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National Weather Service Portland-Gray Maine

Upper-Air Program Virtual Tour
National Weather Service Forecast Office
Gray, Maine


Introduction Equipment Inflation Baseline Launch RRS Conclusion


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The upper-air program remains vital for providing data to a number of entities and agencies. It serves as perhaps an antiquated method for gathering data in view of today's modern era, but still proves to be quite effective in its mission of sampling the upper atmosphere. Of the approximately 75,000 radiosondes that are released yearly, only about 20% are found and returned for reconditioning. If you happen to be lucky enough to find a radiosonde, follow the directions on the instrument, and use the provided, pre-paid envelope to send the radiosonde back to the National Reconditioning Center.

Pre-paid Envelope to Return Found Radiosonde to the National Reconditioning Center

Pre-paid Envelope to Return Found Radiosonde to the National Reconditioning Center

After the last messages are transmitted, all of the computer systems are shutdown, and will remain off until the entire process starts again 12 hours later. One last interesting note...despite all of the differences between people and governments throughout the world, every observer, no matter which continent or country they are from...launch their weather balloons at the same time!

Thank you for taking the time to view WFO Gray's Upper-Air virtual tour. Please send questions or comments to David.Glenn@noaa.gov. Special thanks and recognition are necessary for Scott McGuire who created the original version of this Upper-Air virtual tour at WFO Reno, Nevada, and to WFO Gray's webmaster for his efforts and commitment in creating Gray's version of the Upper Air Virtual Tour.

Additionally, if you would like to schedule an appointment to visit our office during a weather balloon launch, please contact David, or Mr. James Mansfield by email James.mansfield@noaa.gov or telephone at 207-688-3216. Thank you for your time and have a great day!

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Gray Weather Forecast Office
P.O. Box 1208
Gray, ME 04039
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Page last modified: June 16th, 2009
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