Cool find on the ranch today! Nathan brought home a radiosonde which is the data recorder on a weather balloon. It was launched 110 miles away (as the crow flies) from Salem in December 2018 but who knows how long it was tangled up in that juniper tree? Mylar balloons from the Willamette valley have long been our most frequently found piece of trash on the ranch but we’ve never found a weather balloon before.
Did you know the National Weather Service launches weather balloons twice daily from 102 weather stations across the US? The radiosonde unit can be reused in future launches but only 20% are ever returned. In the name of science, we are excited to package it up and send it back to Salem.