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Balloon supposedly floats 3000 km cross-country in just one day

Friday, December 13th 2019, 11:15 am - A woman from Kentucky claims that she found a balloon all the way from California, one day after the balloon was released.

We've all been at a party when we see a helium balloon released into the air, drifting off into the sky and never to be seen or heard of again.

Earily this month however, a woman in Kentucky claims that a balloon all the way from California landed in her farm field in Greenville Kentucky, still completely in tact one day after it was released.

"I had no belief that this could be possible until she let us know," Patrick Salazar, a director of a Kiwanis club in Visalia, California told CNN.

Salazar said they handed out thousands of balloons at the annual Visalia Christmas parade on December 2, later receiving a Facebook message from the Kentucky woman to say she had found one of their balloons the very next day.

"There was a message on there that said a lady in Greenville Kentucky, Kristin Dukes, a very nice lady sent us a really nice message saying that she found our balloon in her pastor in her farm."

Balloon2

That means within a 24 hour time frame, the balloon would have had to travel about 3000 km, bouncing over the Sierra Nevada Mountains and landing safely in the field by December 3.

Even Dukes admitted that they live in a very rural part of Kentucky, so finding a balloon in the field where they feed their cattle was beyond bizarre.

In order to make the timeframes work, the balloon would have had to travel at a speed between 200-300 km/h.

WHAT ARE THE ACTUAL CHANCES? THE FACTS:

  • Party/toy helium balloons can be known to rise to an altitude of 10 km because helium is lighter than the surrounding air before they pop.

  • The 300 millibar wind speeds, the home of the jet stream, are located at approximately 9 km up in the atmosphere, so theoretically, the balloon could have remained inflated while it was carried by upper level winds across the country.

  • Wind speeds approximately 9 km up can blow between 200-300 km/h.

"So, while it still remains highly unlikely for this to happen, if the balloon could remain inflated and it managed to reach the 300 millibar winds, it could technically travel from Visalia, California to Greenville, Kentucky in approximately 15 hours," explains Weather Network meteorologist Kelly Sonnenburg.

BalloonJetStream

Watch the video above as meteorologists Kelly Sonnenburg and Jaclyn Whittal weigh in on the plausibilty of this mysterious red balloon.

With files from CNN

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