Which Way Does the Wind Blow?

July 21, 2021

With all due respect to Bob Dylan, atmospheric transport forecasting can be difficult.  When ARL intern Todd McKinney sat down to analyze his University’s super high pressure balloon satellite, K4UAH-6, as it was about to make a pass over Greenland, the high pressure cells gave a wide range of results.

In spring 2021, the University of Alabama Huntsville Space Hardware Club deployed five super pressure balloons to circumnavigate the globe, sample the lower stratosphere, and broadcast their website. For Balloon flight forecasting, the high altitude balloon community at http://habhub.org/  make HYSPLIT trajectories available at: https://www.ready.noaa.gov/READY_balloon.php

The ASH team continues to monitor their in-flight balloon satellite. On the 130th mission day, the K4UAH-6 balloon travelled through Greenland on July 16, 2021. Due to the large high and low pressure systems that are positioned over Greenland and the Norwegian Sea, early HYSPLIT-calculated trajectories show many possible trajectories over the next coming days. The difference in trajectories are due to projected uncertainties in the meteorological forecast for the region.

These high pressure cells over Greenland generated the range of HYSPLIT forecasts for the K4UAH-6 during its flight through Greenland on July 16, 2021.