NWS Spokane launching balloons to help with hurricane forecasting

SPOKANE, Wash. — If you are out and about in Spokane for the next few days, you might see some more balloons in the area.

The National Hurricane Center is asking the National Weather Service of Spokane to do six-hour balloon watches over the next few days. The balloon launches will help NHC- Atlantic forecast and track Tropical Cyclone Ian. Tropical Cyclone Ian formed late Friday evening in the Central Caribbean Sea.

NWS-Spokane says this is the closest they have been to hurricane forecasting.

They also say that everything is connected, adding weather instances like these that happen across the Pacific Northwest impact what happens to other places across the country, particularly what happens with the southeast of the U.S.

NWS-Spokane says extra balloon flights help because the data in each model helps track the hurricane and helps bring more consistency to the data they are collecting.

Extra Launch 1 happened just over an hour ago, launching a balloon for the 18z weather model ingest.