National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

The Denver Radiosonde (Weather Balloon) Will Miss Launches Until Further Notice

Due to worldwide shortages in the supply of Helium, the Denver Radiosonde will miss launches until further notice.  Located south of I-70 just west of Havana, the Denver upper air balloon launch site has been providing twice daily vertical profiles of weather observations since 1956.  Helium is the lifting gas used at the Denver upper air site, and with a limited local supply, there is not enough helium to continue launching balloons.  If and when more helium is available, balloon launches will continue.  Stay turned to our webpage for updates on the evolving situation.  

Denver is one of 12 National Weather Service upper air balloon launch sites that relies on helium as the lifting gas.  The vast majority of sites use hydrogen to lift the balloons.  For more information on the helium shortage and impact to balloon launches across the U.S., please see the Public Information Statement from April 2022:

Public Notification Statement