The wind was only blowing 2 mph on the ground this morning but 10 mph up high, so the cranes and planes did not fly. As the pilots have observed many times this fall, it's typical for the wind to be stronger at higher altitudes."Winds can be very light near the earth's surface, yet be blowing as much as 150 mph in the 'jet stream' directly above," says Meteorologist Wendell Bechtold.
How do scientists know? Weather balloons are one way to measure wind speed and direction. The balloons are launched twice each day at airports and weather stations around the world. As they float up into the atmosphere, the balloons collect data at different altitudes. They can go as high as 100,000 feet high before they burst.
Weather balloons are launched twice each day to measure wind speed and direction.
In the Classroom
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