The launching of the blizzard balloons

Feb 17, 2022 by Dave Evensen - LAS Lead Editorial Spec

Date

02/22/22

Balloon launches are typically the stuff of birthday parties and photo opps unless you’re an atmospheric scientist trying to gather storm data in tandem with NASA research planes navigating their way through giant blizzards. Then they require a bit of creativity and determination.

That was a job requirement in late January for graduate students Andrew Janiszeski (MS, ’20; atmospheric sciences) and Troy Zaremba (BS, ’18; MS, ’20; atmospheric sciences), who were tasked with launching weather balloons in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in the midst of a Nor’easter that was delivering 60 mph winds and 20 inches of snow to the region. They were working with Bob Rauber, professor of atmospheric sciences, director of School of Earth, Society & Environment, and one of the principal investigators and flight planners for IMPACTS.

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