ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Researchers and students at St. Louis University worked to fill up and test-launch a Radiosonde — or weather balloon — today, in advance of August’s total solar eclipse.

img 4315 Preparing for August Solar Eclipse   With a Weather Balloon

St. Louis University researchers and students prepare for August’s total solar eclipse. (Alex Degman/KMOX)

SLU is working with Jefferson College and Ameren Missouri’s facility in Cape Girardeau to launch three of the balloons — all launched within a minute of each other. They will be studying weather changes that happen when the sun suddenly goes away.

img 4310 Preparing for August Solar Eclipse   With a Weather Balloon

St. Louis University researchers and students prepare for August’s total solar eclipse. (Alex Degman/KMOX)

Dr. Bob Pasken coordinates the Quantum Weather Project, which provides weather and forecasting data to Ameren.

“The temperature’s going to drop by probably 5 to 10 degrees, the wind direction and wind speed is going to change, the relative humidity is going to change; all of the things are going to happen, and they’re going to happen over probably a grand total of 5 minutes,” Pasken says.

Ameren is sending up Mesonet Stations with the balloons to collect the data. The balloons can climb up to 100,000 feet into the atmosphere.

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