National Weather Service Conducts Weather Balloon Release In Tucson

July 25, 2014

(Photo courtesy of National Weather Service in Tucson Twitter)

The National Weather Service in Tucson conducted a special balloon release Friday morning in anticipation of an active afternoon weather pattern. Meteorologists hope to get a better idea of how a rapid increase in gulf moisture will impact the forecast.

In the past 24 hours, dew points in the area have increased by more than 20 degrees, hovering in the mid 40s Thursday afternoon and climbing to the 60 degree range by Friday morning.

Gerald Meadows is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. He said that massive change in moisture warranted the second look.

"Today we can add it in and look at it as kind of a snapshot of today," Meadows said. "Is everything I was looking at quantitatively going to bring me a great forecast? Or are things going to wind down faster than I thought? Kind of answer those kind of hidden questions as the atmosphere changes."

Meteorologists expect the weather pattern to produce high winds and blowing dust with visibility reduced to a quarter mile.

Officials say a balloon release like Friday morning’s has not happened in more than two years.