (WNCT) – The National Weather Service in Newport launched a balloon around 1pm Wednesday to test the atmospheric pressure of the severe weather atmosphere.

It works like this: A GPS tracker relays information back to the station, including temperature, humidity, pressure, wind direction and speed.

This helps forecasters’ track severe weather.

“Because of the severe weather that’s happening now so we want to get a feel of what the atmosphere is right now in terms of severe weather,” said Luis Saavedra with the National Weather Service.

The NWS typically launches two balloons a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon for data purposes.

They launched the additional balloon this afternoon due to the storm passing through.

“Compared to the previous six hours ago, how it was doing then, plus what it’s doing now, they can determine based on the data we get back, how severe it is going to be,” said Saavedra.

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