Why the NWS launched an unplanned weather balloon ahead of storms

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
The National Weather Service launched a weather balloon Wednesday earlier than normal in order to gather vital weather stats prior to impending severe weather. NewsCenter 7's Caroline Reinwald went live on Facebook.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The National Weather in Wilmington launched a non-scheduled weather balloon from their office at 1 p.m. Wednesday ahead of the severe storms expected to move in to the area tonight.

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The NWS typically launches a daily balloon at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. but felt it was necessary to get more timely information about wind speeds, humidity levels, and wind directions ahead of today's storms to help them better determine where and when the most severe storms will occur.

RELATED: National Weather Service office in Wilmington

The balloon will rise to approximately 100,000 feet. The data is sent back to the local NWS office computers which are shared across the country with our team of Stormcenter7 meteorologists.

The data already retrieved indicates today we could see more significant tornados, more long lasting tornadoes versus the more short lived tornado activity we've seen recently.

Larger hail and straight line winds are also a threat expected today.

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LEARN MORE ABOUT SEVERE WEATHER TERMS AND PREPAREDNESS: 

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>Tornado vs. Straight Line Winds 

>Watches & Warnings: What's the difference? 

>DUCK: Severe weather readiness