Lubbock National Weather Service Meteorologists
Brief Regional Balloon Pilots at Rally
Patterson Park, Wolfforth, TX, September 19, 2009
Several hot air balloons launched from Patterson Park in Wolfforth on Saturday morning, September 19th, with ideal weather conditions – light winds and good visibility. Click on the picture for a larger view.
Early in the morning on Saturday, September 12th, and again on Sunday morning, September 13th, Lubbock NWS meteorologists briefed pilots and crews attending the 5th Annual South Plains Balloon Roundup. The event began Friday evening with registration and a reception at a Lubbock hotel. Dozens of balloon pilots from as far away as Corpus Christi, TX attended the two day event.
Joe Jurecka, Aviation Program Leader at NWS Lubbock (far left), briefs balloon pilots at the Southwest Regional Balloon Rally. Click on the image for a bigger view.
Flying events were scheduled for Saturday and Sunday mornings. Forecaster Joe Jurecka and Warning Coordination Meteorologist Jody James conducted pilot weather briefings before sunrise both days. Joe and Jody both bring aviation experience to the briefings as they are both fixed wing pilots, but neither forecaster has a balloon rating.
WCM Jody James prepares to launch in “Magic Toy”, a hot air balloon owned by Mary Ann Slagle Poteet, and Tony Poteet (pictured in basket to the left of Jody). Click on the picture for a larger view.
Unfortunately, for the first time in several years, the weather did not cooperate as low clouds, fog, convective showers, and strong winds at the surface and aloft prevented the balloon pilots from launching both mornings. Jody did have the opportunity one week later to get a ride on a balloon with Mary Ann Slagle Poteet, President of the Lubbock based Southwest Regional Balloon Club, and her husband Tony Poteet, owners of the balloon “Magic Toy”. The weather was picture perfect on Saturday morning, the 19th of September, with ideal conditions for hot air ballooning – light winds, and an absence of low clouds, fog, or showers.
Patterson Park, Wolfforth, TX, Sep. 19, 2009.
A look at “Magic Toy” balloon owned and operated by Mary Ann Slagle Poteet and Tony Poteet, as it floats across the sky just north of Wolfforth. Click on the image for a bigger view.