National Weather Service cuts back on Data Gathering Balloons

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The quality of weather forecasts in parts of rural Alaska could be affected by staffing and overtime policies.

Workers at 13 Alaska sites typically release two balloons per day to supplement data on temperature, pressure, and wind

However, the National Weather Service has reduced those balloon launches by 28% less than usual.

This gap in weather data affects forecasts, but the degree of how much it hinders the accuracy of a forecast is difficult to quantify.

Weather Service Alaska Region Director Carven Scott says the Weather Service supplements data from weather balloons with data from satellites.

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