First weather balloon releasedYeshi Gyeltshen, Paro
Jan 8 2016
The Department of Hydro-met Services, under the economic affairs ministry, tested their first weather balloon in Paro, on Thursday. This is to collect data of the atmosphere at different heights. It is part of SAARC’s STORM programme to study and understand the pre-monsoon thunder storms over South East Asia.
A very large balloon, inflated with hydrogen and a small white box attached to it has been launched into the air.
The white box has a small device inside called “Sonde”, which will collect data as the balloon rises. Data, such as atmospheric temperature, pressure, humidity, wind direction, and wind velocity will be collected by the device.
The data will help scientists understand the patterns of the pre-monsoon thunderstorms and develop a model.
Indian Space Research Organisation’s Scientist, Girija J said the balloon can go up 30 to 35 kilometres. “So with this data, we can share this information to different meteorologists and we can analyse the atmospheric conditions and we can do the thunderstorm predictions and studies in this area which is very vital for all our weather predictions.”
The data will be transmitted through radio waves to the ground station set up at the airport.
Meteorology Division’s Officiating Chief, Tayba B. Tamang says with the data collected, they will be to forecast strong thunderstorms and provide warnings.
Starting April, two weather balloons will be launched every day, one in the morning and the other in the evening. This will be done for a period of three months for three years.
Once the balloons reach a height of around 30 kilometres into space, it will burst. So if one comes across a deflated balloon with a white box, officials say people need not be alarmed. “It is just weather equipment”, they say.