Friday, June 8, 2007

National Weather Forecasting Office

This summer I have taken it upon myself to get some of Sam's friends together (along with their parents) and do some tours and trips. Most of these trips will be fun but some of them are going to be educational too. Every summer Sam has always had activities planned out because of the fact that I worked at a preschool before moving. Even after he became school age they had a school age program where there was something to do. They had swimming a couple of days a week, movies, and even some field trips. Even though Sam and I will probably be doing some of these on our own due to the other families also having some family vacations and just other plans, we are going to have a lot of fun. It all started earlier this week with Sam and I going to SciPort on Tuesday. This is one that we did alone but we had a ton of fun.

Last night Sam and some of this friends got to go to the National Weather Forecasting Office for a tour of their facility and to watch them put up their weather balloon. Below are some pictures for you. I think that the adults learned just as much as the kids did on this tour. It was just amazing. If you ever get the chance I encourage you to go. Or better yet, call them!

This is where they launch the weather balloon from.

She was calling the airport, which they are located next to, to let them know that they were going to launch the weather balloon.

Did you know that when the weather balloon is launched it is roughly 6 feet tall. As it goes up it expands. Right before it pops it will have expanded so much that it is roughly the size of a two bedroom house! I never knew that!

Here is the balloon on it's way up.

The Doppler radar next to their facilities.

Here they all are looking and listening to our guide (Senior Meteorologists) telling us about one of the three rain gauges that they use. This one actually measures the weight of the rain. Never knew that they weighed the rain!

Just another look at the inside of the rain gauge.

This is the kind of rain gauge that I always knew about. It measures in actual inches.

A quick view of part of their computer room. It sure was nice to come back inside and go directly into this climate controlled room. While we were outside there was a feels like temperature of 101 degrees!

Well due to one of the other parents there I am with the boys. They of course are looking directly into the setting sun so they are all squinting. Me? I've got my sun glasses!


Bubba's Sis said...

That looks really cool! I think my kids would love that, too! Very fascinating. I wonder if they have one of those close to me?

Kim said...

All I did to find out if we had one or not that was close enough to us was to type in the search engine: National Weather Forecasting Office in (and here is where I put the city where we live). It pulled it right up! Good luck!

Camera Obscura said...

Last spring, Daughter's gifted class got to go to the bunker / command center for Department of Emergency Management for the St. Louis area. The pix of the kids in tox-suits are a hoot.

Last summer we hauled my kids and Nail Tech's kids and nieces and some friend of hers kids to Onondaga Cave. In late July. We were supposed to picnic afterward and let the kids splash in the Meramec, but it was about 108 in the shade (after being in a 65-degree cave) so we swallowed our lunches in a hurry and ran for the vans to turn the a/c on full blast.

I have to get on the ball with the "field trips" b/c #2-Son wasn't eligible for summer school this year and he's bored bored bored at home all day. Next Tuesday I'm taking my kids to the History Museum b/c a new special exhibit on "Flight in St. Louis" has opened. The last time we were there was to see the Lombardi trophy, which was over 5 years ago. The Science Center has a "superheros and powers" exhibit this summer... and of course there are the two new baby elephants at the zoo to visit. I'd still like to find an all-day trip, maybe another cave or sumptin'.


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