Three Front Range entities aid in tracking Florence

BOULDER and LOUISVILLE — More Colorado organizations are helping with Hurricane Florence.

How NCAR and Vaisala’s dropsondes work. Courtesy Vaisala.

Vaisala Corp., a Louisville-based manufacturer of weather equipment, is working with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, both in Boulder, to track the storm.

Together, the three entities make and analyze dropsondes — lightweight cylinders made of plastic and cardboard that are equipped with weather sensors and a parachute. The dropsondes are dropped above Hurricane Florence and can provide data about the storm. Dropsondes increase the accuracy of predicting the hurricane’s path by about 20 percent — in Florence’s case, an improved prediction capability of 100 miles.

The dropsonde was invented by NCAR and manufactured by Vaisala, a Finnish company with its U.S. headquarters in Louisville. The data is collected and analyzed by NOAA and then distributed worldwide to meteorologists.

Other companies in the region are also assisting with the storm. Earthvisionz is a Boulder-based software company that is helping property owners determine what is happening with their properties and what to expect after the storm hits.