Transcript for Mountain Skywater, segment 04 of 12

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The time is dawn. On a hill overlooking Durango, a rawinsonde is lifted aloft by a helium filled balloon. The rawinsonde gives readings on temperature, pressure, humidity, wind direction, and speed, as the balloon carries it to high altitudes.

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Meanwhile in Denver, a computer collects weather data from points all over the West. In the memory disks and in the tapes is formed a continuous picture of weather as it occurs. The picture is then transmitted by telephone lines to all experiment sites of Project Skywater. In Durango, at the office of the operations contractor, the broad weather picture emerges as a series of numbers.

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Hello, Art. Mark here. Sonde's in the computer now. Is there.

Data obtained from balloon-borne rawinsonde provide a last minute check to assure that conditions are suitable.

It's in at about one ninety-five. It's been holding pretty steady through there.

Okay. Sounds good. Sounds like we're within specifications. Thank you.

Morning, Art.

Morning, Owen.

Looks like we've got an operational day coming up here. We have a strong, moist, southwesterly flow.

The meteorologists and the project manager make sure each of the established preconditions is right before proceeding.

As you know the snowpack and avalanche criteria are within the safe limits. Looks like precip's going to begin this afternoon at about four p.m.

To measure seeding effectiveness during the research period, only half of the acceptable storms are seeded. The decision for each experimental day is obtained by access to a special computer memory bank.

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