# Do weather balloons expand?

Contents

## How much does a weather balloon expand?

The balloons, which start out measuring about 6 ft. wide before release, expand as they rise to about 20 ft. in diameter! An instrument called a radiosonde is attached to the balloon to measure pressure, temperature and relative humidity as it ascends up into the atmosphere.

## Do weather balloons get smaller as they rise?

Weather balloons get larger as they rise through the atmosphere to regions of lower pressure because the volume of the gas has increased; that is, the atmospheric gas exerts less pressure on the surface of the balloon, so the interior gas expands until the internal and external pressures are equal.

## Why do weather balloons get bigger?

As weather balloons travel further from the Earth’s surface, the air pressure around the balloon decreases drastically. As the air gets thinner, the balloon’s casing get tighter. This is due to the gas expanding within the balloon. The expanding gas causes the balloon to reach full capacity and it pops.

## Do weather balloons burst?

A weather balloon carrying a radiosonde or ozonesonde released at the Earth’s surface is generally about 1.5 m in diameter at launch. At 30,000 m asl it has expanded to about 10 m in diameter and bursts at temperatures often colder than –40°C, sometimes as cold as –75°C.

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## How long do weather balloons stay up?

How long do high altitude weather balloons stay in flight? The average balloon will ascend for about 90 minutes before bursting. After the ascent is complete, the payload boxes and flight equipment will slowly fall on a parachute for around 30 minutes, giving the average flight a total duration of two hours.

## What data do weather balloons collect?

These observations include vertical profiles of temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, atmospheric pressure, and geopotential height.

## How much weight can a weather balloon lift?

The balloon can carry a payload of up to 2000g (70.5 oz) and reaches a maximum burst altitude of 38,000m (23.6mi). This makes the Weather Balloon 2000 one of our prime-products for maximum altitudes. For the recommended amount of helium please use our our helium calculator.