Hello Everyone, Understanding the weather is important no matter where you are. But up in the Arctic it can be life or death. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) Alaska Region provides weather, hydrologic, climate forecasts and volcanic ash and tsunami warnings for the state of Alaska and its surrounding waters. Barrow is home to the nations northern most weather monitoring station. We got a behind the scenes visit with meteorologist technician Gina Strum who was working the graveyard shift. Gina showed us the ins and outs of forecasting the weather in this remote region of the world including how these cool animated weather maps are made.

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It was 3am in the morning and time to launch our weather balloon. The station launches two weather balloons everyday, 12 hour apart. The balloons are equipped with GPS and record wind direction, speed, temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure. Gina showed us just how the system works.

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The balloon was ready to go and I was very excited and honored to be the balloon launcher.

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It was a really cool watching the data stream in from the balloon and we had a great visit with Gina. If you are interested in weather, check out NOAA's NWS website. You will find all kinds of information and cool weather graphs and animations.

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Peggy McNeal

Sian,The video is fascinating. In Southern California, we often get cold winter storms from "the gulf of Alaska". It is interesting to see how this all comes together. I think it is amazing that the nation's forecasting depends on the thousands of balloons that are launched twice a day from stations all over the country. I have always wanted to launch a weather balloon. You are lucky!