Monday, August 15, 2016

A little more on how IMETs use Weather Balloons

I was writing recently about what a National Weather Service Incident Meteorologist (aka IMET) does when they are assigned to a wildfire, see for example my August 10th article. One of the questions that I had was how an IMET might use a weather balloon and how does the radiosnode attached to the weather balloon transmit data while the balloon is ascending. That is, what might the data look like. Well, I found one answer to this question as I was poking around the internet this afternoon.

Please watch these two videos that I will embed below. In the first video, Ryan Walbrun, an IMET that was assigned to the Sobranes Fire (burned 72,566 acres in and near Los Padres National Forest, CA, and is at 60 percent containment) is interviewed. You will hear Mr. Walbrun discuss what IMETs do and what he did as an IMET on the Sobranes. One of the things that he discusses is that he monitored the height of the marine layer.

In the second video, you will see the IMET and his assistants launch the weather balloon, here about how Mr. Walbrun will use the data from the weather balloon to monitor the height of the marine layer (among other things), and get a chance to see some of the data that the radisnode is transmitting. Very cool, this brings out the weather geek in me.

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