Machine auto launches weather balloons twice daily from Hilo

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Steve Butler with the National Weather Service talks about the process of creating hydrogen gas, which is used to release weather balloons near the Hilo International Airport on Monday, June 7, 2021.

  • Steve Butler with the National Weather Service talks about the process of automatically releasing a weather balloon from a small building near the Hilo International Airport on Monday.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald A weather balloon is automatically released from a machine operated by the National Weather Service near the Hilo International Airport on Monday, June 7, 2021.

  • Steve Butler with the National Weather Service calls the airport control tower before releasing a weather balloon near the Hilo International Airport on Monday.

  • A weather balloon is automatically released from a machine operated by the National Weather Service near the Hilo International Airport on Monday. (Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald)

A new piece of equipment at the National Weather Service station in Hilo makes light work of high-altitude weather monitoring.