To provide communications, programs, services and activities of interest to TI retirees and former TIers around the world.

National Weather Forecasting Trip, August, 2015.

When: 
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - 9:30am
Slideshow type: 
Travel

On the 19th of August, 26 TIAA members, spouses and guests boarded a luxury coach to the National Weather Service Forecasting Office in Fort Worth for a tour of this vital function. This office is one of 120 in the United States and it covers 46 counties in Texas and three airports.  We learned their staff operates 24/7 to collect data and issue weather bulletins in order to alert us of impending problems.  We saw and heard that each of the 120 offices send up huge, helium-filled weather balloons twice a day (after receiving permission from D/FW each time).  This costs $400-500 each and only 10% are returned even though the transmitter is clearly marked what it is and marked to please return it. These beige balloons reach the size of a garage when they arrive at their maximum altitude and then burst.  The transmitter floats down under a bright orange parachute (and lands somewhere depending on the prevailing winds).  We saw how they monitor drought conditions and how they monitor runoffs and lake levels.  It was a hot day so we enjoyed cooling off while eating lunch at Flips (and sitting on bar stools!) before returning to TI.