See complete coverage of Winter Storm '13 from closings to road conditions to watches and warnings.More >
See complete coverage of Winter Storm '13 from closings to road conditions to watches and warnings. More >
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -
You may have seen it flying high above Cape Girardeau for a moment Thursday morning.
Ameren officials released a weather balloon so they can get updates before the weather hits. They say it's just another step to get the most accurate information possible.
It gives officials an idea of where the hardest hit areas may be and where linemen may be needed.
SEMO Division Director Bob Dixon said this is their first weather balloon launch since February. He said this step is for severe weather forecasts. And he adds it gives them a better weather reading of what's to come.
"We have several weather stations throughout the state of Missouri," Dixon said. "We work in conjunction with St. Louis University and so we take that data from those stations and the weather service. So to further refine that forecast, we launch this weather balloon to make a little more accurate prediction for this area."
Dixon said that prediction means they know how to prepare and where to send crews before the storm hits.
Several computer systems take readings, which give the engineers updates every 15 minutes or so.
Ameren officials have already put extra crews on alert in case of an outage.